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cbd oil for addiction

What Is CBD and Is It Addictive?

People frequently wonder what is CBD or what is cannabidiol? Cannabidiol is also called CBD, so these two are the same thing, and they are a compound derived from cannabis that is said to have medical and therapeutic benefits. Proponents of CBD say that it can help deal with conditions including inflammation, chronic pain, psychosis, anxiety, and seizures among others.

Despite the fact that people in favor of using cannabidiol therapeutically say that it does have benefits, the U.S. government has done research that isn’t necessarily completely conclusive or in favor of these assertions, although there is some early evidence showing the use of CBD does have some benefits. The following information provides an overview of answers to the following questions:

  • What is CBD and what is cannabidiol?
  • Is CBD hemp oil marijuana?
  • Are CBD and marijuana the same thing?
  • What’s the difference between low THC and high THC CBD?
  • What are the effects of CBD?
  • What are the benefits of CBD?
  • Does CBD help anxiety or make it worse?
  • Can CBD help with cancer?
  • 1. What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
  • 2. CBD vs. THC
  • 3. What Are The Effects of CBD?
  • 4. High CBD Strains: Helping Anxiety or Making It Worse?
  • 5. Are There Side Effects of CBD Oil?
  • 6. CBD and Cancer

What is Cannabidiol?

As touched on above, cannabidiol or CBD is derived from cannabis. The CBD is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, but it’s different from something called THC that’s also derived from CBD because it’s not psychoactive. People in favor of the use of CBD often say that it’s a way to get relaxation and therapeutic benefits without feeling high, but undoubtedly the compound does have effects on the person using it. Although it is one of the most numerous compounds found in the cannabis plant, CBD isn’t the only one, and there are different concentrations of CBD oil as well.

CBD, which is often used in therapeutic and medical contexts, comes from the hemp part of the cannabis sativa plant, as does marijuana, but though they are both processed from the same component of the plant, CBD and marijuana are thought to be very different. For example, in the past marijuana farmers have tended to breed their hemp plants to have high amounts of THC because of the effects that component has to the user, but when people are farming hemp to get CBD oil, they don’t try to make it higher in THC. It’s actually better to reduce the amount of TCH as much as possible. People frequently wonder is CBD hemp oil marijuana? Or Is CBD marijuana? The answer is no. These substances are derived from the same type of plant, but they’re not exactly the same nor do they have the same uses.

What is Hemp?

There are different varieties of the cannabis plant, and hemp is the nonpsychoactive type of cannabis. Hemp and marijuana are derived from the same the species of cannabis, but their uses, chemical components and how they’re cultivated are different from one another. Hemp is favored in use for a variety of industrial applications because it’s renewable and versatile. It’s relatively easy to grow, requiring minimal water and no pesticides, so it’s environmentally friendly as compared to many of its counterparts. Also, since hemp doesn’t contain THC, it can’t produce the high associated with marijuana.

Despite the advantages of hemp and the fact that it can’t be used to get high, the Controlled Substances Act describes it as a Schedule I drug, so it’s illegal to grow it in the U.S. and it’s imported from other countries, as long as minimal amounts of THC are present. Regarding CBD and hemp, CBD oil is found in both marijuana and industrial hemp, and it’s the CBD derived from industrial hemp that’s most often used since it contains less than 1% THC. There have been moves in many states to legalize medical marijuana, at least in a limited way, in order to provide greater access to CBD for the treatment of certain medical conditions.

This brings about the importance of understanding the distinctions between industrial hemp-derived CBD and CBD derived from cannabis. It’s much easier to access CBD derived from industrial hemp, and it has the same properties as cannabis-derived CBD, which is why it’s become a viable alternative for people who live in states that don’t allow them to access medical marijuana but they can legally get access to CBD derived from hemp. So, is CBD hemp oil marijuana? No, not technically in most cases. There is CBD from marijuana, but it’s not what’s used for medical reasons in most cases.

Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil

Facts About CBD Hemp Oil

  • Medical marijuana and industrial hemp are both derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant
  • When someone grows industrial or agricultural hemp, it’s done in a different way than cannabis that has THC
  • It’s nearly impossible for high THC products to be grown with hemp
  • It’s frequently argued that when CBD oils and other CBD products are made from industrial or agricultural hemp, it’s not actually a violation of the Controlled Substances Act
  • Unlike THC you won’t get a sense of euphoria from using CBD
  • If you’re getting CBD that’s made from industrial hemp you don’t need a prescription
  • People who are in favor of the therapeutic use of CBD oil feel it has physical and psychological benefits

How Does CBD Work?

When someone takes CBD, it impacts the endocannabinoid system which includes receptors that are located throughout the body and brain. THC specifically activates two receptors, which are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. On the other hand, CBD doesn’t stimulate these receptors, at least not directly. The cannabinoid receptors that are found inside the human body regulate a lot of different processes that we experience daily including mood, appetite, memory and pain sensation, and when they’re activated, it can be by naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, as well as the plant cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis.

CB1 receptors are found primarily in the central nervous system, although also in smaller amounts throughout the body including in the liver and lungs. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are part of the human immune system, and they’re found in certain blood cells. CB1 receptors are part of how the body and the central nervous system produces and releases certain neurotransmitters, which is why there are psychoactive effects of using certain types of cannabis. The CB1 receptors also deal with various processes in the liver, and they can impact things such as pleasure, appetite, and tolerance for pain. As was touched on, CB2 receptors interact with the immune system.

However, while the CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated by the use of cannabis with THC contents, CBD is different. CBD activates receptors such as the serotonin and adenosine receptors. Because of the receptors activated by CBD, using CBD hemp oil can change things like pain perception and inflammation. CBD also activates the adenosine receptors, which helps with anxiety because these receptors release dopamine. In some cases when people take higher concentrations of CBD it may activate the 5-HTIA receptor, which is a serotonin receptor, and this is why people feel CBD has an anti-depressant effect. Also important to understand when looking at how CBD works is the fact that when someone takes it, it blocks the psychoactive effects of THC, so people can take advantage of what some say are the benefits of CBD without the mind-altering effects of THC.

How is CBD Oil Made?

With whole plant CBD oils, there are several methods that may be used including soaking the plant in a solvent like alcohol and then using the liquid, evaporating the solvent, and taking what’s left of the CBD oil. There’s also a process of extraction that relies on C02, which is a more complex procedure. With this, there are various pressure and temperature controls that have to be monitored as the CO2 is pushed through the plant. The cannabinoid solution needed for the CBD oil then reacts and separates from the rest of the plant. As people have started increasingly relying on CBD oil as an everyday supplement, many manufacturers are adding flavors so that it’s more palatable.

What is Cannabidiol? Is CBD Hemp Oil Marijuana?

CBD vs. THC

What is THC?

THC is just one of the compounds that are derived from the marijuana plant, and more specifically it’s found in the resin secreted by the plant. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, are just another compound found in these plants, both marijuana and hemp. THC can affect your body in many ways because when you use it, your brain is then triggered to release the chemical dopamine. This is why you may experience a euphoric high, and this is not unlike what happens with other drugs. THC also changes how information is processed in your brain, particularly in the hippocampus. This can create changes in thinking, and there’s also the potential for someone to experience delusions or hallucinations. When someone takes THC, it will usually start to affect them in anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, and these effects may last for up to two hours.

Some of the general side effects of THC can include:

  • Elation or euphoria
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Sedation
  • Anxiety

What Are the Risks of THC?

  • Impaired motor skills that can contribute to accidents
  • In some cases taking substances containing THC can lead to a relapse in symptoms associated with schizophrenia
  • When THC is chronically used by younger people, it can lead to a decrease in IQ as well as continuing memory and cognition problems
  • THC can also have potentially dangerous interactions with other medicines or substances

Another risk that’s gaining more attention in recent years is the fact that edibles have become more popular and that may increase the risk of overdosing. People are eating larger quantities of these edibles and thereby ingesting more THC as well. With edibles, there is the potential to have more THC that’s more potent, leading to drug effects that last longer and are more powerful. Despite the potential risk, there is some evidence that THC and marijuana may be helpful for cancer patients and other medicinal purposes. In some cases, researchers are working on extracting THC from marijuana for FDA-approved drugs to help with symptoms such as nausea and loss of appetite.

There are differences in the amount of THC in cannabis as well. The concentration of THC depends on factors including whether or not it’s exposed to air and the cultivation of the marijuana plant. Hemp is an example of a type of cannabis with a low THC concentration. There are some strains of cannabis with as little as 0.3 percent THC, and then in other types, the THC may account for up to 20 percent of the weight. The average concentration of THC found in marijuana ranges from 1 to 5 percent, and in hashish, it’s 5 to 15 percent. With hashish oil, which is different from CBD oil, it’s on average 20 percent.

CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?

When someone takes THC, and it binds to the CB1 receptors, it stimulates them, and that activation leads to the effects of the drug, such as the euphoric high or the sense of relaxation. In a lot of ways, THC replicates the action of a certain neurotransmitter, which is anandamide, and this increases the appetite of the user and leads them to eat more than they would normally because of the pleasure and reward reactions it creates.

On the other hand, the difference between CBD vs. THC is in the fact that CBD doesn’t fit with the CB1 receptors. It’s an antagonist of these receptors, so it doesn’t suppress or activate them. Instead, CBD actually would suppress the elements of THC that would activate the CB1 receptors. Because of the difference in receptor activation, some have dubbed THC the bad cannabinoid and CBD the good one, and there are differences in state laws regarding access to the two substances, but some researchers believe CBD and THC work better together than separately when it comes to using these cannabis derived substances medicinally. The variances seen when looking at CBD vs. THC boil down to very small anatomical differences between the two. Their chemical makeup is actually the same but just arranged slightly differently which is why THC has psychoactive effects and CBD doesn’t.

High CBD Cannabis vs. High THC Cannabis

Is There CBD In Marijuana?

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What Are The Effects of CBD?

According to the NIH, there are more than 80 active cannabinoid chemicals in the marijuana plant, and CBD is only one of those. However, the NIH confirms that when someone takes CBD, it doesn’t create euphoria or intoxication. This is because CBD doesn’t interact with the CB1 or CB2 receptors in the brain and body. The NIH goes on to say that while there is still the need for in-depth clinical studies regarding the effects of CBD and CBD benefits for specific conditions, preclinical research has shown there may be some positive effects of this substance. The effects of CBD and potential CBD benefits are detailed below.

  • Anti-Seizure: One of the first ways the concept of CBD benefits came to light in a large-scale way was because of the anti-seizure effects of the substance. There have been quite a few research studies over the past 20 years showing that CBD has the potential to reduce seizure activity, and there is some evidence showing CBD can be used to help treat children who are resistant to epilepsy medicines. Research studies focusing on the antiseizure effects of CBD have been somewhat limited and small thus far, but they do show some benefits.
  • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Some research has also shown CBD may have neuroprotective properties, meaning CBD benefits could include helping with neurodegenerative diseases. These diseases could include Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and neurodegeneration caused by alcohol abuse. There is something called nabiximols which contains equal proportions of CBD and THC that’s approved in much of Europe to help treat certain symptoms of MS as well. In the small studies looking at the role of CBD in helping deal with symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s, its use has been shown to improve quality of life.
  • Analgesic Effects: Other studies of the effects of CBD and CBD benefits have looked at the substance regarding its potential analgesic effects. It could be helpful to use CBD as a way to treat neuropathic pain and pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Anti-Psychotic and Anti-Anxiety: When people use marijuana, it increases their chances of chronic psychosis, at least in high doses. There is some belief that the use of CBD could reduce these THC effects. There have also been some clinical trials looking at situations such as patients having Parkinson’s with psychosis who took CBD and got good results from it. One of the biggest reasons people use CBD is also to help with anxiety. There have been research studies that have looked at anxiety and stress in animals and small human tests, and the use of CBD has seemed to reduce anxiety.

Another way the effects of CBD/cannabidiol can be beneficial includes in helping with substance use disorders. There are early findings that show they could help when people are addicted to drugs such as morphine and heroin. While there are potential CBD benefits being looked at, it’s important that people do understand scientific research backing up these effects of CBD is still limited. In terms of looking at the safety of the effects of CBD, according to the NIH while there is limited research, thus far there hasn’t been much evidence of significant adverse effects stemming from its use. At present, research on the effects of CBD is focused on the treatment of substance use disorders, looking at whether it could be helpful to help treat neuropathic pain and looking at the use of CBD as a way to help with seizure disorders.

High CBD Strains: Helping Anxiety or Making It Worse?

Proponents of using high CBD strains for the treatment of anxiety symptoms say it can help with panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD and mild to moderate depression. So why does CBD work on anxiety, and do high CBD strains help anxiety or could they make it worse?

How CBD Might Help Anxiety

What Are the Best Strains of Cannabis for Anxiety?

First and foremost, it’s important to realize that while high CBD strains are good for anxiety cannabis strains high in THC can actually exacerbate the problem of anxiety. While high CBD strains don’t create a high like high THC strains do, they do have anxiolytic properties without paranoia or mental cloudiness. There are many different CBD-high strains available for people who are considering the use of CBD as a way to treat anxiety. For example, there are some products that have 11 percent or more CBD, and it can be a great way to take the edge off anxiety or to boost moods when you have depression.

So to sum up, if you wonder whether high CBD strains help anxiety or make it worse, they do tend to make it better as long as the strain is high only in CBD and not simultaneously high in THC. Strains of cannabis high in THC can amplify symptoms of anxiety in some people.

Are There Side Effects of CBD Oil?

CBD and Cancer

So what about CBD and cancer? According to the NIH National Cancer Center, there are substances such as dronabinol and nabilone that are approved by the FDA for the treatment of side effects related to cancer, and this highlights the fact that there may be therapeutic benefits with cannabinoids. In general, the NIH National Cancer Center says that medicinal cannabis may help people who live with cancer by providing pain relief, better quality of sleep, and appetite stimulation, and there are more doctors that are seeking out the use of cannabis and cannabinoid products to help cancer patients.

Along with helping treat some symptoms of cancer, the NIH National Cancer Center also points out that studies done in animals have shown that the use of cannabinoids may help protect against tumor development, so they are believed to have some antitumor effects. The role of CBD and cancer, and answering whether or not CBD can help with cancer, whether in terms of the treatment of the symptoms or helping slow or impede the growth of tumors, is still being researched, but it’s not something the NIH has ruled out, as there has been promise in studies thus far.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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Cannabidiol is also called CBD, so these two are the same thing, and they are a compound derived from cannabis that is said to have medical and therapeutic benefits.

Cannabidiol Oil for Decreasing Addictive Use of Marijuana: A Case Report

Abstract

This case study illustrates the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to decrease the addictive use of marijuana and provide anxiolytic and sleep benefits. Addiction to marijuana is a chronic, relapsing disorder, which is becoming a prevalent condition in the United States. The most abundant compound in the marijuana, which is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been widely studied and known for its psychoactive properties. The second most abundant component—CBD—has been suggested to have the medicinal effects of decreasing anxiety, improving sleep, and other neuro-protective effects. The mechanism of action for CBD has been suggested to be antagonistic to the psychoactive properties of THC in many locations within the central nervous system. Such action raises the issue of whether it might be beneficial to use CBD in isolation to facilitate withdrawal of marijuana use. The specific use of CBD for marijuana reduction has not been widely studied.

The patient was a 27-y-old male who presented with a long-standing diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a daily addiction to marijuana use. In the described intervention, the only change made to the patient’s treatment was the addition of CBD oil with the dosage gradually decreasing from 24 to 18 mg. With use of the CBD oil, the patient reported being less anxious, as well as settling into a regular pattern of sleep. He also indicated that he had not used any marijuana since starting the CBD oil. With the decrease in the dosage to 18 mg, the patient was able to maintain his nonuse of marijuana.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp and marijuana collectively called cannabis. CBD oil is one of at least 85 cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis and is popular for its medicinal benefits. After tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most abundant compound in cannabis, CBD is the second most abundant. Other names for CBD oil include CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp-derived CBD oil, or CBD-rich cannabis oil. CBD is generally considered to be safe and has been used medicinally for decades. The suggested medicinal effects of CBD include decreasing anxiety, improving sleep, and providing other neuroprotective effects.

THC is a cannabinoid and is the component that induces the euphoric psychoactive effect. Various cannabis plants can have different amounts of CBD and THC depending on the strain, and, thus, can provide different recreational or medicinal effects. The cannabinoid profile of industrial hemp or medical marijuana is ideal for people looking for the medical benefits of CBD without the high of the THC. The mechanism of action for CDB has been suggested to be antagonistic to the psychoactive properties of THC in many locations within the central nervous system, thus helping to attenuate the psychoactive behaviors of THC.1,2

The mechanism of action of CBD is multifold.3,4,5 Two cannabinoid receptors are known to exist in the human body: CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are located mainly in the brain and modulate neurotransmitter release in a manner that (1) prevents excessive neuronal activity, thus calming and decreasing anxiety; (2) reduces pain; (3) decreases inflammation; (4) regulates movement and posture control; and (5) controls sensory perception, memory, and cognitive function.4

Anandamide, an endogenous ligand that occurs naturally within our bodies, binds to the CB1 receptors through the G-protein coupling system. CBD has an indirect effect on the CB1 receptors by stopping the enzymatic breakdown of anandamide, allowing it to stay in the system longer and to provide its medical benefits.6 CBD has a mild effect on the CB2 receptors, which are located in the periphery of the lymphoid tissue. The CBD helps to mediate the release of cytokines from the immune cells in a manner that helps to reduce inflammation and pain.4

Other mechanisms of action of CBD include stimulation of vanilloid pain receptors, such as the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV-1) receptor, which are known to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature.7 CBD may also exert its antianxiety effects by activating adenosine receptors that play a significant role in cardiovascular function, causing a broad anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body.7 At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, thereby conferring an antidepressant effect.8 CBD has been found to be an antagonist at a potentially new third cannabinoid receptor (ie, G protein-coupled receptor 55, or GPR55), which resides in the caudate nucleus and putamen and can contribute to osteoporosis when stimulated.9

Since the 1940s, a considerable number of published articles have addressed the chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, and clinical effects of CBD.10 The last decade has shown a notable increase in the scientific literature on CBD, owing to its identification as being beneficial in reducing nausea and vomiting, combating psychotic disorders, decreasing inflammation, lessening anxiety, reducing depression, improving sleep, and increasing a sense of well-being.11,12,13,14 Findings presented at the 2015 International Cannabinoid Research Society at their 25th Annual Symposium in Nova Scotia, Canada, reported that use of CBD was beneficial for treatment of liver fibrosis and inflammation, metabolic syndrome, overweight and obesity, anorexia/cachexia syndrome, and osteoarthritic and other musculoskeletal conditions.15

Although studies have demonstrated the calming, anti-inflammatory, and relaxing effects of CBD, clinical data demonstrating the use of CBD to obtain help in marijuana withdrawal is minimal. One prior case study by Crippa et al16 documented the positive effects of using CBD for the treatment of marijuana withdrawal. The current case study offers further evidence that CBD is effective as a safe method of transitioning off marijuana without unwanted side effects.

Presenting Concerns

The patient was a 27-year-old male who presented with a long-standing diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a daily addiction to marijuana. His presenting concerns included erratic behaviors, anxiety, inconsistent sleep patterns, and irritability. He currently lives with his parents, works as a self-employed driver, and teaches chess to children. Informed consent was received from the patient.

Clinical Findings

The patient’s history included hospitalizations as a teenager for bipolar episodes. He came to the author’s clinic, Wholeness Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2011 and was evaluated by a psychiatrist and naturopathic physician.

The patient’s treatments for his bipolar disorder included pharmacological medications ( Table 1 ). Evaluations included (1) a basic, complete blood count; (2) a nutritional evaluation; (3) a comprehensive metabolic panel; (4) a lipid panel; (5) a measurement of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); (6) a celiac panel; (7) a measurement of thyroid function; (8) a measurement of iron levels; and (9) a quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG).

Table 1

Patient’s Timeline, 2011–2015

Date Presentation Medications Supplements Cannabidiol Oil
06/20/2011 Initial psychological evaluation; diagnosis of bipolar disorder and depression, with difficulty processing information; buzzing in head and some disorientation; 2 manic periods in previous 10 mo, exacerbated by substance abuse; history of hospitalizations; micromanagement of life by mother. Regular marijuana use
11/2011–06/2012 49 neurofeedback sessions. Marijuana use
08/2012–10/2012 9 bodywork sessions. Marijuana use
10/22/2013 No periods of mania/depression; 2 jobs. Marijuana use
02/21/2014 Erratic moods with resumption of THC; stressed family with patient’s deterioration when using THC. Citalopram: 20 mg Marijuana use daily
03/27/2014 Mood withdrawn and erratic; passiveaggressive behaviors. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Marijuana use: 1–2 joints /night + pot brownies; admitted addiction to THC
DEN: 3 caps TID
Niacin: 2 caps BID
O-3: 1 cap/d
CoQ10: 150 mg/d
Inositol: 2 scoops am & pm
Probiotic: 1 cap/d
Meriva: 1 cap/d
05/08/2014 Contemplation of quitting THC; realization of connection with mood changes; concern of family about mood changes; limited social contact; works with Legos. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Regular marijuana use
DEN: 3 caps TID
Niacin: 2 caps BID
O-3: 1 cap/d
CoQ10: 150 mg/d
Probiotic: 1 cap/d
07/10/2014 Less labile; mildly tired; no psychosis; continued marijuana use; less tension at home, with father home more often. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Deplin: 15 mg
Marijuana use 1 ×/wk
DEN: 3 caps TID
Niacin: 2 caps BID
O-3: 1 cap/d
CoQ10: 150 mg/d
04/24/2015 Continuous destabilization; no evidence of psychosis; difficulty with abuse of marijuana; jobs teaching chess to kids and catering. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Deplin: 15 mg
Marijuana use daily
DEN: 3 caps TID
Niacin: 2 caps BID
O-3: 1 cap/d
CoQ10: 150 mg/d
05/04/2015 Anxious, erratic moods; sensitive to gluten but no restriction; consumption of a lot of junk food; jobs teaching kids chess, making deliveries. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Deplin: 15 mg
No marijuana
No supplements
6 sprays PRN during day; 2 sprays QHS
06/04/2015 Overall improved quality of sleep; slightly less anxious. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Deplin: 15 mg
No marijuana
No supplements
3–4 sprays PRN during day; 6 sprays QHS
07/02/2015 Overall doing well; better sleep; anxiety under control; new job as Uber driver. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Deplin: 15 mg
No marijuana
No supplements
2 sprays PRN during day; 4 sprays QHS
08/03/2015 Overall good sleep and no anxiety. Citalopram: 20 mg
Lamotrigine: 150 mg
Deplin: 15 mg
No marijuana
No supplements
0 sprays PRN during day; 6 sprays QHS

Abbreviations: THC, tetrahydrocannabinol; DEN, daily essential nutrients; cap(s), capsule(s); TID, 3 ×/d; BID, 2 ×/d; THC, tetrahydrocannabinol; PRN, when necessary; QHS, every bedtime.

Dietary recommendations were then implemented as was a regimen of nutritional supplements. The patient also received neurofeedback sessions and bodywork. Prior to the period of the case study, he had been stable for a number of years.

In time, the patient’s marijuana habit progressed to addiction. In May 2015, it was recommended that he begin taking CBD as a way of transitioning off the daily marijuana use and stabilizing his erratic moods.

Diagnostic Focus and Assessment

Clinical observations of the patient’s erratic behaviors, mood swings, and disorientation, together with the patient’s self-report of daily marijuana use, reinforced the diagnoses of bipolar disorder and addiction. He was administered the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)17 and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A)18 prior to initiation of the CBD oil.

Theraputic Focus, Assessment, and Follow-up

The only addition that the author made to the patient’s treatment regime was the CBD oil. At the same time, the patient’s other supplement therapy was discontinued to simplify treatment, as no clear benefit was demonstrated. The initial regimen was 24 mg of the CBD oil, with 6 sprays PRN during the day and 2 sprays QHS. The dosage was gradually decreased from 24 to 18 mg, with the patient using no sprays during the day and 6 sprays at bedtime. The patient was seen for monthly appointments, including readministration of the PSQI and the HAM-A to evaluate the effectiveness and proper dosing of the CBD oil. CannaVest Company (Las Vegas. NV, USA), which had no involvement in the case study or distribution of the product, provided the CBD oil that was administered to the patient.

Outcome Measures

Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index

The PSQI is a standardized and validated self-report instrument that measures sleep quality over the prior month. Low scores indicate better sleep. A score under 5 means that you have no sleep concerns. 5 to 10 is fair quality sleep.

Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale

The HAM-A scale is a standardized and validated measure of anxiety in an adult population that has been in active use for decades. A score of 17 or less indicates mild anxiety in terms of severity. A score from 18 to 24 demonstrates mild to moderate anxiety severity. Last, a score of 25 to 30 indicates moderate to severe anxiety.

Results

Using the CBD oil, the patient was able to maintain nonuse of marijuana. With a subsequent, gradual decrease in anxiety, the patient was able to maintain a regular sleeping schedule ( Table 2 ). He was able to get a more secure job as a self-employed driver, and he continued to teach chess to children. He also became more interactive with his family and friends.

Table 2

Date PSQI HAM-A
05/4/2015 7 16
06/4/2015 8 8
07/2/2015 7 6
08/3/2015 7 5
09/10/2015 8 4

Abbreviations: PSQI, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; HAM-A, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale.

Discussion

The current case study found that CBD oil can be an effective compound to use for transitioning an individual off addictive use of marijuana. The fact that no changes were made in the patient’s medication schedule, diet, or lifestyle gives credence to the idea that the results were the actual effects of the CBD oil.

A possible weakness of the study is the fact that the patient’s total nonuse of marijuana was self-reported, and the reliability of his reporting could be suspect. However, the patient made significant gains in taking responsible actions and presented fewer erratic and disorganized behaviors.

A systematic review of the literature previously had examined 14 studies on the use of CBD oil to modulate various neuronal circuits involved in drug addiction.19 That review suggested that CBD “may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addictions … and may be beneficial in cannabis addiction in humans.” The current case study seems to support that review’s conclusions.

One reported consequence of the cessation of daily marijuana use is a withdrawal syndrome that is characterized by irritability, anxiety, marijuana craving, decreased quality and quantity of sleep, and reduced food intake.16,20 The use of the CBD oil in transitioning the current patient off the marijuana allowed him to avoid experiencing those side effects, as was demonstrated by his behavior and scores on the PSQI and HAM-A screening tools.

Patient Perspective

The patient reported being less anxious and sleeping better since taking the CBD oil. He reported not using any marijuana since starting the CBD and was proud of his accomplishment of getting a job as a self-employed driver and continuing with teaching chess to children.

Footnotes

Author Disclosure Statement

The author participated in no competing interests that would have affected the results of the case study. No financial support was provided by CannaVest at any time.

Cannabidiol Oil for Decreasing Addictive Use of Marijuana: A Case Report Abstract This case study illustrates the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to decrease the addictive use of marijuana and