Can you use CBD if you are sober?
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
September 27, 2021
Can you use CBD if you are sober?
Recovery from drug or alcohol addiction isn't just about abstinence. For many, sobriety is a lifelong commitment to wellbeing and positive change.
If you are currently sober, you may be wondering if herbal products like CBD oil can be a safe, supportive, and positive aspect of your sober lifestyle.
While everyone's sobriety journey is unique, recent research suggests that CBD hemp oil products may be safe for those in recovery from substance abuse.
In addition, CBD oil's ability to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system may have some promising positive effects for those in recovery. For example, CBD may help ease common triggers for relapse, such as anxiety. As always, it's important to consult with your medical and mental health team to ensure CBD oil products are appropriate for your unique circumstances.
Safety of CBD Oil Products When You're Sober
When you're sober, it's pivotal to avoid addictive, toxic, or intoxicating substances. Though CBD is a naturally sourced product widely touted as safe and free of side effects, you and your health team will still want to carefully consider how CBD may interact with your mental and physical health.
Let's take a closer look at cannabis, hemp, CBD, and safety.
What is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is just one of hundreds of chemical compounds that can be extracted from plants in the cannabis family. Generally, CBD oil is sourced from industrial hemp that contains a specific proportion of these molecular compounds, with a low percentage of THC.
To produce its positive effects, CBD interacts with receptors in your body's endocannabinoid system. A complex and far-reaching system, the endocannabinoid system influences your nervous system, immune system, pain reactions, sleep, and more.
Thanks to the dense concentration of cannabinoid receptors in your brain, CBD has been vigorously researched for its potential to support positive outcomes on mood, stress, and anxiety.
CBD is Non-Psychoactive
Unlike THC, one of the most well-known compounds derived from the cannabis plant, hemp oil products like CBD are non-psychoactive.
Fortunately for those in recovery from addiction, this means that taking CBD products will not produce psychoactive effects, intoxication, or a “high”.
In fact, studies have demonstrated that when CBD and THC are taken together, CBD actually works to counter the negative side effects associated with THC usage, such as anxiety.
CBD Oil is Non-Addictive and Non-Toxic
According to the World Health Organization's Critical Review on CBD, there have been no case reports of CBD causing dependence, addiction, or abuse.
Animal studies cited by the WHO show that rats don't develop a tolerance to CBD, and tolerance hasn't been reported in humans either. In addition, the WHO determined that CBD is not associated with any public health concerns, such as driving while intoxicated. In general, the WHO's report clarifies that CBD doesn't produce any of the physiological effects associated with drugs like THC.
The same Critical Review from the World Health Organization analyzed numerous studies to determine that CBD oil has a “good safety profile” and isn't associated with serious adverse side effects.
CBD and Drug Tests
When sober or in treatment for addiction, you want to avoid triggering a positive drug test. Fortunately, drug tests that look for THC in your urine are not designed to detect pure CBD.
Full spectrum CBD oil derived from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, so it isn’t likely to produce a positive on a THC test. However, pure CBD aka CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD contain 0.0% THC, so these may be the more attractive options for sober people.
Important safety tip: CBD can interact with some medications, including certain antidepressants. So if you're currently taking antidepressants or medication for alcohol withdrawal, consult with a physician before taking CBD oil or any cannabis products.
Can CBD Oil Work Against Addictions?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people with addictions often have high rates of comorbid mental health illnesses.
For instance, those who suffer from stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, or anxiety might use substances as a coping mechanism, leading to a cycle of abuse and addition.
And chronic pain sufferers might turn to substances to alleviate pain.
Because CBD is known to interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, hemp products could prove helpful for those who are sober and looking to avoid common mental health triggers that contribute to relapse. Here's what studies have found:
- By enhancing serotonin levels in the brain, CBD oil may help ease anxiety.
- CBD oil may help decrease physiological responses to stress-producing situations, which could be helpful for those suffering from
- A 2015 study analyzed 49 studies that assessed CBD's effects on stress and anxiety, and found that the evidence “conclusively demonstrates CBD's efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD.”
- Studies have shown that CBD shows promise as a non-euphoric way to treat conditions of chronic pain, which could prove useful in the fight against the opioid crisis.
To explore the benefits of CBD oil in the context of addiction treatment, researchers at the University of Montreal analyzed 19 studies related to addiction and CBD. As a whole, it was found that CBD was not only safe and free of side effects, but its use also showed a promising potential to ease the co-morbidities of drug addiction, especially anxiety.
CBD as an Anti-Relapse Aid
Relapse is associated not only with anxiety, but with impulsive behavior to use drugs or alcohol. To look at the potential of CBD as an anti-relapse aid in addiction treatment, one study published in the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology studied rats with either alcohol or cocaine addiction.
For seven days, the addicted rats were given a dose of transdermal CBD every 24 hours. Then, researchers tested the rats for their anxiety levels and rates of impulsive behavior. The results were promising, and showed that the rats who were given CBD experienced a decrease in impulsive behavior linked to drug seeking.
Though more research is needed in human subjects, these results showed promising potential for CBD in addiction treatment.
Research Efforts on CBD Oil and Sobriety
Because of CBD hemp oil's ability to balance mood and ease physical symptoms, research efforts on CBD for addiction are ongoing. While more work is needed to determine how CBD can function in sobriety, some recent studies have shown promising results:
- A randomized controlled trial in 2019 found that CBD was more effective than a placebo in reducing drug cravings and anxiety for those in recovery from heroin use disorder.
- A major review in Frontiers in Pharmacology comprehensively looked at review of 26 studies to determine CBD's possible therapeutic applications for the long-term effects of alcohol addiction. Based on the studies, the review suggested that CBD could help reduce alcohol drinking levels, reduce inflammation related to alcohol addiction, and even reduce brain damage associated with alcoholism.
- Some studies have shown that CBD can help ease addiction to the THC found in cannabis.
The Best Ways to Use CBD Oil Products When Sober
Before you decide to use CBD oil while sober, you should consult with your physician. If you and your healthcare team decide CBD oil could be a part of your sober lifestyle, consider these safety tips:
- Product purity. Purchase CBD hemp oil from reputable companies in order to avoid contaminated products with unwanted ingredients. Some brands offer a Certificate of Analysis for their hemp products, which means that they seek out third-party lab reports to verify quality and purity.
- Start with the lowest possible dose and work up in order to gauge your individual response.
- Relapse triggers. CBD products are available in various forms, from edibles to tinctures to capsules. When choosing, consult with your medical team about your potential relapse triggers. For example, some people recovering from addiction to pills may choose to avoid taking CBD hemp oil in capsule form, since it may be a context-induced trigger. Also, keep in mind that different CBD delivery methods change the effect of the dosage. CBD edibles, for instance, will take longer to work but promote a longer-lasting effect.
Promising research suggests that CBD oil is non-toxic, non-intoxicating, and generally safe!
For some, it can even help support mental health and boost overall wellbeing. For all these reasons, it's possible that CBD could be safe and supportive while navigating sobriety. As always, consulting with your physician can help you decide if CBD is appropriate for your unique recovery journey.
Learn More About CBD
Athletes who participate in impact sports put a great deal of stress on their minds and bodies. Unfortunately, current methods ...Learn More
If you spend a lot of time with horses, then you know that they are incredibly intelligent and sensitive animals ...Learn More
With the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD became effectively legal in the United States. This ground-breaking legislation ...Learn More
All professional sports require a certain amount of athleticism and endurance, but there is perhaps no sport as physically and ...Learn More
Elevated cholesterol is something many people will have to contend with during the course of their life. So what is ...Learn More
If you’re a regular CBD oil shopper, you may have come across the US Hemp Authority certification seal on CBD ...Learn More
CBD oil is increasingly popular these days; there is a large market of CBD oil products, along with a growing ...Learn More
Whether your menstrual cycle brings abdominal heaviness, mild cramping, or several days of intense, throbbing pain, you're likely not looking ...Learn More
Anyone investigating the therapeutic potential of CBD has likely encountered more than a few sources claiming CBD products are legal ...Learn More
CBD and yoga can – and should – go hand-in-hand. These two vitality boosters are the perfect complement to one ...Learn More
The hemp plant harbors many potential benefits when cultivated and processed cleanly. While the euphoria cannabis is known for comes ...Learn More
CBD oil products are everywhere now, but ambiguity surrounding the use of CBD oil still abounds, especially in the world ...Learn More
Imagine this: you're curled up on your comfortable couch, surrounded by soft throw pillows, sipping a cup of hot chocolate ...Learn More
Though many people are still learning about cannabidiol (CBD) and its many natural benefits, the naturally occurring chemical compound has ...Learn More
A lot of people ask this question - is CBD oil legal in Florida? It appears that there has been ...Learn More
If you're just starting to learn about CBD and its potential benefits, you likely have many questions. There is so ...Learn More
Every plant on the planet has a purpose. Every piece of the ecosystem serves a purpose, and some lucky plants ...Learn More
For decades, people have been raving about the endless benefits of the hemp plant. Surprisingly though, some people may still ...Learn More
I’ve been poking around the interweb a bit for travelling with CBD tips and was a little surprised… I think ...Learn More
Delta 8 THC is the hot new cannabinoid on the wellness scene. As was the case with CBG a couple ...Learn More
The term ‘seed to sale’ is thrown around a lot in CBD marketing. CBD companies that claim to be seed ...Learn More
Delta 8 THC is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Like cannabidiol aka CBD oil, delta ...Learn More
We don’t have to tell you. You already know that CBD oil is one of the most important wellness discoveries ...Learn More
Hemp CBD has a confusing history of legalization that it shares with its intoxicating cousin, marijuana. Both the federal and ...Learn More
Like many people, it is likely that you have seen an increase in the popularity of CBD in the last ...Learn More
These days, it seems like everyone is talking about CBD oil and the benefits it can provide. Yet, if you ...Learn More
If you are interested in using CBD oil, but you live in Tennessee, you may have a lot of questions ...Learn More
Although the CBD industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds, many people interested in the cannabinoid's therapeutic potential are ...Learn More
If you live in Virginia, and you are interested in buying CBD oil, you may be wondering several things. For ...Learn More
CBD oil products have come to the forefront of discussions about non-traditional solutions to anxiety, pain, and other ailments that ...Learn More
CBD oil products have gained popularity in Michigan and across the nation because of the potential benefits they offer consumers ...Learn More
For fans of soccer (or football as most of the world calls it), there is likely a lot of speculation ...Learn More
A hemp flower is the most basic form of CBD and serves as the foundation for all other CBD products ...Learn More
The safety, legality, and absence of mind-altering properties make cannabidiol (CBD) a popular choice for those who want to reap ...Learn More
Between 2021 and 2027, the weight loss industry will benefit from a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6%. As ...Learn More
If you live in Ohio and you are curious about using CBD, you may have a lot of questions. For ...Learn More
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 active compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil manufacturers extract cannabidiol ...Learn More
If you were to ask a group of CBD enthusiasts for product recommendations, you'd soon discover that CBD users seem ...Learn More
In 2014, when the industry was still quite new, CBD generated nearly 50 million dollars in sales. That's pretty impressive ...Learn More
Industrial hemp was one of the very first domesticated crops, a plant harvested throughout history for its protein-rich seeds and ...Learn More
As you have likely heard by now, CBD has quickly become one of the biggest trends in the world of ...Learn More
Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around when it comes to cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, more commonly known as ...Learn More
CBD products are becoming increasingly popular in 2021, and CBD concentrates are no exception. If you've thought about trying CBD ...Learn More
Let's talk self care. Though you might think of self care as simply "pampering" yourself, it goes way deeper than ...Learn More
Texas Governor Abbott signed legislation clarifying which hemp products are legal and which are not. Looking for CBD in Texas? ...Learn More
CBD oil has many helpful-- not to mention, natural-- benefits physically and mentally. CBD has been heavily studied to relieve ...Learn More
If you are an avid runner, you are always looking for safe and healthy ways to improve your performance and ...Learn More
If there's anything we've learned from the last few years of incredible development, it's that the cannabis plant can take ...Learn More
By now, you are probably aware that there are a lot of CBD products on the market that can help ...Learn More
If you have never tried CBD oil and you live in Indiana, you probably have a lot of questions. You ...Learn More
CBD (short for cannabidiol) has become an alternative consideration for many parents around the world. Countless families swear by CBD ...Learn More
Birth control remains one of the greatest biomedical advances in the last century, giving women and couples the opportunity to ...Learn More
When shopping for CBD, it's essential to find the best product for your needs and your lifestyle. While CBD tinctures ...Learn More
For people who are considering CBD or have already started trying what is available, one of the most common questions ...Learn More
CBD oil is well known for its ability to regulate pain and inflammation, making it a valuable tool in the ...Learn More
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a true mystery. It can pop up out of nowhere for chronic cannabis users, and ...Learn More
When you first begin researching CBD oil, it can be hard to understand what you are reading. What exactly is ...Learn More
Death by overdose has become the largest killer of Americans under the age of 50, and with opioids responsible for ...Learn More
The most famous cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is most widely known for its mind-altering, high-inducing properties, ...Learn More
Because harvested and dried cannabis or hemp material only contains trace amounts of cannabigerol (CBG), it is often considered to ...Learn More
With cannabidiol (CBD) oil becoming more widely available, it is being sought out by an ever-growing number of people due ...Learn More
In 2018, the United States saw exponential growth in CBD oil product development and sales. Halfway through the year, the ...Learn More
The cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of cannabinoids, each one presenting its own unique qualities and potential benefits. You may ...Learn More
Cannabinoids have taken over the natural health discussion, and with good reason. Research is continuously finding new ways in which ...Learn More
One of the lesser-known cannabinoids, cannabichromene (CBC) may be able to do some pretty incredible things. Recent scientific study has ...Learn More
Learning about the phytocannabinoids that exist in the cannabis plant family can feel a little bit like sifting through alphabet ...Learn More
Cannabidiol (CBD), is becoming widely used for its reported therapeutic benefits, which include pain reduction, nausea relief, and mood elevation ...Learn More
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is probably the best-known cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive, intoxicating, and mind-altering compound ...Learn More
Of the many phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are likely the most well-known. That's why ...Learn More
The role of “Big Pharma” in healthcare is a contentious subject and one that’s working its way into discussions around ...Learn More
With more and more research coming out that shines a light on the reported health benefits of CBD and essential ...Learn More
Researchers are finding that CBD oil may be able to treat the symptoms of a whole host of diseases and ...Learn More
When you first decide to use CBD oil, it can be hard to know where to start. With so many ...Learn More
Health supplements are becoming increasingly commonplace as average Americans struggle to meet their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals ...Learn More
If you've spent any time reading about CBD oil and cannabis lately, it is likely you've seen terpenes mentioned more ...Learn More
If you’re interested in purchasing CBD oil but aren’t sure if it’s legal in your state, you’ve come to the ...Learn More
The CBD oil industry is one of the fastest-growing in North America and as such, it should come as no ...Learn More
Not long after the first cannabinoid was isolated from the cannabis plant, scientists discovered the human body produces similar substances ...Learn More
Those friendly neighbors on the northern U.S. border have a reputation for being fairly liberal minded. In fact, as of ...Learn More
As people continue to abandon cigarettes, vaping is becoming increasingly popular. And, as the range of vape oils, vape juices, ...Learn More
Ready to make your first CBD oil purchase but aren’t sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right ...Learn More
With so many CBD oil products and delivery formats available for purchase, knowing which one is right for you can ...Learn More
The hemp plant produces flowers just like its THC-toting cousin marijuana. Typically, this flower is processed and cannabidiol (CBD) is ...Learn More
CBD oil drops are one of the most popular ways to take cannabidiol (CBD). They are a cost-effective and convenient ...Learn More
If you’re new to the world of CBD oil, there’s a lot of new terminology to take in; one term ...Learn More
Is there nothing cannabidiol can’t do? The wonder compound—more commonly known as CBD—has been hailed as everything from a digestive ...Learn More
As an athlete, the less time you can spend doing online research, the more time you can devote to your ...Learn More
CBD oil microdosing is a concept that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? ...Learn More
Because CBD oil has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling while promoting cell reparation, CBD topicals (e.g. balms, ...Learn More
When investigating cannabis products, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the varieties available. Cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, CBD ...Learn More
People are quickly becoming aware of the potential benefits of CBD oil, but this awareness has lead to one very ...Learn More
Today, it’s hard to go a day without hearing something about CBD oil, and for good reason. Cannabidiol (CBD) is ...Learn More
There are tens of millions of Americans who smoke cigarettes and millions of others who are suffering from smoking-related diseases ...Learn More
There are two main types of cannabidiol (CBD) extract utilized by vendors - purified, crystalline isolate, often labeled as ‘CBD ...Learn More
With frequent news reports about newly discovered uses for cannabidiol (CBD) in healthcare, a number of parents are investigating its ...Learn More
There is an increasing amount of coverage in the media about CBD oil and its potential uses and benefits. Everywhere ...Learn More
CBD oil interacts with the brain and central nervous system to produce a number of beneficial outcomes from reducing inflammation ...Learn More
The short answer: Yes...and no. If you’ve been following the national conversation about cannabis, you may have felt confused at ...Learn More
If you’re an athlete or fitness enthusiast who has heard about the many health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), you may ...Learn More