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Updated on January 24, 2024

CBD for Alcohol Withdrawal

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Key takeaways

  • Alcohol addiction is also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD).
  • Severe alcohol withdrawal can lead to a condition called delirium tremens (DT), which includes symptoms such as hallucinations, confusion, and seizures.
  • CBD consumption reduces behavioral and anxiety-induced changes in alcohol addicts.
  • CBD may directly decrease alcohol consumption in individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
  • Wait at least four hours after taking CBD oil before consuming alcohol. This will reduce the chances of counter reaction.

CBD engages with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), influencing activities that may aid in diminishing dependence on substances like alcohol. Researchers extensively explore CBD's role in addiction, delving into its potential benefits. Let's examine their findings and insights on how CBD may contribute to addressing addictive behaviors, including those related to alcohol consumption.

Overview of Alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic condition characterized by an inability to control or stop drinking despite negative consequences. It can lead to physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. Common signs of alcohol addiction include increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, loss of control over drinking, and continued alcohol use despite adverse effects on health, relationships, and responsibilities. Treatment often involves a combination of counseling, support groups, medications, and lifestyle changes. Seeking professional help is crucial for those struggling with alcohol addiction to achieve recovery and improve overall well-being.

Signs of alcohol withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal occurs when an individual who regularly consumes alcohol suddenly stops or significantly reduces their intake. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can vary, but common signs may include:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Shaky Hands
  3. Sweating
  4. Nausea and Vomiting
  5. Insomnia
  6. Headache
  7. Increased Heart Rate
  8. Irritability
  9. Depression
  10. Hallucinations

Severe alcohol withdrawal can lead to a condition called delirium tremens (DT), which includes symptoms such as hallucinations, confusion, and seizures. Alcohol withdrawal is a serious medical condition that may require professional intervention.

What does research say on CBD for alcohol withdrawal?

The role of CBD in alcohol withdrawal have been documented by several researchers. A research paper published in 2023 shows that the amount of CBD taken had a direct impact on reducing signs of alcohol withdrawal, such as changes in behavior and anxiety. CBD also influenced the activity of certain genes in the brain's Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc), a region associated with reward and pleasure. However, these effects were not observed in the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA), another brain region. Overall, this study suggests that CBD could potentially help regulate specific changes related to alcohol withdrawal, providing some relief from the associated symptoms and behavioral changes.

Another research paper published in 2019 shows that CBD may directly decrease alcohol consumption in individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Benefits Of CBD For Alcoholism

  1. Anxiety and Stress Reduction: CBD has been studied for its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties. Alcohol withdrawal often involves heightened anxiety and stress, and CBD may help in managing these symptoms.
  2. Sleep Improvement: CBD may promote better sleep quality, and sleep disturbances are common during alcohol withdrawal. Improved sleep can contribute to overall well-being during this challenging period.
  3. Neuroprotective Effects: Some research suggests that CBD may have neuroprotective properties, potentially supporting brain health. This is relevant as chronic alcohol use can have negative effects on the brain.
  4. Craving Reduction: While more research is needed, there's some evidence to suggest that CBD may impact addictive behaviors and reduce cravings. This could be relevant for individuals seeking to overcome alcohol dependence.

When Can I use CBD for alcoholism?

The use of CBD for alcoholism should be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and under the guidance of an expert. Here are some scenarios when CBD might be considered:

  1. During Withdrawal: CBD may help manage withdrawal symptoms during the initial phase of alcohol cessation. It could potentially address symptoms like anxiety and insomnia.
  2. Craving Management: CBD might be explored to help reduce alcohol cravings and the desire to drink.
  3. Anxiety and Stress: If anxiety and stress contribute to alcohol use, CBD's potential anxiolytic effects could be beneficial in managing these underlying factors.
  4. Maintenance Phase: In the ongoing recovery phase, CBD could be used to support overall well-being and address any persisting symptoms.

Frequently asked questions

Can you replace alcohol with CBD?

Yes, CBD may serve as a perfect replacement for alcohol. Contrary to the stereotype of cannabis being solely for recreational use, the CBD compound within cannabis shows potential to substitute alcohol in your lifestyle. Remarkably, CBD could assist in reducing alcohol consumption, providing an alternative to traditional drinking habits.Top of Form

Does CBD help after drinking?

Yes! Individuals have discovered that CBD possesses the potential to mitigate adverse effects linked with alcohol consumption, such as headaches and nausea. This highlights a promising aspect of CBD, suggesting its ability to offer relief from common discomforts associated with drinking.

How long after taking CBD oil can I drink alcohol?

Wait at least four hours after taking CBD oil before consuming alcohol. Allowing this time frame ensures that the CBD has ample time to leave your system, minimizing the risk of potential adverse side effects.

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Sources

Gasparyan, A., Navarrete, F., Navarro, D., & Manzanares, J. (2023). Cannabidiol regulates behavioral and brain alterations induced by spontaneous alcohol withdrawal. Neuropharmacology, 233, 109549. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2023.109549

De Ternay J, Naassila M, Nourredine M, Louvet A, Bailly F, Sescousse G, Maurage P, Cottencin O, Carrieri PM, Rolland B. Therapeutic Prospects of Cannabidiol for Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol-Related Damages on the Liver and the Brain. Front Pharmacol. 2019 May 31;10:627. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00627. PMID: 31214036; PMCID: PMC6554654.

Turna, J., Syan, S. K., Frey, B. N., Rush, B., Costello, J., Weiss, M., & MacKillop, J. (2019). CANNABIDIOL AS A NOVEL CANDIDATE ALCOHOL USE DISORDER PHARMACOTHERAPY: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 43(4), 550. https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.13964

Kleczkowska, P., Smaga, I., Filip, M. et al. Cannabinoid Ligands and Alcohol Addiction: A Promising Therapeutic Tool or a Humbug?. Neurotox Res 29, 173–196 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12640-015-9555-7

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