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Cannabinoids and Alcoholism

There are many reasons to turn to CBD when dealing with alcoholism. Cannabidol appears to facilitate drinking reduction, due to its role in reducing anxiety and stress, and decreasing the actual need to do more work. CBD relaxes the body and mind, and promotes a feeling of relaxation and stress relief therefore reducing the urge to get up and consume more alcohol.

Research shows that the cannabinoid compound may ‘provide idiosyncratic protection’ to the liver and brain which would reduce the impact of alcohol related liver disease and brain injury from alcohol consumption.

There is no current published data on human clinical trials concerning the effectiveness of CBD on alcohol use disorders, however there are multiple reviews on how promising the data collected is so far.

There are many published studies between 1974 and 2018 that explored the effects of CBD on animal subjects dosed with ethanol. Out of these, many showed that CBD can in fact, reduce alcohol consumption. Alcoholism should still be approached cautiously and it would probably be best to wean oneself off rather than just replacing alcohol with cannabinoids. Other studies have shown that mice regularly dosed with the compound are less likely to relapse, even when stressed.

These studies have also shown that CBD reduces relapse and the impulses that drive someone to drink. CBD must be taken daily, and not just as needed. CBD stays in your system longer with a sublingual oil, so that is the absolute best route to start on. There are many other ways to use CBD-Such as smoking or vaping, that will give instant relief due to it’s higher bioavailability, and instant absorption into the bloodstream by way of the lungs. Inhalation would be a great way to help fight urges.

Because of impact on various facets of alcoholism including intake, motivation, anxiety, and impulses, CBD can have a powerful reaction in humans with AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder). There is also strong evidence showing CBD could affect alcohol-related liver inflammation. In one study, researchers found that the livers of mice that had been given CBD prior to being fed alcohol (12 hours for five days) were less damaged than those of mice not exposed to CBD.

“CBD seems to have valuable therapeutic properties for ethanol-induced liver damage, through multiple mechanisms,” including the reduction of oxidative stress, inflammation control, and the death of certain cells responsible for large amounts of scar tissue,” authors write.
Via Frontiers in Pharmacology.

CBD may also add protection to areas in the brain that are vulnerable to alcohol-related damage. In one study, the brains of rats who’d binged on alcohol and were also given CBD, were found to have lost “significantly” fewer brain cells in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. CBD acts as a “neuroprotective antioxidant,” and also appears to restore the neurological and cognitive functions of rats in acute liver failure.
The effectiveness of CBD on Alcohol dependence requires additional studies to be conducted. The research that has been conducted thus far is promising, considering that drugs for reducing alcohol-related issues on the brain or the liver, have never been studied. But are commonly prescribed by doctors. CBD could also have many more positive effects in subjects with AUD, including antiepileptic, cardioprotective, anxiolytic, or analgesic ones. The reason for this potentially, is because of the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (specifically the CB2 receptors), located throughout the body.

Madison Wright
Research Via Frontiers in Pharmacology.

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