Overcoming Drug Addiction using Hemp & Cannabis

Drug Addiction and Alcoholic Behavior Combated By Cannabis & Hemp

Drug addiction and abuse. Alcholism. Cannabis. Traditionally, these three things used to be seen in the same category and just as bad as the other.

Today, the use of Cannabis and Hemp oils, blends, lotions, topicals, tinctures, beauty, and hygiene products have all come into play in the health and wellness fields, showing positive results in the realms of drug addiction, as well as in holistic all natural medicine with no withdraw or dependency. 

A major reason for this interaction between Cannabis and the human body outside of the overall general explanation of the Endocannabinoid System, the CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the brain, and the reward system is soothed, reducing if not sedating the bodies request for pharmaceuticals and narcotics such as opiates. 

About The Author:

My name is Joseph Edwards, I have suffered from drug addiction since my early years of life; to give you a brief overview, I had my first beer at 7. I had my first cigarette at 9. I had my first joint at 13. I was regularly smoking cigarettes, weed, drinking alcohol, and mixing prescription drugs including Adderral (amphetamine), Lortab (Hydrocodone), Soma, and Ambien (a hypnotic sleep aid) by the age of 15 daily. At age 15 is when I also had begun illegally selling narcotics on the street. By age 19, I was binge drinking nightly, and by age 20 I had spent over 6 non-consecutive years incarcerated for cannabis related crimes.

My journey through drug addiction was time consuming, confusing, difficult, and I still live with those choices I made to this day. 

If I had known what I know today about hemp and cannabis, and how they were actually interacting with my body, I would be in a different place. 

This article is not about me, my struggle, or my story. 

This article is about preventing others from going through what I did, and helping others see their way through the battle of drug addiction and alcohol abuse by using holistic and natural methods to bring about a higher quality of life.

Cannabis for Drug Addiction : Cannabis The Anti-drug

Hemp and Medical Marijuana / Cannabis are replacing prescription drugs across the nation.

People of all ages are dropping their opiates and pain killers such as Lortab (Hydrocodone), Oxycontin, Vicodin, and even OTC (Over The Counter or Non-prescription) drugs such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, and Tylenol. 

What are people switching over too for pain management you ask?

The most popular choices growing today are Cannabis and Hemp.

Cannabis: The Anti-drug.

Industrial Hemp and Cannabis, otherwise formerly known as “pot”, “weed”, “marijuana”, and some have even gone as far as to call it “dope” – which is one we really don’t care for.

Cannabis and Hemp produce what are called Cannabinoids (Can-nah-bih-noy-ds) which are natural plant grown compounds such as CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, THC, THCA, and many others.

What do cannabinoids do for my mind and body?

These cannabinoids have special properties which include:

  • Reducing inflammation (reduce swelling of the body and it’s organs)
  • Immune system improvement
  • Regulation of appetite and sleep
  • Regulation of mood and focus
  • Stimulation or sedation based on dose and strain

CBD and Prescription Drugs - Metabolizing CBD and Transitioning

Understanding how CBD effects the use of your prescription drug or narcotic is very important because of the way that CBD interacts with your liver . 

Ultimately, when introducing CBD into your system, you need to do so very carefully. 

There is a reason that people are switching instead of mixing. 

Understanding the Liver and the Metabolism for Drug Consumption

In an article written on ProjectCBD, Adrian Devitt-Lee states how “CBD and other plant cannabinoids can potentially interact with many pharmaceuticals by inhibiting [ preventing ]the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of liver enzymes. 

This key enzyme group metabolizes most of the drugs we consume, including more than 60 percent of marketed meds.”

Most of the metabolic processes (where drugs and food break down) occur in the liver and while this inhibits the the bioavailability of the drug, in some cases the resulting metabolites (products of metabolism) are also considered to have a pharmacological effect.

Certain drugs such as codeine and tramadol have metabolites (morphine and O-desmethyltramadol respectively) that are stronger than the parent drug itself.

How Drugs Are Metabolized [Processed] In The Body

This relates to how drugs are broken down in the body to aid the elimination process.

As most medication is taken orally (by mouth), we will discuss what happens after a drug has gone through the first-pass effect, in which the drug is absorbed by the digestive system, entering the hepatic portal system.

First-pass metabolism or presystemic metabolism [pre – system-atic – meta-bo-liz-mm ] is the phenomenon of drug metabolism whereby the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before it reaches the systemic circulation.

The portal venous system [ also called the Hepatic Portal System ] is responsible for directing blood from parts of the gastrointestinal tract to the liver. 

It is then carried through the portal vein into the liver before it reaches the rest of the body.

Adrian went on in his article to explain: 

“By occupying the site of enzymatic activity, CBD displaces its chemical competitors and prevents cytochrome P450 from metabolizing other compounds.”

What this means is that anyone taking perscription drugs, pharmaceuticals, or narcotics along side of CBD, may be blocking action which may negatively affect the prescription drug’s metabolism, resulting in higher levels of the drug in the bloodstream and therefore, possibility for  toxicity can occur.

This was found to be the case in a small clinical study at Massachusetts General Hospital involving children with refractory epilepsy who took CBD alongside the anti-convulsant medication, Clobazam.

Scientists discovered that CBD increased the concentration of Clobazam in the blood, which required a reduction in dose as a result.

The same can safely be inferred from the use of other pharmaceuticals, meaning you will need to discuss your consumption of CBD with your doctor so they can monitor your blood to make the appropriate dose adjustments, where the transition from pharmaceuticals over to natural holistic medicines can be done safely.

3 Great Ways to Improve Your Health With Hemp and Cannabis

Consuming hemp and cannabis products while practicing healthy habits and making good life choices, you are encouraged to further the benefits that you receive from the Cannabis and Hemp plants by practicing these 3 easy ways to improving your health and wellness while overcoming your battle against addiction and substance abuse. 

Becoming clean is not just a choice, it’s a lifestyle and a way of thinking.

Woman meditating at the beach

#1 - Meditation - Calm Your Mind.

Meditate for a few minutes before or after you ingest Hemp/Cannabis, whichever feels more comfortable for you. Some people enjoy doing both. 

Meditation is important to help clear your mind of all of the days thoughts, it prepares your body for ingesting the cannabinoids more effectively, and is a great tool for finding relaxation before entering any activity or before bed.

Use Breathing Techniques For Meditation

 There are many very helpful and beneficial breathing exercises you can use to help provide a state of mental calm. Meditation can happen anywhere. There are a lot of great meditation guide videos as well! 

Below, a 10 minute guided meditation video is provided, with a male voice guiding. There are many videos, don’t hesitate to find something that works for you!

Breathing Technique For Meditation

A Breathing Technique my Father Taught Me

1. First, slowly inhale a full breath of air through your nostrils (nose), breath until your lungs are completely full. 

2. Next, slowly exhale, releasing the oxygen back through your nostrils until your lungs are completely emptied of air.

3. This time, slowly inhale a full breath through your mouth until your lungs are completely full. 

4. Next, exhale the oxygen through your mouth until your lungs are completely empty of air.

5. Finally, repeat the first step, by slowly inhaling through your nostrils, and move forward and repeat the rest of the steps in order.. 

10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation - Voice Guided

#2 - Do Yoga & Work Out after you ingest Hemp/Cannabis

Doing light stretches and moving your body around is one of the best ways to start feeling better, managing your pain in a healthy and lasting way, as well as providing another form of active meditation. 

We find that doing a simple daily 5 – 10 minute yoga or work out session does many people a lot of good!

10 Minute Yoga Workout for Beginners Video by WomensWorkOutChannel on YouTube

There are tons of yoga videos on YouTube! Search for more videos like this one!

Tai Chi - The Alternative to Yoga for all Ages and Body Types

Tai Chi is a great way for people of all agest and body types to engage in activity without stressing the body

Tai Chi Chuan (pronounced: t-eye- ch-ee) (also written as Taijiquan) is an ancient Chinese form of exercise originally created as a fighting art. 

The art of Tai Chi was accredited to a Taoist Monk named Zhang San Feng as its creator. Its origins date back over 700 years, some say even up to 1500 years.

Tai Chi is a type of Qigong (Chi Kung) practiced by millions of people worldwide every day.  

Qigong in Chinese means energy or breath skill, as Tai Chi when practiced correctly is always practiced using Qigong (breathing & energy) methods.

Colorado Springs Tai Chi – http://taichicoloradosprings.com/tai-chi/tai-chi-definition-and-history/ 

Tai Chi is what people all over the world are using to improve their balance, flexibility, and overall health and wellness by practicing this art form. 

Tai Chi is always great to pear with Yoga!

#3 - Eat healthy foods that stimulate your ECS [Endocannabinoid System]

"You Are What You Eat"

This phrase has stuck with me over the last few years, and the secret is saying this to yourself before purchasing that next donut. 

To get a into the mindset of eating healthy, you first have to approach each item you eat as though you would become the result of that food.

Next time you look at the donut staring you wide-eyed (get it? donuts have holes.) just begging for you to reach in and spend that $1 for it’s whole $0.10 worth of material. 

Ask yourself “Am I a cheap thrill, ready to go energy vampire with a pretty sparkle that lasts all of 3 seconds when put to the test?” 

We know the answer is “No” and so do you! You’re so much better than that! 

What’s the meaning of the phrase ‘You are what you eat’?

The notion that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food.

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘You are what you eat’?

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, in Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, 1826:

“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.”
[Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are].

In an essay titled Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism, 1863/4, Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach wrote:

“Der Mensch ist, was er ißt.”
That translates into English as ‘man is what he eats‘.

Get Sugars Out Of Your Diet

Bowl of sweets and chocolates

Cut Out Artificial Ingredients & Sugars Because They Are Hurting You

Natural sugars that come from fruits, sugar cane, and other naturally derived plant sugars are fine to ingest in moderation. 

Consuming foods with artificial flavors, food colorings, dyes, and particularly, you will want to avoid anything containing this artificial sweetener known as Aspartame (APM) is an artificial non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some food and drink. 

Avoiding these things is challenging in terms of not saying “whatever, one little ____ won’t hurt.”. 

We all know it does. We have to stop hurting ourselves. 

Check the back label of your foods before consuming them, even “Real Fruit Juice” can actually be 1% real fruit juice.

Some of the products that contain aspartame are:

  • Sugar-free ice cream.
  • Iced tea.
  • Jams and jellies.
  • Ice cream toppings.
  • Fruit spreads.
  • Sugar-free ketchup.
  • Sugar-free cookies.
  • Pudding.
  • Nutritional bars
  • Non-carbonated diet soft drinks
  • No sugar added pies
  • Flavored water products
  • Chewing gum
  • Vitamins
  • Diet soda
  • Hard candies
  • Instant cocoa mix
  • Flavored syrups
  • Coffee
  • Cereals
  • Breath mints
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Meal replacements
  • Powdered soft drinks
  • Protein drinks
  • Tabletop sweeteners
  • Vegetable drinks
  • Drinkable yogurt
  • Fat-free yogurt
  • Sugar-free chocolate syrup
  • Sugar-free yogurt

Side Effects of Aspartame Consumption

  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • ADHD
  • Formaldehyde buildup in the brain
  • Frontal lobe inflammation
  • Symptoms that mimic multiple sclerosis
  • Neurologic problems
  • Cognitive problems
  • Cancer
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Rashes
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of taste
  • Memory loss
  • Joint pain

Choosing Healthy Options For Meals & Snacks

Eating healthy sounds hard, and it sounds like you have to limit yourself, go to bed hungry, etc. 

That’s just not the case, it’s all about control and moderation, but also all about timing. 

Choosing a proper diet for yourself does mean sacrifice, but it does not mean discomfort. If anything, it means more comfort and a longer lasting feeling of being well fed and energized.

Did you know that foods play a role in how well you are able to ingest your cannabinoids such as CBD?

Because the enzymatic process occurs in the stomach, and works from the bottom up, it is very important to take good care of our stomachs, and therefore, our diets.

3 Healthy Meal Ideas That Will Spark Your ECS

Don’t know what to eat? Eating healthy is not as hard as it sounds. 

Try out these incredible recipes that will satisfy your stomach, your tastebuds, your diet, and will also lightly stimulate your endocannabinoid system.

Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Fajita Seasoning Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Instructions In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store the mix in an airtight container until ready to use. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

When you want to get a full meal with a kick of spice, while using vegetables such as onions, garlic, and peppers, this dish is perfect for filling you up healthy, and getting your Endocannabinoid System moving. 

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 2 bell peppers sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
    8-10 corn tortillas
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped jalepenos / serano peppers

Instructions

Place the chicken, onion, bell pepper in a resealable bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the fajita seasoning, oil and water. Pour the marinade into the bag and seal tightly. Allow the chicken to marinade in the refrigerator for 1-12 hours.

  1. Preheat the grill.
  2. Remove the chicken, onion and bell pepper from the marinade.
  3. Discard the marinade.
  4. Place the chicken, onion and bell pepper on the grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes and then turn over.
  5. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is cook through.
  6. Transfer to a platter, cover with foil and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes.
  7. While the chicken rests, place the tortillas on the grill and cook for 1 minute on each side.
  8. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil until ready to serve.
  9. Remove the foil and slice the chicken into 1/2 inch slices across the grain.
  10. Serve the chicken, onions and peppers with the tortillas.
  11. Top with cilantro / jalepenos / seranos if desired.

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Bell Peppers

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Bell Peppers

Looking to skip the meat and enjoy something with a little less of a kick and more of a comfort? This healthy meal will have you happily healthily stuffed in just about 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 4 assorted bell peppers, halved and seeded
    Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed, well-drained, and chopped
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

Place the chicken, onion, bell pepper in a resealable bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the fajita seasoning, oil and water. Pour the marinade into the bag and seal tightly. Allow the chicken to marinade in the refrigerator for 1-12 hours.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, place bell peppers cut side-up and drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper
  2. In a large bowl, add chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, Parmesan, sour cream, mayo, and garlic. Season with more salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
  3. Divide chicken mixture between pepper halves, top with remaining mozzarella, and bake until cheese is melty and peppers are tender, about 25 minutes.
  4. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Southwestern Steak Salad

Southwestern Steak Salad

Hungry? Need something filling? Let this healthy and filling meal be your answer! Packed with fresh corn, ripe tomatoes, and silky avocados, this dish is incredible tasting and the secret is all in the timing. 

hile the steak is cooking under the broiler, you’ll have plenty of time to whisk together the lightened-up creamy chipotle dressing and assemble the rest of the salad. Serve with crumbled tortilla chips for an extra crunch. 

Makes 4 servings, and cooks in 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of Flank Steak, Trimmed
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Ground Cumin
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Salt, Divided
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons of Reduced Fat Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar 
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 6 cups sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 firm ripe avocado, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Instructions

  1. Position oven rack about 3 inches from heat source; preheat broiler to high. Coat a broiler-safe pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle steak with cumin, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Place on the prepared pan and broil, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 125 degrees -130°F for medium-rare, 3 to 6 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, then chop into bite-size pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk sour cream, oil, vinegar, chipotles to taste and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Transfer 4 tablespoons of the dressing to a small bowl. Add romaine, corn and avocado to the large bowl; toss to coat. Divide the salad and tomato wedges among 4 plates. Top each with cheese, the chopped steak and 1 tablespoon of the reserved dressing.

Look for small cans of smoky chipotle peppers in adobo sauce near other Mexican ingredients in well-stocked supermarkets. Once opened, refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.

Secret to Success With Overcoming Drug Addiction :

No matter how hard it gets, no matter how great the craving, it is never worth the relapse and damage to yourself. Be accountable to yourself, and be accountable to someone you trust.

Success is for those who never give up on themselves.

Citations:

  • https://www.endoca.com/blog/how-is-cbd-metabolized/
  • https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/can.2015.0012
  • https://www.projectcbd.org/science/cannabis-pharmacology/cbd-drug-interactions-role-cytochrome-p450
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytochrome_P450
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923339
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15313881
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_pass_effect
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatic_portal_system