Is CBD Safe or Addictive? World Health Organization Says CBD is Safe with No Potential for Abuse

The last thing anyone wants when looking to improve their health or relieve pain is to become addicted to what they’re using to make them feel better. 

The opioid epidemic is an unfortunate, yet perfect example of this.

When considering whether or not CBD is habit forming, it’s important to understand a little about addiction itself. 

Addiction is truly a multi-faceted condition, with both physical and psychological facets. 

Addictive substances (think opioids, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, etc.) generate a release of dopamine in the brain (a chemical responsible for reward and feeling good).

With continued use, the body becomes dependent on the substance and a person will experience physical and psychological withdrawal when they stop using it. 

This back and forth, withdrawal/reward process leads to a person seeking out the substance instinctively in order to feel normal. 

Once a person becomes addicted to a substance, they don’t really use it to get high, but just to feel like they can function normally without experiencing withdrawal.

Here’s the thing about CBD. It doesn’t cause that flood of dopamine to be released and it doesn’t get you high. 

That euphoric feeling people get from using cocaine, for example, simply doesn’t happen when people ingest CBD. 

And when people stop using CBD, there are zero symptoms of withdrawal.

While the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contends that cannabis containing CBD contains high potential for abuse (marijuana is still a Schedule I Substance), they have a bit of a different stand on CBD. 

According to a 2015 report, NIDA said, “CBD appears to be a safe drug with no addictive effects, and the preliminary data suggest that it may have therapeutic value for a number of medical conditions. 

Addressing barriers that slow clinical research with CBD would accelerate progress. 

NIDA will do what we can to address such barriers and expedite the study of this potentially valuable compound, as well as other components of the marijuana plant.”

The World Health Organization on the Safety of CBD

Perhaps the most monumental evidence on the safety of CBD comes straight from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

In a November 2017 report, WHO found that CBD does not contain any adverse health effects and that the non-psychoactive cannabinoid is well-tolerated in both humans and animals. 

What’s more, is that WHO stated that CBD does not cause physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.”

In the report, they also mentioned that people aren’t getting high off of CBD. 

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