What is an opioid?

An opioid refers to any drug or chemical that binds to the opioid receptors in the brain.

The scale of opioid addiction

We understand drug addiction as the state of an intense craving for a drug, out-of-control and compulsive substance use, and continuing drug use despite repeated, harmful consequences.

Dependence on opioids is a complex issue with an array of physiological and social factors associated with it. Anyone taking opioids is at risk of developing an opioid dependency, but the risk increases with the length of time they are used and the volume of opioids being taken.

Opioids are highly addictive because of how they activate potent centers of reward within your brain. Opioids trigger the release of endorphins, which are the neurotransmitters that make the brain feel good. Endorphins stifle our perception of pain and improve comfort feelings, producing a fleeting yet strong sense of well-being. You can find yourself wanting the good feelings back as soon as possible when a dose of opioid wears off. The first in a long list of signs on the road to future dependency.

If you consistently take opioids over time your body loses its endorphin output. As this happens opioid uses are compelled to raise their doses so that they can continue to feel good.

Since physicians are acutely aware of opioid dangers today, it’s often hard to get your doctor to raise your dosage, or even renew your prescription. Many drug addicts, who think they need an increased supply switch to illegally obtained drugs or heroin at this stage. Some drugs obtained illegally, such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora), are laced with contaminants, or much more potent opioids. That particular mixture was linked with a large number of deaths in those using opioids, due to the toxicity of fentanyl.

Opioid addiction risk factors

Opioids are most addictive when you are using them in ways that are different from their intended use, such as crushing a pill to snort or injecting it. Delivering medication into your body quickly can and often does, lead to overdosing.

The length of time that you use prescribed opioids is a factor, too. Studies found that taking opioid drugs for more than a few days increases your long-term usage risk, which increases your dependence risk. After only five days on opioids, a year after you start a short course increase, the chances you’ll still be on opioids.

How CBD helps in treating opioid addiction

To understand how CBD works or useful for opioid addiction treatment, you need to know more about how addiction affects normal behavior. CBD binds to different receptors than those that lead to opioid addiction.


Opioid addiction and CBD

In a 2009 experiment, rats were exposed to heroin and then given CBD. Those rats given CBD and then re-exposed to heroin displayed reduced drug-seeking behavior.

Initial studies of CBD in humans demonstrated that CBD is safe and well-tolerated in stable, non-opioid dependent individuals when co-administered with fentanyl. A 2015 report from a small double-blind study performed in opioid-dependent individuals showed that a single CBD administration, compared to a placebo, reduced cue-induced opioid cravings and anxiety feelings.

In other studies, researchers found that CBD helped to reduce cue-induced drug cravings and anxiety, both of which being significant triggers in opioid use.

While further studies are needed, these studies strongly suggest that CBD can be used as an effective weapon in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

A message from CBD World News…

If you are taking opioids, and have established tolerance, ask for help from your doctor. There are other, safer options available to help you make a change and keep feeling healthy.

Do not stop taking opioid medicines without the help of a doctor. Abruptly quitting these medicines can cause severe side effects, including pain worse than before you started taking opioids. The doctor can help you slowly and safely turn off the opioids.

If you are contemplating using CBD to support the recovery from opioid addiction, do so under the guidance of a medical professional and choose the CBD product you use carefully. For access to high-quality products try www.cbdproducts.com but consult your physician before making any purchases.

If you have used CBD in your battle to overcome opioid addiction, we would love to hear from you and feature your story.

Anthony Tribunella

Having experienced the benefits of CBD first hand when it was starting to gain popularity, Anthony decided to spend his working life championing it to the public and his peers in the wider CBD community. As a CBD innovator himself, Anthony likes to remain at the leading edge of scientific and product development to ensure that the potential of CBD has every chance of being fully realized.

See all posts by Anthony Tribunella

Participate in CBD Research

CBD World News is part of an active community, working to enhance our understanding of the benefits of CBD. You can become an active part of that community too, by taking part in our collaborative research. We are interested in finding out who is using CBD, how it is used, and what it is used for?

Taking part in this research will help bring the good word of CBD to life and help people all over the world discover the benefits of cannabinoids.