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Is CBD Addictive? Study Points to Just the Opposite.

Approximately 19.7 million American adults are battling a drug use disorder,1 a staggering statistic partially fueled by highly addictive prescription opioids. As we enter a post-opioid era, many researchers and drug-averse consumers have related concerns with CBD products, concerned that even a natural alternative could replicate the problematic dependencies of the past few decades.

A new study of CBD, however, shows just the opposite, finding a large dose of CBD did not alter reward-related regions of the brain in study participants.2 Typically, a person using addictive substances will receive a rush of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of pleasure. These pleasurable feelings become addictive on both a mental and physiological level, making it difficult to stop using the drug even when, in the case of prescription medications, it is no longer necessary.

The findings did come as a slight surprise following a study that showed CBD reduces marijuana and tobacco dependencies more effectively than a placebo.3 One theory that may explain CBD’s ability to reduce drug use is its potential standalone benefits, which could counteract some of the side effects of addiction. Things like anxiety and insomnia, also common withdrawal symptoms, are among the top-cited reasons for consistent CBD use. To naturally target some of the physiological hurdles of drug dependency could indeed make recovery a much smoother process.

For those with addictive tendencies who are still hesitant to try CBD, it is important to note the study dosed participants with 600mg of CBD, while the average person takes 1-2mg per dose. Without addictive side effects at 600mg, the risk of addiction at a dose 600 times smaller may help put worries into perspective. Still, it is worthwhile to consult with a doctor if you are concerned about any potential risks associated with CBD use.

Alongside a steady CBD regimen, other methods of achieving wellness while positively impacting reward circuits of the brain include exercising outdoors (for mood-boosting Vitamin D and serotonin) and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome (because your “second brain” needs probiotics and plants to keep your primary brain happy).

As CBD research continues to shape a positive view of plant-based wellness, it is no surprise that we fair best and feel better with lifestyles that connect us to the intrinsic balancing act of nature, a quality that we at Farmulated CBD strive to achieve with all of our products.



  1. Addiction statistics: Drug & substance abuse statistics. (2021, February 22). Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics
  2. Dolan, E. W. (2021, February 06). Cbd does not appear to alter functional activity in the brain's reward circuit. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.psypost.org/2021/02/cbd-does-not-appear-to-alter-functional-activity-in-the-brains-reward-circuit-59538
  3. Prud'homme, M., Cata, R., & Jutras-Aswad, D. (2015, May 21). Cannabidiol as an intervention for addictive behaviors: A systematic review of the evidence. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444130/
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