With the change in legal status for marijuana that is taking place in various parts of the country, cannabis is a drug that is easier than ever to obtain. In certain states, medical dispensaries can be found on every corner and even in open retail shops where you simply need to show ID. Because marijuana is a growing industry, there are a myriad of different products that are filtering into people’s daily lives and some like CBD can even be found in grocery stores.
In the world of recovery, it can be confusing and difficult to navigate your feelings amidst the changes accompanying marijuana legalization. Certain products may seem harmless and the idea that they are legal opens the door for recreational use even among people that rarely use the drug. CBD is one product that seems to walk a fine line between being a harmless “healthy” option and a substance that is still in the realm of drug use.
People in recovery may wonder if they can use products like CBD oil or other related items and still consider themselves sober. Is it safe to use CBD or is it putting you at risk for experiencing a relapse? Before using this product it may be helpful to consider what it is and how it will affect you.
What is CBD?
Although it is often touted for its natural health benefits, CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is still one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant. One reason CBD is considered safe for some people is because it has no THC in it and therefore has no psychoactive effects. CBD is legal to sell anywhere depending on the legal status of cannabis in that particular state.
CBD is advertised with many health claims that suggest it has medicinal effects including relaxation, pain relief, reducing inflammation and calming anxiety. CBD can be purchased in many different forms including oils, lotions, pills, drinks, edibles and other options. As is the case with other types of marijuana, CBD is available in different levels of dosage ranging from around 5 to 45 mg.
Although many believe the substance to be harmless and even positive for stress relief, it remains controversial in the recovery community. Former addicts may view it as a potential gateway to other types of substance abuse. Even though CBD itself is not a mind-altering drug it could possibly trigger a relapse in some individuals that may be more vulnerable.
Therapeutic Use vs Relapse
There are different opinions about the safety of using CBD if you have struggled with addiction in the past. Many people have experienced the therapeutic effects of CBD without any drawbacks or feeling tempted to use drugs again. For people with issues of pain, stress or anxiety it may be similar to taking mild medication or herbal remedies but it depends on the individual person.
In other cases, CBD may open the door for some people to believe that taking certain substances is okay. If they can use CBD for their healthy, why not use something with THC or marijuana? Once they feel comfortable taking substances related to cannabis it could potentially escalate into other types of drugs use and lead to a relapse.
Some people in the recovery community have very strict beliefs about never taking any kind of substance again even in the case of medication. Those in the abstinence only camp may view CBD as just another substance used as a method of escape which will inevitably lead to problems. They will assert that using a substance as coping mechanism is ineffective and leads to addiction.
It is up to each individual’s personal beliefs whether they feel comfortable taking CBD or whether they fear it will trigger relapse. Technically CBD is not a mind-altering drug but more like an herbal medication but it might mentally feel like taking a drug. For those who are more addicted to the idea of drug use then CBD may not be safe for them.
Staying Sober with CBD
For those in recovery who feel that they might benefit from the use of CBD, it is important to maintain a very clear line between the use of this type of product and other drugs. CBD has no psychoactive properties but other marijuana products do and they should be avoided at all costs. Understanding the serious difference between using an oil for relaxation and ingesting a drug with THC can help prevent you from crossing the line.
If have any concerns or hesitation about using CBD then it might be a good idea to avoid taking it. There are many other options for pain relief and relaxation that will have much less potential for relapse. CBD is likely to remain controversial in the recovery community and sometimes the safest solution is to steer clear of any drug that you feel would be dangerous to your sobriety.