You’ve probably heard the spiel that cannabis is addictive, which naturally leads you to assume that CBD might also be so, as it comes from the plant.
Although CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis, it is one of the many cannabinoids that are largely ‘non-psychoactive’. That means it does not get you high, and provides very little to no rewarding properties in the way that many drugs of abuse do.
Dopamine & Susceptibility To Addiction
Typically, things that get you high are addictive. Sugar, cocaine, sex, gambling and even caffeine provide you with a rush of dopamine which provides a sense of reward, and leaves you craving more.
Things that release your dopamine tend to be habit forming, and for particularly susceptible individuals, that habit becomes something they cant say no to.
Addiction is complex and doesn’t just depend on the substance or activity, but extends to the life experiences, genetics and environment unique to everyone. These factors contribute to individual susceptibility.
CBD & Other Ways of Felling Good
Although it is largely ‘non-psychoactive’ CBD can make you feel good in other ways, like a nice hot bath, a hug or a delicious (raw) chocolate does.
When was the last time you heard of someone addicted to hugs?
You could argue that chocolate is addictive, but that could be the sugar. Ever eaten raw cacao? Then you’ll know that it has a lesser draw, but still makes you feel awesome.
CBD and chocolate actually make you feel good via a very similar mechanism, by increasing your bodies own feel good endocannabinoid, Anandamide. This is how CBD can make you feel good, but without hacking your dopamine reward system.
Anandamide is also what is produced as a result of the ‘runners high’, one of the cleanest and most natural highs you can get. So, at the very most CBD is addictive in the way that exercise is.
CBD Is Safe & Non-Addictive
The world health organisation recently conducted a comprehensive review on CBD, which also included its potential for addiction.
They concluded that:
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
Furthermore, based on the studies in humans to date, CBD has a very good safety profile.