Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

Does CBD Count as a Relapse?

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‍In this article, we take a look at why CBD oil could be considered a relapse and how you can use it responsibly if you’re in recovery from substance abuse. Read on to find out more about this growing trend and its potential impact on your recovery. Cannabidiol (CBD) has become increasingly popular as of late, especially among those in recovery from substance abuse. It is an extract from the cannabis plant that has gained attention for its potential health benefits – including its ability to help with everything from generalized anxiety to alcohol addiction. While it isn’t psychoactive like THC, CBD oil still has a remarkable impact on the user by acting directly upon the endocannabinoid system of the brain.

Is CBD Oil the Same as Using THC?

CBD oil is not the same as using THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. CBD oil is a more concentrated extraction of the CBD compound found in the hemp plant, which is often confused with marijuana. CBD is non-psychoactive and is not associated with any negative side effects like those that come from THC. If you are addicted to or in recovery from substances that alter your brain chemistry, you should avoid THC at all costs. However, with CBD, there is no risk of addiction or any other negative side effects. In fact, CBD is often used as a safe and non-addictive substitute for medications like opioids, which are notoriously addictive.

Is CBD oil a relapse?

When it comes to the question of whether or not CBD could be considered a relapse, the answer is yes and no. There is a difference between abusing it and taking it responsibly. Using CBD does not alter your brain chemistry or subjective perceptions, so it is not considered a relapse in the mental health sense. So, in the sense that you aren’t using a substance to alter your mood or mental state, using CBD oil could be a healthy way to manage your symptoms. However, if you use CBD oil to avoid facing your mental health challenges, it could be considered a relapse.

Moreover, many people with a history of drug addiction perceive CBD as related to marijuana. For this reason, they might feel like they are relapsing if they take CBD. This could, in theory, cause them to justify other drug-related behaviors. Ultimately, then, whether or not taking CBD oil counts as a relapse depends on the mentality of the person taking it.

How Does CBD Help With Recovery?

CBD oil has been shown to help people in a number of ways. It could help you manage anxiety and depression, improve your sleep, decrease inflammation, boost your immune system, and even have anti-addiction properties. The anti-addiction properties of CBD could help you resist cravings and avoid relapsing back into destructive patterns. CBD is known to affect the brain in a different way than addictive substances do. In fact, CBD could actually block the neurotransmitters in your brain that cause cravings and other addictive behaviors.

3 Reasons Why Using CBD Could Be Considered a Relapse

  • It could interrupt your recovery plan. Your recovery plan is there for a reason – to help you navigate the process of getting sober and living a healthy lifestyle. Using CBD to avoid your mental health challenges could be a sign that you aren’t ready to get sober yet. You need to be honest with yourself and your treatment team.
  • It could be a slippery slope. If you start using CBD as a way to avoid facing your mental health challenges, you could open the door to abusing other substances. You could end up finding yourself in danger very quickly. Some people even consider CBD to be a gateway drug.
  • It could interfere with your treatment. Drugs like antidepressants could have a negative effect on the effectiveness of CBD. Your treatment team could have prescribed certain medications to help ease your mental health symptoms. If you start using CBD without consulting them, it could cause more harm than good.

Can People with Substance Use Disorders Use CBD Oil Responsibly?

Yes, people with substance use disorders can use CBD oil responsibly. Using CBD oil responsibly means starting with a low dose and taking frequent breaks from using it. Your body and brain need time to adjust to CBD oil and you can’t expect positive results if you rush things. Ideally, you want to take at least two-to-three weeks before you see any results from using CBD oil. To use CBD oil responsibly, it is best to consult with a medical professional. They will be able to give you personalized advice regarding dosage, potential side effects, and how long you should use it. If you have a substance use disorder, it is best to be cautious about using CBD oil. This is because CBD oil can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of certain medications used to treat substance use disorders. Ultimately, the best approach is to consult with your therapist or addiction counselor before taking the step of incorporating CBD into your lifestyle.

Get Sober at NuView Treatment Center’s Outpatient Program in Los Angeles, CA

As we’ve discussed, the question of whether or not CBD could be considered a relapse is complicated. If you use CBD oil responsibly, it could help you improve your mental health; however, if you use it as a way to avoid facing your mental health challenges, it could be a sign that you aren’t ready to get sober just yet. Whatever you do, make sure you are honest with yourself and your treatment team.

Rather than taking responsibility for this decision alone, it may be best to enroll in an outpatient treatment center. NuView Treatment Center, located in West Los Angeles, employs clinicians and addiction treatment professionals who have the answers you need. Our evidence-based rehab allows you to get the support, training, and skills you need to stay sober – and avoid the pitfalls of relapse. Since our outpatient programs are flexible, you can continue to work and meet your responsibilities while pursuing recovery. If you are ready to reach out and get the help you need, contact a staff member at NuView Treatment Center today.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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