Could CBD Legalization Help End America’s Opioid Crisis?


America has a problem – a large huge problem.

A problem that has grown at an alarming rate in recent decades and is now responsible for the deaths of over 140 Americans every day.

opioid addiction.

From prescription drugs to heroin and synthetic opioids, widespread abuse of prescription and non-prescription opioids has become such a problem that the Department of Health and Human Services declared it a public health crisis in 2018.

While numerous programs over the years have attempted to solve the country’s opioid crisis, The death toll has continued to rise…

With a bleak future if this problem remains unsolved, promising results from several recent studies suggest that cannabis-derived cannabidiol (CBD) could be the answer we need.

With the ongoing legalization of CBD, could this be the beginning to the end of the opioid epidemic in America?

A Brief Summary of the American Opioid Epidemic

CBD Big Pharma Mike KeefeYou may be wondering how we got into this mess in the first place…

“It was the result of an evil master plan carried out by the most sinister villains,” conspiracy theorists are probably thinking.

And they are absolutely right…

It all started in the 1990s when major pharmaceutical companies assured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to their opioid pain relievers.

“Addicted to opioids!? Impossible!” was probably what they would say…

Since healthcare providers back then had no reason not to believe the drug companies, they began prescribing these drugs at higher rates.

By the time people realized how dangerous these opioids are actually addictive, it was too late – overdose rates began to skyrocket…

From 1999 to 2017, CDC findings report that more than 700,000 people died from an opioid overdose — with over 70,000 deaths in 2017 alone.

With the death rate showing no signs of slowing down, this is a problem we simply cannot ignore.

CBD vs Opioid Addiction

The potential of CBD against the opioid epidemic

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound that can interact with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Can cbd relieve addiction

The receptors in the ECS are distributed throughout the body’s core systems, such as the skeletal and respiratory systems; However, a majority of the receptors are located in the areas of the brain responsible for mental, cognitive and physiological processes.

Because of this, CBD is capable of relieving mental health conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression.

This naturally led researchers to question whether CBD might also alleviate the mental and neurological disorders associated with drug addiction.

Based on the results of several landmark studies, it seems it just might.

“Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic compound of cannabis, inhibits cue-induced heroin seeking and normalizes discrete mesolimbic neuronal disorders” (2009)

In this 2009 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers attempted to determine the effects of cannabis compounds on neuropsychiatric disorders.

To conduct their research, they studied the effects of CBD on self-administration and drug-seeking behavior in a laboratory animal.

After administering a single 20 mg dose of CBD, the researchers found that it had inhibited “cue-induced heroin seeking” and had “a sustained effect, the importance of which became clear after 24 hours.” [hours] and even 2 weeks after administration.”

“Cannabidiol inhibits the reward-enhancing effects of morphine: involvement of 5-HT1A receptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus” (2013)

While the previous study demonstrated how CBD can prevent the search for a cue-triggered heroine, in this study the researchers attempted to determine CBD’s effects on the reward-enhancing effects of substance abuse.

In the study, researchers examined the effects of CBD on the brain’s reward function and on the reward-enhancing effects of morphine and cocaine using the “Intracranial Self-Stimulation (ICSS)” paradigm.

During their investigation, the researchers found that higher doses of CBD significantly inhibited the reward-enhancing effects of morphine.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that CBD “may be clinically useful to mitigate the rewarding effects of opioids.”

“Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence” (2015)

In this 2015 study, researchers conducted a systematic review with the goal of summarizing the available preclinical and clinical data on the effects of CBD on addictive behaviors.

Based on their results from 14 different studies, the researchers found that CBD showed positive effects on opioid and psychostimulant addictions, as well as tobacco and cannabis addiction.

Researchers concluded their study by discussing that the horrific burden of substance abuse creates the need for further studies to evaluate CBD’s potential as an intervention for addictive behaviors.

“Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for preventing relapse into drug use: preclinical proof of principle” (2018)

In this recent study, researchers performed a series of tests to determine the “anti-relapse” potential of transdermal CBD.

Researchers administered transdermal CBD to animal subjects who had a history of self-administering cocaine or alcohol and had relapsing addict traits such as dependence, anxiety, and impulsivity.

After administering CBD once every 24 hours for just seven days, researchers made a profound discovery.

Not only did CBD prevent the development of previously demonstrated “addictive” traits, but it also deterred sufferers from relapsing for over 5 months.

Is CBD Enough To End America’s Opioid Crisis?

America opioid overdoseWhile more research is definitely needed to determine conclusive results, the results of these studies are very promising.

With CBD legalization approaching, many are now considering the cannabinoid as a realistic solution to the opioid crisis.

Well, the evidence presented in this article is certainly compelling, and we all support the legalization of CBD, but… is CBD alone enough to get us out of this mess?

Unfortunately – it isn’t.

Just as using CBD won’t magically cure every ailment we have, legalizing CBD won’t magically undo the damage of decades of opioid addiction.

While legalizing CBD will help thousands recover from opioid addiction and will serve as a crucial victory in our fight against this epidemic, CBD alone cannot defeat it.

To truly overcome this problem, our culture must change… dramatic.

cbd versus opioid crisis

The root of the American opioid crisis

Opioid epidemic AmericaThe reason why our opioid crisis has become an epidemic is that our society has allowed it.

When faced with health problems, instead of making much-needed lifestyle changes, we rely on medication for quick relief that is temporary and often followed by health problems and addiction.

Although a substantial health and wellness movement has begun to develop, we still have a long way to go.

Millions of Americans still eat fast food every day, and countless others truly believe that the answer to their health problems lies in a capsule.

It’s the same culture that’s responsible for the staggering number of opioid overdose deaths, and it needs to change.

When we finally legalize CBD, it will no doubt enable millions to break free from opioid addiction, but it alone cannot end this epidemic.

It is time for a change.

Driving this change will not be easy. We all need to do our part to raise awareness by educating and inspiring those around us.

With a changed appreciation of health and wellness as a culture, combined with the preventive abilities of CBD, we can defeat this opioid epidemic.

Thank you for being with us today! I really hope that this article has added value to your life and inspired you to become part of this movement. Your role is crucial to putting an end to this terrible epidemic and you can make a difference.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, we’d love to get in touch with you in the comments