CBD oil is more popular than ever, and millions of Americans are now using this substance on a regular basis. It’s low-risk, it’s widely available, and its popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.
But do those CBD users have anything to worry about? Will they get addicted to CBD following regular use? If so, how dangerous is that addiction?
Is CBD Addictive?
Before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear: CBD is not addictive. Users do not display addictive behaviors and the cannabinoid does not interact with the body in the same way as addictive drugs.
It’s normal for consumers to be wary, though.
After all, in the mid-1990s, Tramadol was marketed as a non-addictive opioid alternative, something that could provide relief without causing the kind of addictive behaviors seen in other opioids.
Today, there are tight restrictions on the use of this drug, it’s widely considered to be just as addictive, and in the United States, doctors can’t prescribe more than 5 refills.
For many years, it was also thought that marijuana was non-addictive. Today, we know that while it doesn’t produce the same addiction/withdrawal symptoms as other drugs, it can be psychologically and even physically addictive with chronic use.
Our understanding of substances changes with time, but if that’s true, how can we be so confident that CBD is not addictive?
Why Isn’t CBD Addictive?
Addiction is defined as the compulsive need to use a substance, despite potentially serious consequences.
An addict will typically increase their intake as their tolerance increases, and if they ever stop using, they may suffer a number of psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms.
For instance, opioid withdrawal symptoms are known to include everything from restless leg syndrome and diarrhea to vomiting, stomach pains, and body aches.
Dependence occurs because these substances affect the pleasure centers of the brain. They make the user feel good, and so they repeat the dose to relive those feelings. Eventually, they realize that when they stop, the withdrawals start, and so they keep using.
By this time, they are mainly using just to keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay, which is why many addicts complain that they use just “to feel normal”. It’s still a heightened and drug-induced version of “normal”, but it’s a far cry from the initial high that they felt when they first used the drug.
CBD is different because it doesn’t activate those pleasure centers and doesn’t produce the same psychoactive effects.
It could be argued that someone who takes CBD oil every day does so out of habit, and they have become so accustomed to it that they don’t feel “right” when they don’t take it. But this is habit, not addiction.
If you take a bath every night for 10 years and then skip your evening bath in favor of a morning shower, you’ll feel a little weird, but it doesn’t mean you’re addicted to bathing.
By the same token, someone who derives positive sensations from CBD might not feel the same if they skip a day, but the same could be said for a multivitamin, fiber supplement, or probiotic.
The point is that the psychoactive effects and withdrawal symptoms associated with drug and alcohol dependence are not present with CBD oil.
Can Your Body Get Addicted To CBD Oil?
If you are using legal hemp-derived CBD products, there should be no risk of addiction. In such cases, you’re only consuming legal and acceptable quantities of non-psychoactive compounds, as well as trace amounts of THC.
Interestingly, CBD oil has actually been suggested as a possible treatment for drug and alcohol dependence.
A meta-analysis published way back in 2015, suggested that CBD extracts could be administered to reduce cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.
In one case study, CBD was given to a young woman suffering from cannabis withdrawal symptoms. She took between 300mg and 600mg for 11 days and researchers noted a “rapid decrease in withdrawal symptoms”. In fact, her withdrawal symptoms returned to baseline after just 6 days.
How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?
Everyone responds differently to CBD, and the way it makes you feel will depend on a number of factors, including the amount.
What’s important to note is that CBD does not produce the same sensations as marijuana. Many users report feel calmer after consuming CBD oil, and some inexperienced users read these reports and equate them to marijuana use.
But CBD is not psychoactive and it will not produce strong feelings of sedation or euphoria.
If you’re using CBD for the first time and are concerned about your reaction, it’s best to start small. Check the recommended amount and stick with the lowest amount, or go even lower.
Assess your tolerance, see how it makes you feel, and go from there.
What Happens When You Take CBD Daily?
CBD is widely considered to be a low-risk substance and there should be no issue with taking it on a regular basis. As noted above, it’s not addictive and it won’t produce any withdrawal symptoms.
As with anything, it’s important to stick to the recommended amount and pay attention to adverse reactions, including dry mouth, reduced appetite, and tiredness. These are rare, but they are more likely to appear if you are using increasingly high amounts of CBD and are exceeding the recommended amount.
If you experience any of these reactions, stop using the CBD.
Caution is also advised in the presence of preexisting health conditions and if you are taking any prescription medications.
It’s very difficult to take a dangerous amount of CBD as the lethal amount is usually far more than you can find in a single bottle. Or even a few bottles.
But that doesn’t mean you should tempt fate. CBD is usually very effective within the recommended usage range. Not only will you be more prone to experiencing adverse reactions if you exceed this range, but it’s also not a very cost-effective way of using your CBD!