This is a question I have heard over and over again by a lot of people in recovery wanting to try CBD, but hesitant to do so due to their sobriety and I am going to give you my take on this.
Now, my take may not be agreed with by everyone in the recovery community and that is perfectly fine with me. My sobriety is a personal journey and it took me quite some time to be okay with the fact that not everyone needs to know about it and not everyone’s opinions needs to determine my journey.
Here is the simple fact: CBD oil has little to no THC. It will not make you high, stoned, affect your ability to function mentally or emotionally, it will not cause you to drive under the influence or feel loopy or silly or weird the way alcohol or other substances will.
In my opinion, my sobriety is ruined by anything that I take specifically to feel some type of pleasurable feeling, affects my ability to function, or affects my judgement.
So, how do I know what is safe for me?
I examine my motives. If I have to take a prescription medication to decrease pain, why am I taking it? Am I taking it for the pain or to feel high? Am I taking it under a doctor’s advisement? Am I taking it because I just had surgery? Have I saved medications, just in case I think I may need them for my next broken arm?
I know all this sounds like common sense to most people, but those of us in recovery may ask these questions and need to ask these questions before taking anything that may compromise what we have worked so hard for.
CBD should contain around 0.3% or less THC, which is even unlikely to show up on a drug test. That is a very, very, very low amount. Consider that a marijuana cigarette or a joint, may contain about 90 mg of THC, then you might be able to see what I mean by very, very low. Okay, so what is it in CBD that makes you feel relaxed or decreases pain or anxiety?
They are a very efficient little group of chemical compounds in the cannabis plant that have been known to help alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, pain and more and cannabis has at least 85 different types of cannabinoids and one of them is THC, but CBD oil is typically made from a hemp plant that is specifically bred not to have these high levels of THC.
Marijuana, or pot, may be cultivated to contain very high levels of THC, because of the fact that people typically smoke pot to get high or receive the effects of THC medicinally to relieve pain and other negative symptoms they suffer from.
To break it down in an easy to understand way, think of it like this.
The brain tells our body we are in pain from little impulses within the brain. The things we ingest, like pain killers, work to tell the impulses that we aren’t feeling pain anymore because we took the pain-killer to, well, kill the pain! The painkillers are specifically made to affect those impulses, the same with psychiatric drugs. The meds are created to affect the specific receptors that are giving us the problem.
Then we have cannabinoid receptors and they are the receptors that are responsible for affecting things like moods, appetite, pain sensation and more.
When the body takes in a large amount of THC, the cannabinoid receptors basically get overwhelmed, have a bit of an explosion of impulses, if you will, and that is where you get that stoned feeling from, but you also may feel lack of pain, decreased mental judgment, extreme happiness, increased appetite and decreased motor function.
When a cannabinoids in CBD come into contact with these receptors, they work as the natural receptors are supposed to without getting all overwhelmed. The pain decreases, the appetite can naturally increase, the anxiety decreases, a feeling of relaxation may occur, but no stoned feeling happens and this is how the receptors are supposed to work in your body.
Just like medication for depression or insomnia or pain, those of us with conditions causing these symptoms may have cells or a brain chemistry that has been knocked off course and therefore, we feel the negative symptoms of our condition. We may take medications like antidepressants, sleep medications or pain medications to get our nerves and/or chemistry back on track so we can continue on with life with less of those negative symptoms.
The same goes with CBD. CBD works with your brain and body to get your body’s functioning back on track so you can function better, without getting overwhelmed and affecting judgement, motor skills (driving or walking), mental clarity, and other side effects you may not find desirable in your daily life of work, family and school.
Okay, that was long-winded, but when I first started this journey into CBD oil, I wanted to know how it all worked so that I didn’t compromise my sobriety. I didn’t want to feel high or loopy. I needed to know I was safe to drive, make normal decisions, and take care of my life-like usual.
Now, I may have gotten some things wrong scientifically, but I wanted to break it down in an easy to digest form because honestly, science confuses me and if you do a simple google search of CBD, you will get SO many articles that very scientific and very hard to understand. While science is important and awesome, it’s a bit confusing to some of us, so I wanted to help you understand.
As always, do your research. There are CBD oils with absolutely no THC and the reputable companies who harvest their hemp in a responsible way, will make CBD will less than 0.3% of THC.
If you are concerned with this, talk to your doctor, sponsor and friends and always tell your doctors you are taking CBD so they can help you along your journey. It’s also good to mention to your doctor if you know you are going to have to take a drug test. It shouldn’t show up on one, but it’s good to have a professional on your side just in case, that way you know have support behind you just in case you need it.
I absolutely do not worry about drug tests, my sobriety or anything of that nature due to the CBD I take and my medical providers know I take it.
You know what? It’s not an issue. Doctors are aware of CBD and it’s benefits and with more and more research, patients and the CBD community are hoping that CBD becomes a prescribed medication for many conditions and illnesses. It may already be, although I haven’t had that experience.
Ultimately, the decision to take CBD when in recovery is a personal choice and no one in your community needs to know you take it unless you want them to, not to keep secrets, but because your journey in sobriety is just that-yours. A support system is extremely important and those that you trust and who truly support you, will support the healthy decisions you make and should be able to discuss why they may not agree.
Not everyone will agree with you. Some in recovery don’t think taking over the counter pain medicine is acceptable and others think cooking with alcohol isn’t acceptable, but this is their decision for their own journey and it’s perfectly okay.
It’s important for you to decide on your own whether it’s a good choice for you, but know that it will not get you high, stoned, loopy, or anything like your drug of choice did so you don’t have to worry about it affecting you the way those substances did in your past.
CBD is part of the brand new world of discoveries on the medical horizon that are changing the world as we know it and providing people with a natural way to live better quality lives.
Got questions for me? Contact me below, I’d love to hear from you.