In the UK, it is estimated that as many as 7.5 million people between the ages of 16-59 have used cannabis at least once, working out at around 30% of the age group having tried it, and that up to 2 million take it at least once a month. Cannabis is also the third most commonly consumed drug after alcohol and tobacco.
According to the University College London, 1% of adults in the UK, and 2% of 14-17 year olds, are addicted to cannabis. In drug treatment centres, cannabis is now the primary addiction in 28% of those entering drug treatment, second only to heroin (41%).
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that 1 in 10 Americans who use cannabis will become addicted – and this rises to 1 in 6 if users are under the age of 18. Assuming these numbers are correct, it is safe to estimate that there are around 500,000 to 600,000 people in the UK that are addicted to cannabis.
Cannabis withdrawal symptoms
– Sleep problems
– Strange dreams
– Anxiety and restlessness
– Irritability and anger
– Sweats and chills
– Changes in your appetite
Luckily, due to the amount of people suffering with cannabis withdrawal, sites such as With You also offer helpful advice about how to best deal with these symptoms – remember that you’re not going through withdrawal alone.
Can CBD help with symptoms?
As with many CBD studies, sample sizes in the clinical studies looking at the relationship between CBD and cannabis withdrawal are limited, mainly due to high expenses of creating and executing them. However, the research done at this stage does look promising. In a study by University College London, Clinical Health and Educational Psych Department, they state:
“Converging preclinical and human research suggests cannabidiol (CBD) to be a highly promising treatment, with excellent tolerability and safety. One of the key consequences of cannabis withdrawal is anxiety and CBD reduces anxiety.
CBD has shown promising pro-cognitive and neuroprotective effects which may reverse some of the cognitive deficits associated with cannabis dependence.”
The summary of the study says that “evidence now suggests CBD is a logical treatment for cannabis dependence, by targeting key mechanisms both in dependence and cannabis withdrawal symptoms.” The ongoing clinical study aims to look at different dosages of CBD in this treatment.
Scientists have also noted the ways in which THC reacts with the endocannabinoid system to stimulate neurons that process rewards in the brain, and how this may explain the reasons behind cannabis addiction. It has been suggested that CBD, used by the endocannabinoid system as a check and balance mechanism, re-balances excessive dopamine levels created by THC, potentially lowering the addictive rewards the brain receives from THC and therefore benefitting the user further.
3 other clinical research studies of note (1) (2) (3), while still having low sample sizes as mentioned above, generally suggest CBD has a positive influence in reducing both addiction and withdrawal effects associated with cannabis.
More research needs to be done to solidify any theories about CBD’s interactions with THC & addiction, however the studies completed so far show promising results, not only for withdrawal symptoms, but also for helping users with their addiction. The vast majority of studies have come to the conclusion that CBD is safe to use, and will not worsen a cannabis addiction – so if you’re struggling with addiction or withdrawal, it might be worth giving CBD a go. Remember there are plenty of resources if you are struggling; we have put together a small list of some of these below.
If you are interested in trying CBD for marijuana addiction, you can find a full range of our products here.