CBD is looking like a positive alternative to treat withdrawal symptoms from alcohol abuse.
We at Captain Vape are not here to judge or put a damper on your Covid quarantine. We too enjoy a rum on those lonely nights at sea yo ho.
Alcoholism is a disease that has affected everybody at some point. Even if you never suffered from it you probably know someone who is or you know someone who’s life has been affected by it. Any recovering alcoholic will tell you that the hardest part of quitting drinking is the withdrawal effects. Withdrawal from alcoholism can range from having minor tremors dubbed “the shakes” to heavy sweating and severe high blood pressure.
While WebMd suggests a positive supportive atmosphere and a quiet place any alcoholic can tell you that’s complete horse dingus. That is the equivalent of being told to “walk it off” after having your right arm amputated. You didn’t cut off your legs you wuss so toughen up and walk it off! Is a quiet place and positive vibes going to stop the blood gushing from your body? Why don’t we stop the bleeding first then I’ll learn how to be left handed in a quiet place with a positive atmosphere.
Alcoholism is a disease and most diseases require treatment. While going to AA meetings and seeking therapy is how to treat the psychological symptoms of withdrawal the physiological ones can be trickier. When alcoholism becomes so serious that someone needs to drink just to function it is a serious ailment. Quitting cold turkey can become a painful experience and can lead people to re-lapsing more so than not.
Once again our hero, cannabidiol has come to the rescue. In case you missed it check out our various blogs discussing CBD:
- What’s The Deal With CBD?
- CBD For Dogs. Why or Why Not?
- CBD Can Kill Gonorrhea
- How To Make Your Own CBD
While there are still of ton of studies to be done on the long term effects of CBD, especially when prescribing it for medical use, so far the results for alcoholism look very positive. Before we look at what what CBD can do for us let’s look at what alcohol does to us.
The Devil’s Elixir
When discussing cannabidiol (CBD) or alcohol it’s important to note that it affects the CB1 receptor in the brain. Different factors both internal and external of the body can affect how the CB1 receptor affects your body. Without getting into the nitty gritty of biology it is responsible for your mood among other things. An important part of that is the reward signal via endocannabinoids.
For example let’s say it’s Sunday and all you do is sit on your fat ass and binge watch crap. Notice the negative connotation in the previous sentence? That’s intentional. When being a couch potato on a nice sunny day and you can’t be bothered to go outside and mow the lawn you may feel guilty or depressed. That is your CB1 receptor not being stimulated to give you that feeling of accomplishment or feeling productive. Idiot millennials call this kind of productivity “adulting”.
Now let’s say you did mow the lawn, you trimmed the hedges and you cleaned out the gutters. That cute neighbour who walks her dog every hour shoots you a smile and you finally have the courage to say hello. Now you crack open a soda and sit on your not so fat ass and play some PlayStation before making dinner. You feel good. You don’t care why but you do. You feel confident and content with yourself. What is happening here? Your CB1 receptor is healthy and firing the required reward signals to your brain to give you that feeling of productivity.
Now here’s a third scenario and it’s much more depressing. You’ve been drinking for four days straight and it’s finally Saturday. You wake up at your usual time of 2pm and you feel like garbage. You start to notice a trend. You always sleep in and you always feel like crap. Well that’s enough of that. You put your foot down and decide that you’re going to quit drinking. No more crying on the floor and texting your ex at 3am. It’s time to get control of your life.
Now it’s the next day but somethings not right. You feel involuntary shakiness. You’re sweating like you have a fever but you feel cold. Your heart is pumping a mile a minute. You feel sick to your stomach. Even though you haven’t eaten in forever the thought of taking a bite out of anything makes you want to puke. Your CB1 receptor is hindered by the alcohol abuse and endocannabinoids responsible for the reward signal sent to your brain is non-existent. If only there was a remedy to alleviate the pain of these symptoms.
The Devil’s Lettuce
So what can cannabinol do to help? Currently CBD has been known for helping people who suffer from:
- Pain from chemotherapy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pain relief
Science believes it affects so many ailments is due to the stimulation of the CB1 receptor. Alcohol abuse can severely harm the neurological system. For someone to stop drinking after relying on it so long is like pulling the plug on PS4 while it’s trying to save a game. The system is in shock and files become corrupted. In the case of a alcoholic the files are his/her organs and the brain doesn’t know what to do without alcohol and that’s when the suffering begins.
According to studies CBD has shown to be effective in helping alleviate painful symptoms of withdrawal. A healthy person relies on endocannabinoids which naturally control your appetite, mood and sends signals to your brain to release serotonin. For more info on serotonin levels and how marijuana can affect it check out our blog How Marijuana Can Affect Your Serotonin Levels.
When we say naturally we don’t mean you act “normal” we mean that’s the way your brain works without outside interference like THC or alcohol. That sober religious nut who tells you Donald Trump was sent from God has his/her endocannabinoids working just fine they’re just wired differently.
Let’s go back to that third scenario but add some CBD to it. You’ve finished four days of binge drinking and you’ve finally come to the realization that you might have a small problem. The next day you quit cold turkey but you are suffering from the sakes, nausea, low appetite and vomiting. On top of all that you’re in a garbage mood. You decide to try some CBD and see what happens.
What you can expect to happen is the CBD can act as a natural replacement for the endocannabinoids you destroyed with alcohol. That means the shakes will subside. The vomiting will stop. And maybe- just maybe you’ll have an appetite again. Food plus your CB1 receptor acting a little healthier can give you an energy boost and confidence that you can win the battle for sobriety.
This all sounds sweet but CBD is not without a it’s risks. While relatively safe its a substance that can affect your liver. Therefore it is not advisable to take CBD and alcohol at the same time. There are known negative side effects such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Toxicity if mixing with other medications like blood thinners
- Dry mouth
CBD has a lot going for it and there are still constant scientific studies being conducted. This substance is still relatively new but the studies are revealing promising results. I consider myself a skeptic so I don’t trust anything (especially in oil form) that claims it can cure this and it can cure that. If you are thinking of using CBD as a treatment for any ailment consider this link which is a scientific study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
If you would like more information on alcohol withdrawal and addiction treatment please check out the Addiction Rehab Treatment website.