CBD and the opioid epidemic
By Dr. Barry Morrison
I’m doctor Barry and I want to discuss a very pressing issue. This is an issue we all know as the opioid epidemic. Most of us have had a family member or a friend that’s gotten caught up in this and I’m going to speak about CBD and the opioid epidemic.
But, let’s step back for just a second to get a clearer picture of what opioids do to the body. Opioids trigger the release of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter. Dopamine causes intense pleasure in parts of the brain that include the limbic system. This pleasure will cause the user to seek out this drug time and time again. Dopamine actually links areas of the brain together that control and regulate emotions of pleasures. Such as eating, drinking, and sex among other things. This is a very ancient part of the brain that’s necessary for survival. Therefore, all drug users that get “high” simply tickle this part of the brain. Unfortunately, this is how people can become psychologically as well as physically dependent upon opioids very quickly.
I’ve seen several upstanding citizens in the community who have fallen prey to this opioid epidemic addiction. In order to break this physical dependence, it involves a several-day or even a week-long nightmare called the detox. This is where the body gets accustomed to being without the drug. There is a new discovery of a solution with much less torture and has been around for centuries. It is known as Cannabis which contains many known beneficial compounds called cannabinoids. Here we’re going to be focusing on the two main cannabinoids that are known as CBD and THC.
The Definition of Cannabis
With all the hype that we hear in the news media surrounding cannabis, the important takeaway here is that cannabis is one plant in law with two definitions. Marijuana which is cannabis defined as having above a 0.3 percent THC threshold. And Industrial hemp which is cannabis having no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. Keep in mind neither definition places a limit on how much CBD either form of cannabis may contain. The simple reason for this is that CBD is non psychoactive. Most experts would agree that marijuana is bred mainly for its euphoric recreational properties. The lesser-known cannabis, industrial hemp, for its industrial and therapeutic properties.
The strains that we use for CBD PRO are of the industrial hemp variety, containing high concentrations of CBD and negligible levels of the euphoric THC. Best of all, CBD PRO is a legal product under Federal legislation known as the 2018 Farm Bill. I don’t want you to be confused by the name of industrial hemp. It does have over 25,000 uses however, what we’re speaking of here is the highly concentrated oil that is extracted from what I like to call clinical cannabis, defined as industrial hemp. Our team of professionals at CBD PRO have perfected and mastered the art of growing, extracting and producing highly concentrated levels of CBD with the highest purity.
There’s a study that we need to pay very close attention to. This study is one that suggests that CBD may play a crucial role and helping the opioid stimulant addiction. This is done by not only blocking the reward system of the drug but also helping to support the symptoms of withdrawal as well as reducing the rate of relapse.
The Human Endocannabinoid System
Before we venture into this study it’s imperative that we understand what the Human Endocannabinoid System is and its importance in drug interaction and why it’s vital to life. Meaning, that it’s impossible for us to survive without it. Our endocannabinoid system is a biological system that’s composed of endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced by the body that bind to specific receptors found throughout the brain and the immune system. I’ll discuss this in further detail in just a moment.
Once these receptors are stimulated by the cannabinoids, either by those manufactured within our body or by those derived by the cannabis plant, it brings our body’s function into balance known as homeostasis. Yes, you heard me correctly our body naturally produces our own form of cannabis compounds called endocannabinoids. Which explains why we respond so effectively when the body is introduced to the plant derived cannabinoids.
Research on Cannabinoids Such as CBD and Addictions
According to the US National Library of Medicine and I quote “a growing number of studies support a clinical role of the endocannabinoid system and its modulation by natural cannabinoids in various neurobiological and behavioral aspects of stimulant addiction. Thus, cannabinoids modulate brain reward systems closely involved in stimulant addiction and provide further evidence that the cannabinoid system could be explored as a potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants.” The National Library of Medicine is part of the most trusted National Institute of Health so, this statement has a huge impact.
Also, a similar study was published by the National Institute of Health where researchers discovered that the plant derived cannabinoids affect the brain’s reward system. These cannabinoids are responsible for behavior, pleasure and pain regulation to be similar to that of opioid stimulants. Therefore, evidence suggests that our endocannabinoid system produces a natural neurological process similar to ones that are present in the brains of individuals suffering from opioid addiction.
Researchers at the psychiatric Research Center at the Center for Hospitalier de Montreal in Canada claim that this discovery opens the door for the endocannabinoid system as a potential target for treating dependency and addiction. Most people are not aware that opioids were not intended for long-term use or for chronic pain. However, the dependency upon opioids cause patients to seek them out, whatever cost.
It is evident with each passing year that opioid and methamphetamine addiction only continues to dramatically increase nationwide. For this reason, our president has issued a public health emergency regarding this crisis. There has been a wealth of diverse research that has been focused on stimulant addiction over the past few decades. Unfortunately, a pharmacological therapy that is able to successfully treat the primary symptoms, symptoms of withdrawal and one that aids in reducing the risk of relapse has yet to be clearly identified. Multiple pharmacological agents have been tested to no avail including antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics as well as a host of other opioid drugs.
Our Current Traditional Treatment Success
According to our present landscape it definitely appears that our current traditional system has been a huge failure. However, all hope remains far from lost as evidence continues to surface proving that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in this opioid epidemic. Our endocannabinoid system plays a role in both cognitive and physiologic responses related to stimulant addiction. This includes the reward feeling stemming from stimulant abuse in response to both stress and/or pain. We now have scientific evidence that CBD could be an effective replacement for opioid addiction. It has been documented as useful in treating pain as well as preventing relapses from occurring in the future. For many, pain is the origin for most opioid addicts turning to prescription drugs. This may lead on to more dangerous and damaging drug choices.
According to a new study CBD blocks the reward of opioids. This will occupy the brains receptors and in turn producing adequate levels of dopamine. Therefore, the endocannabinoid systems relationship to the brain’s reward system indicates its potential to affect the opioid epidemic. This may be accomplished by interfering with and perhaps halting the overproduction of the neurological effect of dopamine. The excessive amount of dopamine is typically seen in those that are suffering from stimulant addiction. In relationship to relapse, cannabis may lower the risk of effecting specific receptors. Therefore, helping to reduce the triggers and temptations that often entice recovering addicts to fall from sobriety. The National Institute of drug abuse has noted that over 90% of recovering opioid addicts will relapse confirming that our current model is no longer working.
CBD is a Strong Potential
The similarities on how both CBD and stimulants affect the brain’s reward system are unparalleled. Pointing to CBD’s potential in the development of future treatment protocols for opioid addiction. In pioneering this movement, we here at CBD PRO are dedicated to successfully treat stimulant dependency and addiction. This may be accomplished as the plant is generally well tolerated and non-addictive to the vast majority of the population. Therefore, with its track record, this exciting and promising treatment protocol needs to become a readily available option for addiction sufferers. What I’m speaking of here is focusing on managing all five aspects of the opioid epidemic:
- treating the cause or why most people start using opioids which in most cases is the pain and anxiety
- blocking or reducing the reward system
- managing the withdrawal symptoms
- reducing or eliminating the relapse issues
- address the future desires and triggers
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m talking about or what we’re advocating here. We’re not advocating that marijuana be given to all opioid addicts. Matter of fact, that would be insane and similar to the mistake that our current system is using with another opioid drug to break the opioid addiction. CBDPRO has created a highly concentrated CBD oil that does not involve smoking and is very easily administered by almost anyone.
CBD PRO’s Approach
Our team is available and is ready to educate as well as instruct not only the addiction centers but the correctional system as well as the legal entities involved.
It’s time that we take this great country of ours off the opioid epidemic map and remove it from the conversation that we are the world’s highest rate of opioid addiction. I’m happy to state that this leaves many effected by this dependency or addiction hopeful. The unveiling of this groundbreaking work that we are doing at CBD PRO has the support of legislative leaders across the country. Our focus is to not only bring about awareness but to be the solution to this state of emergency. www.cbdproonline.com
I thank you for your time and I’ll make our resources available upon request.