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May 29, 2024 4 min read

Is Being California Sober Actually Being Sober? 

The term "California sober" refers to a concept of sobriety that is associated with certain individuals, particularly in the context of substance abuse recovery. While the term itself does not have a standardized definition, it generally refers to a lifestyle in which a person abstains from using their primary addictive substance (such as alcohol or hard drugs) but may still engage in the recreational use of marijuana and possibly other substances like psychedelics or certain prescription medications. 

It's important to note that the concept of California sober is not universally accepted, and opinions on its validity and effectiveness vary within the recovery community and among professionals in the field. Traditional approaches to sobriety, such as those promoted by 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), advocate complete abstinence from all mind-altering substances. 

Proponents of California sober argue that it allows individuals to maintain some level of control over their substance use while minimizing the risks associated with their primary addiction. They believe that by abstaining from their primary addictive substance, individuals can still experience a sense of sobriety and avoid the detrimental consequences of their previous substance abuse. 

Critics, on the other hand, argue that California sober may be a form of rationalization or a slippery slope that can lead to a relapse into full-blown addiction. They believe that complete abstinence is necessary for true recovery and that using any mind-altering substance can hinder progress and perpetuate addictive behaviors. 

Ultimately, the interpretation and acceptance of California sober as a valid form of sobriety are subjective and can vary depending on personal beliefs, experiences, and the guidance of addiction treatment professionals. It's important for individuals grappling with addiction to consult with qualified healthcare providers, therapists, or addiction specialists to determine the best course of action for their specific situation. 

Is it safe for someone who is in addiction recovery to be California sober? 

The safety of adopting a California sober lifestyle for someone in addiction recovery is a matter of debate within the addiction treatment community. While some individuals may argue that it can be a viable approach, it's important to recognize that the concept of California sober is not universally accepted or supported by all addiction professionals. 

There are several factors to consider when evaluating the safety of California sober for someone in addiction recovery: 

  • Individual susceptibility: Every person's addiction and recovery journey is unique. Some individuals may have a greater vulnerability to developing addictive patterns with substances, even if they are different from their primary addiction. For these individuals, any substance use, even in moderation, could potentially trigger a relapse or intensify addictive behaviors. 
  • Cross-addiction risk: Cross-addiction refers to the development of addiction to multiple substances. Adopting a California sober approach, which involves using substances like marijuana or psychedelics, may increase the risk of developing new dependencies or substituting one addiction for another. 
  • Impaired judgment: Substance use, even when moderated, can affect decision-making abilities and impair judgment. This can make it difficult for individuals to maintain the necessary vigilance and commitment to their recovery. 
  • Emotional and psychological factors: Substance use, even if it is not the primary addictive substance, can still impact emotional and psychological well-being. It may interfere with the healing process, hinder personal growth, and impede the development of healthy coping mechanisms. 

It is crucial for individuals in addiction recovery to consult with addiction treatment professionals, therapists, or counselors who can provide personalized guidance based on their specific needs and circumstances. These professionals can help assess the risks and benefits of a California sober lifestyle, taking into account the individual's history, support network, and treatment progress. 

Remember, addiction recovery is a complex process, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to prioritize safety, well-being, and long-term recovery when making decisions about substance use in addiction recovery. 

Is it safe for someone who is in addiction recovery to take CBD?

The safety of using CBD (cannabidiol) for someone in addiction recovery depends on various factors, including individual circumstances and the specific details of their addiction and recovery journey. 

Here are some considerations:

  • CBD and THC content: CBD products can vary in their composition, including the concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. In addiction recovery, it is generally advisable to avoid THC, as it can have mind-altering effects and potentially trigger cravings or a relapse. Therefore, it is essential to choose CBD products that are derived from hemp and contain negligible amounts of THC (less than 0.3% in the United States). 
  • Interaction with medications: If someone in addiction recovery is taking medications as part of their treatment, it's important to consider potential interactions between CBD and those medications. CBD can affect the metabolism of certain medications through the same liver enzymes responsible for metabolizing many drugs. This interaction can alter the blood levels and effectiveness of medications, so it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to assess any potential risks or adjustments needed. 
  • Quality and regulation: The CBD market is largely unregulated, and the quality and safety of CBD products can vary significantly. It's important to choose reputable brands that provide third-party lab testing to ensure the accuracy of their product labels and the absence of harmful contaminants. 
  • Personal response: Individuals may respond differently to CBD due to variations in metabolism, tolerance, and other individual factors. Some individuals may experience side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, or changes in appetite. It's important to start with a low dose and monitor one's response carefully.

 As always, it is crucial for individuals in addiction recovery to consult with healthcare professionals, addiction specialists, or therapists who are familiar with their specific situation. They can provide personalized guidance based on the individual's needs, treatment plan, and recovery progress.


It's worth noting that while CBD has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits, research on its effectiveness in treating addiction is still limited. Therefore, it should not be considered a substitute for evidence-based addiction treatment approaches, such as counseling, therapy, and support groups.