As research now shows, CBD oil could help alcoholics decrease their abusive consumption and limit alcohol-related damage to the liver and brain:
Hemp’s most popular cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD), is widely known for it’s possible pain-killing properties; helping some patients to kick harmful and addictive medication. Though cannabinoids could be helpful in treating other addictions too. As research now shows, CBD oil could help alcoholics decrease their abusive consumption and limit alcohol-related damage to the liver and brain:
CBD oil decreases alcohol-intake
Hemp’s most popular cannabinoid - Cannabidiol (CBD) - decreases the urge to drink alcohol. As proven by a group of French and Belgian researchers in this 2019 study; looking into the possible effects of CBD oil’s main ingredient on struggling alcoholics. Moreover, these scientists report the non-psychoactive cannabinoid possesses liver and brain-protective properties which help limit alcohol-related liver- and brain-damage.
To reach these conclusions - published in the renowned Frontiers in Pharmacology magazine - the researchers reviewed 26 researchpapers published between 1974 and 2018. All studies focused on the effects CBD has on animals who were given consumption-alcohol (ethanol). Here they found multiple papers proving that the cannabinoid actually reduces alcohol-intake. In one study, mice receiving Cannabidiol showed a decreased motivation to do a trick which would give them access to a 8% alcohol solution.
Effect on various aspects of alcoholism
Though CBD’s effect on alcohol abuse appears to go a lot further than that. As other studies showed that mice receiving regular doses of vegetal CBD, did not relapse into alcohol-abusing routines after they quit drinking. Even in stressful situations, which often causes alcoholics to relaps in real life.
The researchers explain: ‘Because of the impact on various aspects of alcoholism (including alcohol-intake, motivation to quit, relapse, anxiety and impulsivity), CBD could have an important influence on drinking behavior in people with drinking problems.’ Adding that it could be useful to gather data on excessive and long-term alcohol-abuse as well, to offer a better image on how exactly it could help. While they also encourage a grand clinical trial, to be able to test new substances which could reduce the damage of excessive alcohol-intake.
CBD oil to restore liver- and brain damage
Furthermore, the French/Belgian researchteam found evidence suggesting hemp oil actually reduces inflammation to the liver, caused by excessive alcohol-intake. Proven by a research on mice that were given either alcohol and Cannabidiol, or only alcohol. With the result that the CBD-using mice had less damage to the liver, compared to the mice that did not receive the cannabinoid treatment.
The study authors quote: ‘CBD appears to have valuable therapeutic properties for treating ethanol-induced liver damage through various mechanisms. Including the reduction of oxidative stress, controlling the inflammation and reducing the number of cells responsible for the formation of scar-tissue.’
Though other studies also reveal other potential benefits of the cannabinoid in relation to alcohol-induced damage. As discovered by the scientists, Cannabidiol could protect certain areas in the brain, that are sensitive to alcohol-related damage. Proven by the fact that rats given CBD, lost significantly less braincells in the so-called hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. In fact, the cannabinoid acted as a ‘neuroprotective antioxidant’ in the brain of these rats. A phenomenon that also appears to happen in the liver; where CBD was shown to restore neurological and cognitive functions after acute liver failure.
Stimulating CB2-receptors with CBD
The main reason for all these positive effects Cannabidiol might have on alcohol-related damage are CB2-receptors, say the study authors. As they found that to be the common dominator in the scientific reports they reviewed. These receptors are part of the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS), and can be found throughout the entire body. To learn more about this complex system, check out our blog: ‘How does CBD work: the endocannabinoid system (ECS) explained'
Though more clinical research is needed to determine the actual effects of CBD hemp oil on alcohol-related damage in people. The study authors still think these are important findings. After all, there is no medication available that could restore alcohol-related damage to the liver, nor the brain. While alcoholism is a growing problem worldwide, and the search for therapeutic answers continues.
Finally, the scientists conclude: ‘CBD could have much more positive effects in people with alcohol problems. Including anti-epileptic and cardio protective properties and a pain killing effect.’ Showing us that despite a lack of clinical research into the matter, it could definitely be useful to try CBD oil when battling alcoholism or alcohol-related health problems.