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Is CBD addictive? CBD and marijuana are often used interchangeably, but the two substances are different. Read on to learn more.

What is CBD?

The therapeutic properties of CBD have continued to fuel its growing popularity among many people. However, several individuals have expressed genuine concerns that CBD might be addictive. Since CBD is one of the many products found in cannabis, some people are hesitant to try out any CBD products for fear that they might be addictive as cannabis. 

What is CBD Oil? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a cannabis-derived product. It is a form of cannabidiol whose chemicals are found naturally in marijuana plants. Despite the fact is derived from marijuana plants, CBD does not produce any intoxicating effect caused by another cannabinoid known as THC.[1]

How is CBD Used? 

CBD oil can be used in various ways, different from consuming or smoking whole cannabis plants. For example, CBD products can be used in the following ways: 

  • Mix them into food or drink. 
  • Swallowing through capsules 
  • Spraying it under the tongue
  • Rubbing a paste into the skin.
  •  Taking them with a dropper or pipette 

The recommended dosage for using CBD is dependent on several factors, including body weight, the concentration of the product, and the reason for using CBD. 

Is CBD Legal? 

CBD's legal status in the United States is complicated. However, thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018, hemp-derived products are permitted if the THC content is less than 0.3 % from a dependable source. However, there is still some uncertainty about using CBD in some states across the US. Therefore, you must research the laws regarding CBD in your state and any potential travel destinations. 

CBD vs. Marijuana and Hemp

CBD, marijuana, and hemp are all related but have considerable differences. Marijuana and hemp belong to the same species known as Cannabis Sativa. The main difference between marijuana and hemp is their psychoactive component, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Hemp has no more than 0.3% THC.

The implication is that hemp-derived products do not contain enough THC to create the "high" or intoxicating effects commonly associated with marijuana. CBD is a chemical found within the hemp plant. It is extracted from different parts of the hemp plant or any other cannabis strain with high cannabidiol content. Hemp and CBD are often used interchangeably as they are both from the cannabis Sativa plant.

What is CBD Used For?  

There is substantial evidence to support the benefits of CBD for the following conditions: 


Several studies have shown that CBD can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms in mice. Similarly, CBD could help reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people with PTSD, panic disorder, general anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder due to its therapeutic effects.[2]


CBD has shown significant promise in research studies for the treatment of depression. For example, a 2014 study revealed that CBD might positively interact with serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is known to have an impact on emotional well-being or happiness.[3


Several factors such as anxiety and chronic pain are known causes of insomnia. CBD may help relieve individuals whose insomnia is caused by any of these factors. According to research in 2019 that looked at whether CBD could improve sleep, about 66.7% of the subjects reported better sleep after receiving 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsules each day.[4]


CBD as a treatment for substance addiction has continued to receive attention from many quarters. It is thought that CBD is effective in targeting the risk state of drug use relapse by reducing anxiety and stress. Similarly, CBD positively affects the brain circuitry, which is liable for drug cravings. 

Chronic Pain

CBD serves as a natural alternative to providing relief from pain. Due to its analgesic properties, CBD can help to soothe chronic pain. 


The FDA 2018 approved the use of Epidiolex (a purified form of CBD) in treating seizures caused by epilepsy. Today CBD is widely used to prevent outbreaks caused by rare forms of epilepsy without the sedating side effects of previously known medications

Is CBD Addictive? 

Many people have feared the possibility of CBD addiction because of its calming effect. These fears are often exacerbated by the fact that CBD can be extracted from the same plant family as cannabis. So, is CBD addictive? Let's briefly examine how CBD works and what studies say about CBD addiction.

How Does CBD Work? 

All cannabinoids produce physiological effects by interacting with cannabinoid receptors which are part of the endocannabinoid system. The body generates two receptors. CB1 receptors are found throughout the body but especially in the brain. They help coordinate movement, pain, mood, thinking, emotions, appetite, and memories. CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system.

They have an impact on inflammation and pain. Unlike THC, which binds to CB1 receptors, CBD stimulates the receptors to produce its cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids.

Is CBD Addictive Like THC? 

CBD does not produce any addictive effects as it doesn't contain THC, known for producing feelings of euphoria. THC tends to cause addiction because it binds to the endocannabinoid receptors in parts of the brain that influence pleasure. On the other hand, CBD cannot do the same. 

What Do Studies Say About CBD Addiction? 

CBD Addiction

According to a report by the World Health Organization, CBD does not show any effects indicative of any abuse or addiction in humans.[5]

The report further stated that there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with pure CBD. 

CBD Side Effects and Health Risks 

The following are some side effects and health risks of CBD:

  • Mental Health Problems: Although CBD does not cause any intoxicating effects, people who use CBD laced with potent THC concentrates risk experiencing mental health problems. 
  • Mood Changes: Some people may experience mood swings after taking CBD. 
  • Drug Interactions: CBD can alter the effects of other drugs, thereby preventing medications from working.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems: CBD may cause stomach upset in some individuals. 

Other side effects may include lethargy, extreme drowsiness, nausea, and diarrhea. 

Is CBD Addictive? Final Thoughts 

CBD is not addictive as it does not produce any intoxicating effects. CBD can help in fighting addiction by preventing relapse after a period of detoxification and sobriety.  

Get Help For Other Substance Abuse or Disorders at Genesis Recovery 

If you need support for marijuana addiction or other substance abuse, do not hesitate to contact us at Genesis Recovery. We care for all your addiction and substance abuse treatment needs. 


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