CBD Gummies To Stop Drinking
Last Updated: November 1, 2023
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a popular substance for treating different ailments. It is found in many health and wellness products, such as creams, lotions, ointments, edible oils, gummies and many others. CBD gummies are ingestible candies that contain cannabidiol oil.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD), or alcohol addiction, is a chronic condition that makes someone unable to control alcohol consumption despite negative consequences. Although research demonstrates that CBD can reduce alcohol intake, it is important to keep in mind that it is not FDA-approved to treat alcohol addiction, and there is still some debate as to if CBD actually helps with alcohol addiction.
What Is CBD?
There is often a lot of confusion surrounding CBD and questions regarding its relationship to marijuana. CBD is typically derived from the hemp plant. Although hemp and marijuana belong to the same plant species — cannabis sativa — hemp plants have 0.3% THC or less.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive substance that causes feelings of euphoria or a “high.” CBD, on the other hand, is considered non-intoxicating because of the extremely low content of THC.
Is CBD a Drug?
The answer to this question depends on how a drug is defined. Dictionary.com defines a drug as “a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention or diagnosis of a disease or otherwise used to enhance physical or mental well-being.” In this case, the answer would be yes because CBD treats symptoms associated with pain, anxiety and neurological disorders.
On the other hand, the FDA has not approved CBD as a drug to treat any disease or condition, with one exception. The FDA has approved Epidiolex, a prescription medication containing a purified form of CBD, to treat seizures associated with certain disorders.
Is CBD Addictive?
Addiction is a chronic disorder that compulsively causes an individual to use a substance despite negative or dangerous outcomes. Because cannabidiol (CBD) does not contain a significant amount of THC, the psychoactive chemical that generates a high, it is not considered addictive. The World Health Organization concluded CBD does not seem to display any potential abuse or harm.
Anything deemed a controlled substance has some degree of abuse and addiction potential. With the passing of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, CBD was removed from that classification list.
However, it is critical to point out that the FDA has tested products and found that the listed content of CBD is not always accurate. The U.S. Department of Transportation also notes that some products claiming to have only CBD may surpass the 0.3% THC threshold. Higher amounts of THC indicate a potential to experience a “high” and may cause other side effects. THC is still a Schedule I controlled substance with a high potential for abuse and dependence that can lead to marijuana addiction.
Is CBD Legal?
The 2018 farm bill legalized CBD on a federal level. The concentration of THC must be 0.3% or below in any CBD product to be considered legal. That said, it is important to understand that the law differs by state. Most states have fully legalized CBD, and the rest are legal with restrictions. For instance, Idaho requires CBD and CBD products to have zero THC and only be obtained from the plant’s stalk.
Do You Need a Prescription for CBD Gummies for Alcoholism?
Because CBD is not FDA-approved, it cannot be prescribed. CBD is considered a dietary supplement, and you should not need a prescription to use it. However, it may be important to talk to your doctor first, as supplements can affect your health or interact with other medications you take. You don’t have to talk with your doctor first, but doing so may be wise.
Alcohol, CBD and Your Endocannabinoid System
- Cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2
- Endocannabinoids: Cannabinoids produced naturally in the body
When our bodies produce endocannabinoids, they bind to a certain cannabinoid receptor to produce a response. For instance, if an endocannabinoid binds to a CB1 receptor, a signal may be sent to relieve pain. Once it has performed its function, enzymes will break down that endocannabinoid.
Consuming alcohol can affect the ECS. One study found that mice that were given alcohol had altered levels of endocannabinoids, and this disrupted the normal balance and functions they performed. Another study found that chronic alcohol consumption lowers the levels of CB1 receptors.
CBD can also affect the ECS. Although the exact mechanism is still unknown, some researchers believe CBD targets the endocannabinoid system to reduce cravings for substances like alcohol.
Can Taking CBD Gummies Decrease Alcohol Consumption?
CBD gummies contain the oil of cannabidiol. In animal studies, CBD has been shown to be an effective tool against some of the characteristics of alcohol use disorder. Research demonstrates that CBD helps to reduce alcohol intake, motivation for alcohol and relapse.
Another study performed on mice found that the combination of CBD with naltrexone, a prescription medication used for AUD and opioid use disorder, reduced motivation to drink alcohol and alcohol intake. Although this research is promising, studies on humans are necessary to substantiate these results.
Can CBD Gummies Help Reduce Alcohol Cravings?
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) involves using alcohol despite negative consequences. Because their bodies have become dependent on alcohol, people with AUD have cravings that are difficult to control. Daily stressors or social situations may trigger these cravings. If someone with AUD stops drinking or limits their alcohol intake, they may experience alcohol withdrawal, which is marked by more intense cravings.
CBD is believed to reduce drug cravings effectively and may weaken cravings associated with triggers. For instance, if someone is driving by a liquor store or bar that they frequently visited, they may be less likely to feel a craving at that moment than they typically would. CBD may also weaken cravings that arise from stress.
Although a study on rodents demonstrated these results, human trials and more research are needed to confirm these findings are reliable. It is also important to note that the FDA has not approved CBD for treating any substance use disorder, including AUD.
Can CBD Gummies Help With Other Withdrawal Symptoms?
- Mood swings
- Inability to think clearly
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nausea and vomiting
CBD may be helpful with symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal because it is used to treat many of these symptoms. Many people also take CBD to help with features of anxiety, depression and insomnia, even though it is not indicated for these effects. Many of these people claim CBD is successful in treating these disorders. Some data supports this; however, more research must be conducted before anyone can say for sure.
Can CBD Help Alcohol-Related Liver Damage?
Some research using rodents suggests that CBD may help reduce the build-up of fat in the liver and decrease inflammation, two problems that alcohol can cause. While some initial studies demonstrate there may be some liver-related advantages to using CBD, these studies are still very early and are primarily in animals. The results may not apply to humans, and more research will be necessary to determine if CBD has positive liver effects in humans.
Using CBD To Treat Alcohol Use Disorder
Early evidence indicates that CBD might have meaningful benefits in treating alcohol use disorder (AUD) by helping people crave alcohol less. These early results, however, are not convincing enough to gain FDA approval and may not be widely applicable to AUD. More research is needed before we can know for sure either way.
Mixing Alcohol and CBD
Drinking alcohol while using CBD should be avoided. Alcohol and CBD are depressants, so both can cause drowsiness, sleepiness and fatigue. If both substances are taken together, those effects may be intensified.
One small study showed that participants who consumed alcohol and CBD had impaired cognitive function, which affects a person’s response time and ability to focus. Their motor ability, which involves movement and stamina, was also compromised.
Choosing the Right CBD Product
The FDA does not regulate CBD products, so it is important to be cautious when buying them. To ensure you purchase a high-quality CBD product, check the label and verify that it is lab-tested. Third-party laboratories assess for safety and purity.
Additionally, you should check the label for sufficient information about the product. The label should include manufacturer information, cannabinoid content, other ingredients or additives, dosage, quantity, the date the product was made and an expiration date. Many different strains are also available, so check the bottle/vial to verify the CBD and THC content.
There are also different ways to ingest CBD. The plant’s flower can be smoked, which produces effects within minutes, peaks in about 30 minutes and may last up to six hours. Gummies and other edibles take longer to kick in but can last up to 12 hours. The gummies are believed to provide feelings of relaxation and help with sleep, but these effects have not been confirmed.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction in Orlando
Alcohol addiction can have serious consequences, and the statistics surrounding alcohol abuse are staggering. From 2015–2019, there were over 140,000 deaths resulting from excessive alcohol use each year. Excessive drinking results in 1 in 10 deaths among people aged 20–64.
From weakening your immune system to causing liver disease, alcoholism can create many health problems. That is why it is imperative for anyone struggling with alcohol addiction to seek evidence-based treatment. Remember: CBD is not an FDA-approved treatment for alcohol use disorder and does not address the root causes of addiction.
Orlando Recovery Center is an accredited facility that provides evidence-based care to those struggling with alcohol addiction. Treatment begins with medical detox; during this time, the patient is monitored to minimize any discomfort or symptoms arising from withdrawal.
After medical detox, many patients start individualized treatment plans that may include inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization, outpatient services and long-term aftercare. These programs offer group and individual therapy and customized coping strategies to help patients live healthier. Our facility also has numerous amenities, including a swimming pool, a fully equipped gym, yoga, volleyball courts and more.If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol use disorder, Orlando Recovery Center is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about alcohol addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.
Wang, Yuping; Mukhopadhyay, Partha; & et al. “Cannabidiol attenuates alcohol-induced liver steatosis, metabolic dysregulation, inflammation and neutrophil-mediated injury.” Scientific Reports. September 21, 2017. Accessed July 21, 2023.
De Ternay, Julia; Naassila, Mickaël; & et al. “Therapeutic Prospects of Cannabidiol for Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol-Related Damages on the Liver and the Brain.” Frontiers in Pharmacology. May 31, 2019. Accessed July 21, 2023.