Early studies suggest that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in the cannabis plant, may help in the treatment of opioid withdrawal.
A 2021 study reported that CBD may reduce anxiety and nausea, two symptoms that can occur during opioid withdrawal. The study also found that people with pain took less opioid medication when they were also receiving CBD.
That said, health authorities have not approved CBD for use in opioid withdrawal. Also, CBD can cause side effects.
Below, learn more about using CBD for opioid withdrawal, including more about its safety and how it compares with traditional treatments.
People who take opioids consistently over a long period, then stop taking them abruptly can experience withdrawal symptoms. This is true regardless of whether a person is using the medication to treat pain, another health issue, or if they have opioid use disorder (OUD).
The withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating, and they are generally the most intense for the first 1–2 weeks. However, they may linger for months. And inadequate management of opioid withdrawal can lead to poor outcomes. It may, for example, lead to unsafe opioid use and overdose.
The 2021 research involved an in-depth review of 44 investigations into the use of CBD for various other medical conditions, such as anxiety, pain, and insomnia.
One study in the review found that the compound mitigated opioid cravings in people with OUD who had already stopped opioid use. The researchers also found that CBD reduced:
Most of these symptoms may also occur during opioid withdrawal.
This theoretically means — though it was not directly studied — that doctors could consider adding CBD to opioid withdrawal treatment plans to reduce withdrawal symptoms. However, studying the effects of CBD on opioid withdrawal directly and defining the best dosages and formulations require more research.
Research from 2018 notes that CBD’s effects on pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms may be beneficial, either as an alternative or an add-on to current treatment. Details are below.
CBD and other compounds in the cannabis plant from which it derives have pain relieving properties. People who take opioids for chronic pain may decrease their opioid use by 40–60% …….