Can Cannabis Help With Addiction?

The Vault Cannabis Seed Store79

The Vault Cannabis Seed Store79


Today we are not talking about potential addiction to cannabis. Although we did discover in our myth-busting article that mental cannabis addiction is possible. This is more of a fighting fire with fire concept, treating drug addiction with another drug. There are few conclusive studies when it comes to this slightly unorthodox treatment method. However, there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest that cannabis could help those with more severe addictions as they attempt to reach sobriety. There are also medicinal aspects of cannabis that can help with the withdrawal symptoms of opioids. The withdrawal for those who were addicted to drugs like heroin can be brutal and painful, increasing the likelihood of falling back off the wagon. So let’s start with the basics, why does cannabis have a therapeutic effect on the body?




In our bodies, we have something called an endocannabinoid system. This is a complex part of our anatomy that interacts with the stimulants and depressives in various drugs, including cannabis and opioids. Some cannabinoids are produced within the body and some without, such as the ones found in THC or CBD. The system is a neurotransmitter system and so how the external cannabinoids affect the ECS will alter the brain. This is essentially why we are so heavily affected by cannabis and other drugs that contain cannabinoids.


Cannabis and Addiction


The reason we talk about external cannabinoids is that they are present in a few plants, including those used to create opioids. The way that the brain reacts to these influences has a few similarities. Of course, one is more generally and physically addictive than the other and can be far more damaging. So how can we use cannabis to help us move away from other addictions?


Reducing Cravings and Withdrawal


When the human body is deprived of something that it is mentally or physically addicted to it goes through a variety of often unpleasant reactions. These are known as withdrawal symptoms and vary widely from person to person. This is not a new concept, for example, those who are trying to get over heroin addiction are often given methadone as a replacement to quell the severe physical withdrawal symptoms. In less intense circumstances drugs like cannabis can also be used to provide a feeling of euphoria, to help separate from reality, or whatever the craving might be without a relapse. This is essentially the idea that cannabis uses the endocannabinoid system to tickle the same neurotransmitters and trick the brain into thinking it is getting the drug it craves.


Reducing Anxiety


Medicinal cannabis is very regularly prescribed to patients who suffer from extreme anxiety or anxiety disorders. A very common withdrawal symptom is severe anxiety as well as depression and other forms of brain stress. These are also ways that the brain tries to trick us into getting what it wants. If someone is dealing with withdrawal from addiction the relief from anxiety, depression and other negative emotions that may drive them towards relapsing can be invaluable.


Reducing Physical Symptoms


It can be easy to focus on the emotional side of withdrawal but there are significant physical issues that come with it. The physical issues, for some, can be debilitating and equally hard to deal with. Coming off opiates the body can go through nausea, lack of appetite, insomnia, dizziness, muscle pain and a variety of other symptoms. Cannabis is regularly prescribed by doctors for people who experience all of these issues as part of an ongoing illness. By reducing these difficult and often painful symptoms recovering addicts may find it easier to get through the cold turkey period. The fewer signs the brain is giving you to relapse the better.


Craving Replacement


When we look at quitting drinking or quitting smoking common advice is to replace the act with something less harmful. Often as a stress response, a smoker will immediately reach for a cigarette, or someone who drinks will reach for a beer. That is the bodies way of coping and it can be almost impossible to just stop without something to replace it with. Many people dealing with sobriety from other substances have found cannabis an excellent way of enjoying a little bit of brain freedom without feeling the urge to binge. This is, of course, not the same for everyone as some find cannabis mentally addictive. However, for others who maybe don’t usually smoke, have a lower tolerance, or who do not find cannabis addictive it can be an excellent alternative. This is also sometimes known as memory reward when the craving is sated by something that has a similar effect. This is especially prevalent with drug addiction as it all comes back to the endocannabinoid system.




Once again I will stress that there has been little official scientific research into this area. However, due to the overwhelming anecdotal evidence and general usage of cannabis in a medicinal sense, it is beginning to come to the forefront. For the moment we can certainly say that it makes sense for cannabis to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. We can also say that a number of recovering addicts believe that it has helped them get through an extremely difficult time in their lives and out the other side. If the goal is also to reduce harm to the body it can be better to vape or ingest cannabis in edibles than to smoke it. It is also important that recovering addicts monitor their cannabis intake. When we are recovering from addiction our brains are susceptible to new addictions, which is not what we are going for. So essentially, yes cannabis can help with addiction but it depends on a variety of factors and is not fully backed up yet by medical science. In this case, it is up to you to research the facts and ensure that this feels like the right way for you to go if you are struggling with addiction. Of course, always speak to a medical professional before undertaking any kind of cannabis-based treatment.


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