Can CBD Help with Alcohol Use Disorder?

Stephen Andrews
03 Apr 2024

New scientific review suggests that CBD has the potential to help manage symptoms of alcohol use disorder. The report is authored by a group of Australian researchers, and it looks at neuroimaging brain studies that involve the effects of CBD. It says that the non-intoxicating cannabinoid can engage in critical brain processes that maintain alcohol addiction.

CBD has the potential to adjust brain networks that are working to sustain addiction to liquor, according to science. 

Researchers started an investigation that took into account previous studies which claim that CBD may affect key brain processes such as salience, reward, emotion generation and regulation and executive control (inhibition control, working memory and self-monitoring). 

CBD Can Help Control Alcohol Use Disorder Symptoms

The new scientific report slices the potential neurobiological mechanisms on how CBD may help with various symptoms that present with alcohol use disorder (AUD). 

“These processes are highly relevant to alcohol seeking behaviors, suggesting that CBD may have potential in the management of alcohol use disorders,” the authors wrote. 

The review was prepared by Australian researchers with the University of Sydney and local health districts in the city. Their findings were recently published in The Journal of Cannabis Research

The report indicates that CBD is involved in the working of key neurotransmitter systems and brain functions connected with AUD; therefore, CBD can remedy those who find it challenging to get off alcohol. 

Alcohol use disorder refers to a group of problematic behaviors, which include failure to stop or control drinking, and continuing to drink even when liquor is the reason for acute health problems in the body. 

Drinking more to get the same effect is also considered AUD. As is experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating and shaking when the person rapidly ceases all alcohol consumption. 

Alcohol use disorder encompasses levels of drinking that are sometimes equal to alcoholism. 

Common symptoms of AUD include being unable to limit how much you drink, having strong cravings for liquor and getting behind with work and other important obligations just to have a drink. 

In recent years, cannabis is becoming more and more popular among those who want to quit or minimize in some way their drinking habits. 

While many people opt for THC as a way to substitute the effect of alcohol with high, CBD is another option that can help abstention, also one without causing any intoxication. 

The recent Australian review looked at previously published neuroimaging studies involving the effects of CBD on healthy brains. The researchers examined how the non-psychoactive cannabinoid affected brain activity as well as subjective measures such as anxiety and mental sedation. 

The authors wrote that most of the neuroimaging material assessed in their systematic review “suggests that CBD may normalize various brain networks that maintain addiction and problematic behavior when it comes to alcohol.” They also note that this evidence is not supported by all the studies analyzed, however. 

The review says that it has been previously suggested that CBD can help normalize problematic neurocircuitry in the brain and contribute to positive behavior changes. 

“Neuroimaging findings support the notion that CBD may modulate neurocircuitry implicated in the maintenance of AUD,” the authors wrote. 

“Given the relevance of the networks affected by CBD in this review in alcohol seeking behavior and relapse, research into the effects of CBD on brain and behavior in populations with AUD to determine any potential role for management is warranted,” it says in the review conclusion. 

The publication reinforces the idea that a cannabinoid such as CBD can be beneficial in treating substance use disorders.

A study from last year, 2023, proposed that CBD has power to help tobacco users quit by reducing nicotine cravings. 

According to other recent research, Cannabidiol is useful for a range of symptoms, including irritability, anxiety and stress experienced by women during menstrual periods. 

Also read on Soft Secrets:

Can CBD Help Reduce Nicotine Cravings?

Is CBD Effective for Menstrual-Related Symptoms? 

Can Cannabis Help with Tourette Syndrome?

Stephen Andrews