July 21, 2022 4 min read
Normalization and accessibility of alcohol is commonplace in today’s society. With rising stress and anxiety levels, not to mention an incredibly emotionally stressful and financially crippling pandemic. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, 1 in 12 adults were classified as being alcoholics, but it these unprecedented times where most have been faced with loss of income, employment or, sadly, family members as a result, the numbers are expected to increase. The effects of alcohol abuse lead to severe brain damage, cellular damage, and damage to other vital organs such as your heart and liver.
Believe it or not, alcohol abuse is classified as a mental illness, despite the seriously negative and detrimental physical toll it can take on one’s body. In 2014, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that nearly 20 million people in the United States struggled with substance abuse, and that nearly 8 million of those people also struggled with another form of mental illness, typically anxiety and/or depression. Having two mental illnesses is referred to as comorbidity and makes treating each disorder that much more difficult. However, there is promising research being conducted to determine the effects that Cannabidiol can have on mental illnesses, including alcoholism.
It is widely known that Cannabidiol (CBD), an abundant chemical found in the cannabis plant, has become a highly sought-after alternative treatment to traditional pharmacological medicines to help treat mental illnesses because it is natural and safe. CBD does not have psychoactive side effects like THC does. CBD works with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a complex cell-signaling system that plays an important role in regulating sleep, mood, and appetite; all things that are negatively impacted by anxiety and depression.
The ECS is a relatively new discovery, found in the 1990s when researchers were exploring the effects of THC. The ESC is present and active in all of us, even if you do not use cannabis. To date, researchers have determined that the body produces two endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-AG. These endocannabinoids bind to receptors: CB1 receptors, found primarily in the central nervous system; and CB2 receptors, primarily found in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system.
Studies have shown that THC binds to these receptors, which can lead to paranoia and anxiety. On the other hand, research has found that CBD doesn’t bind to the receptors the way that THC does. Many researchers have determined that CBD prevents the body’s natural endocannabinoids from being broken down, thereby allowing them to be more effective.
Regarding CB1 receptors, it is also believed that CBD may affect serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays and important role in your mental health. Low levels of serotonin are commonly associated with anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression can have detrimental effects on one’s health, social life, work responsibilities, and overall wellbeing. The same can be said for long-term use of alcohol. Habitual alcohol use on its own, or paired with anxiety, can negatively impact people’s mood, sleep patterns, and sexual function.
According to Recovery Centers of America, both mental and physical influences make alcohol addictive. Physically, alcohol stimulates the production of endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which are known as “feel good” chemicals. Also, people who are genetically predisposed to higher production levels of endorphins and dopamine are more likely to become addicted to alcohol. When the brain’s pleasure center is overstimulated, the user needs to keep experiencing those rewarding and satisfying feelings.
Psychologically, alcohol addiction is a behavior that is learned over time. Personal belief is a major factor in what determines the path to recovery. If someone doesn’t believe that they have a problem, they won’t see a need to seek treatment. Thus, the abuse continues. Stress is another major role that contributes alcohol addiction. People drink to lull the feelings of stress. Alcohol also acts as a natural painkiller, which can be for both physical and mental pain. But, repeating the pattern of drinking to feel better can turn into a habit that one cannot break.
While someone may have the intention to stop drinking, alcohol compromises impulse control and decision making, which makes relapse more likely. In a review published in 2015 by the National Institutes of Health, studies have linked the use of CBD with calming those rewarding feelings, making it easier to avoid the temptation. In a human study, 10 healthy individuals were given alcohol alone or a combination of alcohol and CBD. While the CBD didn’t improve the subjects feeling of being “drunk”, it did lower the subject’s blood alcohol content.
With all that we know about how CBD benefits those suffering from anxiety and depression, it may be argued that CBD could be beneficial in fighting addiction. While the study only tested the effects of CBD on the intoxication phase of addiction, there was no data on the withdrawal and relapse phases. With CBD being a natural treatment, more research is needed to determine and find concrete evidence that CBD positively impacts the road to alcohol addiction recovery.
CBD is 100% safe to consume and has proven mental and physical benefits. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects that stimulate those “feel good” chemicals and, therefore, does not lead to addiction. Our products are designed to address the challenges of sobriety. Our Detox products are designed to curb drug and alcohol cravings. Our Serenity CBD products promote calm and focus and work to curb the anxiety is associated with withdrawals. Healthy sleep is an important part of recovery and our Zzzs line of products is specially formulated to promote and support healthy sleep patterns. Finally, our Boost products will give you the energy and focus to stay on task and achieve the ultimate goal of sobriety. Our shop was founded by former addicts who know what it’s like to take that giant step toward recovery and the research and use of CBD for recovery is something we strongly believe in.
To start your journey to sobriety, click here to shop all of our natural CBD products formulated for this singular mission.