CBD, short for cannabidiol, is not a newly discovered substance. However, the relative ignorance surrounding it (until very recently) would have you believe it was only discovered in the last couple of decades. In fact, it was discovered in 1940. Cannabis has been used for centuries, but CBD is a specific non-psychoactive substance found within the hemp and the marijuana plant which has exploded in the form of many new health products, all boasting the remarkable health benefits of this particular substance.
Probably because it has only recently been properly scientifically explored, CBD is constantly fending off accusations that it is an addictive substance. This needs to be a bit more fully explained (see below), but the answer to that is “generally, no”. There are millions of CBD users the world over who consume the product regularly and experience not addiction but real health benefits. The reason why it is often thought to be addictive is its relationship to recreational marijuana use – and the “stoner” culture in general. However, CBD users come from nearly every walk of life, and CBD isn’t even most commonly used among marijuana users. In fact, the majority of CBD users have never smoked a joint.
CBD has very much stepped out of the stoner shadow, but there remains a great deal of ignorance about the substance. Worries about its addictive potential is part of that ignorance.
What is CBD?
So, before tackling the addiction question in more detail, it is worth more fully explaining what CBD is. Yammy CBD, specialists in all manner of CBD products, say that the most defining trait of CBD is that it is not psychoactive in the same way as THC. Most consumers of CBD products never consume any THC.
This is because CBD can be isolated from the hemp and marijuana plant. The difference between hemp and marijuana, by the way, is precisely the content of THC. Plants with lower amounts are considered hemp; those with more (enough to derive psychoactive cannabis) are termed marijuana. The important thing to remember here though is that even if the CBD comes from the higher THC marijuana plant, it is still perfectly isolated as only CBD.
CBD can sometimes come in a full spectrum form, which means that the CBD contains other beneficial substances derived from the cannabis (hemp or marijuana). There are actually some CBD products that do contain small amounts of THC, but even full spectrum CBD can still come with no THC.
So, Is It Addictive?
So, having made clear what we are actually talking about here – CBD derived from the cannabis plant is emphatically not weed – it is time to consider the facts where the question of CBD’s addictiveness is concerned.
The question of addiction is an incredibly fraught one and there is little scientific consensus about what constitutes an addictive substance. Physical addiction (i.e., that which causes severe bodily withdrawal effects) is fairly well-understood, and we can say with certainty that CBD is not physically addictive.
Psychological addiction is another matter. It can be chemically determined (and that is a very complex issue which takes neurochemical expertise to determine), but it can also just be the habit of consuming substances like coffee, milk, or meat. Many people will say they are mildly addicted to such things if they feel discomfort when skipping them on any given day.
But of course, that isn’t really addiction as we understand it, and it certainly isn’t the addiction that is meant when detractors claim CBD is addictive. With everything above as a very important caveat, we can say that no, CBD is not addictive.