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How to get rid of addiction to benzodiazepine with the help of CBD

Benzodiazepines are an adequate remedy in the fight against anxiety. Those are used to put the nervous system into a relaxed state, effectively stopping anxiety in its very early stage.

In general, the problem with benzodiazepines is that they are highly addictive. Patients may develop an addiction after only a few weeks of use. Once the effects disappear, the brain goes into a state of hyperactivity, resulting in severe anxiety attacks. This can lead to exhausting insomnia and emotional instability.

Many people try to eliminate benzodiazepines due to the severe side effects, but this is very difficult for their highly addictive nature. Users can face devastating anxiety attacks when drugs are gone from the system.

People have opened up a way by using cannabidiol (CBD) to alleviate withdrawal symptoms when reducing benzodiazepine dosing. The goal is to stop taking them altogether.

This article will describe how people use CBD as a mediator to safely wean off benzodiazepines such as Alprozam (Xanax), Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam), Diazepam (valium), Lexotan (Bromazepam), Rivotril (Clonazepam), and others. We will look at the promising research, which takes place in this area, and what this means for people addicted to anxiety medications.


What are benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of synthetic drugs that help fight anxiety. They are not antidepressants, which they are often confused with. This drug class is used to treat anxiety disorders (such as social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder) and insomnia.

Unfortunately, all benzodiazepines are highly addictive; they create tolerance and addiction in just two weeks of regular use. The most common benzodiazepines include:

- Alprozam (Xanax)
- Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)
- Diazepam (valium)
- Lexotan (Bromazepam)
- Rivotril (Clonazepam)


How benzodiazepines work

These powerful drugs work how they modify GABA receptors in the brain to make them more receptive to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. These receptors are used to control stress levels and brain activity. The best analogy for GABA is that it acts as a brake pedal in the brain; it slows us down when we need to take a break.

When GABA activity increases, it slows down nerve transfers in the brain, making us feel relaxed. This will then stop the anxiety attacks right in the beginning and soothe us enough to fall asleep.


Benzodiazepine problems


Most people start taking benzodiazepines without considering the possibility of developing an addiction. Doctors prescribe drugs in small doses for a short time to help people overcome severe anxiety periods. Benzodiazepines are also prescribed for insomnia because they provide short-term relief. The problem is that only a few doses are sufficient to create addiction.

After only a few days, the body starts to develop resistance to the effects of the drug. It does this by changing the GABA receptors. As this change occurs, users must take higher doses of the drug to achieve the same results.

The natural GABA levels suffer at the same time. We cannot produce more gamma-Aminobutyric acid to balance the tolerance, so instead, we experience the side effects of these receptors’ poor function. The main side effect is precisely the same issue the drug is aimed for, anxiety.

Addiction to benzodiazepines is characterized by the onset of adverse side effects as the effects of drugs weaken during the addiction treatment.

Weaning off benzodiazepines is highly unpleasant. It includes symptoms such as:

- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Insomnia
- Mood swings
- Muscle tremors
- Muscle pain
- Suicidal thoughts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sweating
- Weight loss
- Seizures
- Death (with severe benzodiazepine addiction)


Once a person develops anxiety, it is difficult for them to resist treatment. A drug is the only way that reliably stops it. And that is an incredibly high obstacle in the process to cease taking it. Therefore, most people continue to take the drug despite its negative side effects, and anxiety becomes too intense without the drug’s help.



Benzodiazepines alone usually do not cause an overdose.  However, combined with other drugs, such as painkillers or alcohol, it can make a hazardous mixture.

Michael Jackson or the rapper Lil Peep had Xanax, a viral drug in the US, in their systems at their death. Users think they can avoid these threats by taking benzodiazepines and avoiding analgesics or alcohol. However, it is not that simple.

Doctors will not issue prescriptions for this drug to their patients indefinitely, and if so, they will reduce the dose. As users gradually increase their tolerance, they are forced to look for other ways to get the drug to satisfy their addiction.

However, benzodiazepines from the black market are not always made using the best manufacturing processes. Many of them are mixed with other drugs, such as fentanyl, to reduce costs. Although it is hazardous, it is a common practice.

All it takes is one lousy pill, and you can end up like Lil Peep, who died of taking Xanax that contained fentanyl. We, of course, talk about a black market product. Should you think that this cannot happen to an ordinary person?

Lil Peep


How can CBD help with overcoming addiction?

Now that we understand well how benzodiazepines work and what makes them so dangerous, we can look at how people can use the help of CBD to get rid of the addiction.

The basic idea is that CBD can be used to exclude benzodiazepines gradually. As the dose of benzodiazepines decreases, the amount of CBD may be increased to compensate for some discontinuation symptoms.

Once benzodiazepines are completely removed from the system, it is necessary to focus on stopping CBD, which is considerably more manageable. This works because CBD has similar effects on GABA receptors as benzodiazepines, with significantly lower efficacy showing a much smaller potential for addiction.

CBD offers people other benefits when overcoming the addiction to benzodiazepines:

AnticonvulsantCBD reduces tremors and muscle tension, helps facilitate this unpleasant side effect when overcoming the addiction to benzodiazepines.
Anti-anxiety – one of the most important benefits of CBD is its ability to reduce anxiety symptoms, which are, of course, the primary side effect of benzodiazepine withdrawal.
SedativeCBD is a mild sedative that helps alleviate the symptoms of insomnia resulting from withdrawal from benzodiazepines.


How to stop taking benzodiazepines with CBD

Weaning off benzodiazepine using CBD is simple. You start with a low dose of CBD and your regular dose of benzodiazepines. Over time, the amount of benzodiazepines gradually decreases while the dose of CBD increases.

Eventually, the benzodiazepines are entirely replaced. Once this stage is reached, CBD needs to be phased out, which is significantly simpler and safer.

Step 1: Tell your doctor

Tell your doctor before you stop taking medicaments. You need to discuss the plan with them even if they disagree (it seems that many doctors prefer their patients to take medication to avoid withdrawal symptoms).

However, your health is always your responsibility in the end. Your doctor should support you when you decide to stop taking your medication. They will advise you on the strategy and give some tips on how to overcome the worst. Most doctors also schedule regular visits to monitor how you feel and how your body responds.


Step 2: Create a dose plan

Your doctor or another qualified specialist should prepare for this step. Some doctors specialize in helping to overcome drug addiction. If you find such experts, we strongly recommend using their services to boost your success.

Doses may vary significantly depending on the daily intake of benzodiazepines and how the body reacts to CBD. Some people need higher amounts of CBD to achieve the desired effect, and others are just fine with lower doses.

The key to using CBD is to start at a low level and gradually increase it until you achieve the anticipated effects. You may need to increase the dose slightly while you reduce the amount of benzodiazepine.


Step 3: Have your CBD at hand

Before you start the process, make sure you have enough CBD to handle the first few weeks. It is recommended to choose a high concentration product – it can always be diluted into weaker doses while getting to more potent doses can be difficult with lower concentrated products.

We recommend getting hold of high-quality CBD oil, liquid, or vaporizer. Oils offer long-term effects and can be taken in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Vaping is suitable for immediate assistance whenever withdrawal symptoms appear and eliminate the urge to reach for the pill whenever anxiety occurs.

Tips for using CBD when addicted to benzodiazepines

1. Seek professional medical advice before dropping ditching the drug

The most important thing is that before you decide to stop taking medicines such as benzodiazepines, seek medical advice from a qualified practitioner. Getting rid of benzodiazepines can be dangerous, in some cases even fatal.

Consult your steps with a doctor and visit them every time you reduce the dose of benzodiazepines. The doctor will be able to regularly assess your vital functions, as well as your overall well-being and emotional health.


2. Stop taking benzodiazepines slowly

It is better to wean off benzodiazepines slowly within at least a few weeks. This especially applies to people who have been taking them for more than six months. Reducing the dose too quickly increases the likelihood of severe panic attacks that can lead to relapse. Instead, plan to reduce the dose by about 25% every two weeks.

A good way is to reduce the dose by about 1 mg every second or third week. This gives the body enough time to adjust its dependence to a new amount. Once the body stabilizes, you can move on to the next stage and start the process again.


3. Perseverance is the key to success

Overcoming addiction to benzodiazepines can be a challenge, even with the help of CBD. Although CBD can significantly improve withdrawal symptoms, it does not eliminate them. It is necessary to persevere in times when withdrawal symptoms can be particularly challenging. Remember that discomfort will eventually go away for good, but only if you stay focused to the end.

4. Use only the right CBD products

There are plenty of CBD products on the market, many of which are not good enough for this purpose.

Look for a CBD product with the following characteristics:

- Full-spectrum extract
- High efficacy (at least 33 mg/ml)
- Organic hemp
- Independently tested to demonstrate the absence of contaminants

The use of cheap, low-quality CBD products can be counterproductive or worsen some cases. This is especially true in the presence of contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals, which can induce anxiety. This is the last thing you want to experience while weaning off benzodiazepines.

It is also strongly recommended to choose a full spectrum extract. The complex combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals in the cannabis plant is a much better choice over isolated CBD.


5. Consider vaping

We rarely recommend someone to start vaping, especially if you are not a smoker. In this case, however, vaporization is very beneficial for changing habits during the use of medications.

Vaping itself can help users to change habits in the brain. When benzodiazepine users experience anxiety between doses, they immediately reach for another pill. This creates addictive pathways in the brain that are hard to break.

A few vapes can replace this habit of immediately seeking anxiety pills. Of course, you do not want to have a bad habit of using anything, including vaporization. However, it can appeal as a viable option during the process of getting off benzodiazepines.

Vaping also offers the benefits of rapid onset of the effects, especially compared to other variations such as CBD oils or capsules, which can take up to 45 minutes to take effect. Vaping takes only five to fifteen minutes to reach the same results. When anxiety attacks occur, they kick in quickly, so it is also necessary to respond rapidly.


6.Use multiple forms of treatment together

As with any complex medical condition, the best treatment is a multifaceted approach rather than one pathway. Doctors working in rehab centers treating patients with addictions have a wide range of techniques at their disposal. The same goes for people working on overcoming addiction as an outpatient.

Some standard techniques people use to wean off benzodiazepines may include:

- Support groups
- Other herbs
- Nutritional support
- Diet change
- Elimination of common triggers of drug use
- New hobby


What science says

One of the best-researched benefits of CBD is its anti-anxiety effects. Interestingly enough, much of this benefit of CBD lies in its activity on the benzodiazepine receptors themselves. This means two things:

- CBD can be used to replace benzodiazepines, which helps to drop out the drug.
- CBD can increase the effects of benzodiazepines. It is, therefore, necessary to start with a low dose and increase it gradually.


A retrospective study published in 2019 analyzed 146 patients using marijuana who were also using benzodiazepines. At the end of the two-month study, 30 % of these patients were no longer using benzodiazepines. Later, a six-month follow-up showed that 45 % of patients, who participated in the study, had dropped them entirely.


Conclusion: Weaning off benzodiazepines using CBD

Benzodiazepines are a significant problem worldwide. In the short term, these drugs are beneficial for eliminating severe anxiety and panic disorders. However, long-term use can lead to addiction. Ceasing the treatment for any reason causes withdrawal symptoms that can be unbearable.

CBD is a valuable supplement that supports the return to normal. It has similar effects to benzodiazepine drugs, which help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, CBD extracts have additional benefits that can be used for a more convenient weaning process. Therefore, they increase the chances of a successful course of giving up the drug.

Of course, whenever you try something like this, it is necessary to seek medical advice first. Your physician should agree to your plan to stop the treatment. They should help you set up a suitable strategy, which will help to reduce benzodiazepine doses and gradually increase CBD doses.

Author: Canatura

PHOTO: Shutterstock

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