CBD Oil and Alcoholism: A Correlation?

CBD Oil and Alcoholism: A Correlation?Photo by Nik Shuliahin

Originally Posted On: https://exactnature.com/blogs/news/cbd-oil-and-alcoholism-a-correlation


Alcohol. Take into consideration how readily available it is.  Alcohol is sold in package and convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and grocery stores.  Now, think about every occasion where you or someone you know has had a drink: a toast at a wedding (or weddings in general), at a romantic dinner, at a backyard barbeque, or after a hard day at work.  There are a large number of situations where you can find yourself in a position to partake in alcoholic beverages.  According to Recovery Centers of America (RCA), alcohol is the number one most commonly used addictive substance in America.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), one in twelve adults engage in the dangerous habit of binge drinking, which according to the CDC, is when men consume five, or women consume four, or more drinks in a span of two hours. Binge drinking is a catalyst that can send many Americans down the dangerous path toward alcoholism.


According to RCA, there are both physical and psychological factors that make alcohol addictive.  From the physical perspective, alcohol stimulates the brain to release endorphins and dopamine, which are chemicals that promote satisfaction and pleasure.  Alcohol also acts as a natural painkiller.  Genetics can also play a role in alcohol dependency.  Those who are genetically predisposed to higher released levels of endorphins and dopamine are more likely to become addicted to alcohol.  When the brain’s pleasure center is overstimulated, the drinker wants to repeat those rewarding and satisfying feelings.  While people may want to stop drinking, they are easily deterred due to alcohol’s ability to adversely affect impulse control and decision making, therefore, making it easy to relapse.

From the psychological standpoint, alcohol addiction is a behavior that is learned over time.  Personal belief is a major factor in what determines a drinker’s path to recovery.  If someone doesn’t think they have a problem, they will be reluctant to seek treatment.  Thus, the addiction continues.  Stress is another major role that contributes alcohol addiction.  People drink to lull the feelings of stress, but this practice can turn into a coping mechanism that one cannot break.  Of specific importance, studies have shown that people with alcohol dependency also have higher rates of mental health disorders.  Actually, accordingly to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 20% of Americans who suffer from an anxiety or mood disorder also suffer from an alcohol or substance abuse disorder.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found the hemp or cannabis plant that has become renowned and lauded for its ability to treat a broad range of ailments such as chronic pain conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia, anxiety, and depression.  With the physical and psychological benefits of CBD, researchers are hoping to find a correlation between the use of CBD and alcoholism. Can CBD help alcoholics reduce their consumption or cure their addiction completely?

In a review posted by the National Institute of Health, several studies researched and explored the pre-clinical and clinical evidence that CBD has on addictive behavior.  The review included studies that examined the use of CBD on all three phases of addictive behavior; the intoxication phase: when the substance produces positive and rewarding experiences; the withdrawal phase: when the user experiences acute physical and psychological withdrawals symptoms; and the relapse phase: when the user experiences cravings and is at risk of drug-seeking behavior after abstaining.

An alcohol study was conducted on humans to research CBD’s effect on individuals under the influence of alcohol.  Ten healthy volunteers (6 males and 4 females) were administered a placebo (glucose capsule and orange juice), a 200 mg CBD capsule and orange juice, 1 g/kg alcohol in orange juice and a 200mg CBD capsule plus 1 g/kg alcohol in orange juice in a double-blind, crossover, randomized design spaced one week apart. Researchers measured motor performance, psychomotor performance, a one- minute time production task, subjective effects (66 item adjective-pair semantic differential), and breathalyzer estimations of blood alcohol levels. In the groups that were administered alcohol alone and alcohol and CBD, the researchers found that there was no difference in the subjects’ feelings of feeling drunk.  However, the combination of CBD and alcohol resulted in a significantly lower blood alcohol levels compared to those given alcohol without the CBD.  That being said, there were very few differences found between the pharmacological effect of the two conditions in terms of motor skills and mental performance, but the result of lower blood alcohol levels when taking CBD in conjunction with alcohol, is a promising development the studies of CBD’s effects on alcoholism.  Considering that no data was found regarding the withdrawal and relapse phases, it can be concluded that this study concentrated solely on the intoxication phase of addiction.

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