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Benzodiazepine Use Disorder

Moderate to High

Cannabis for Benzodiazepine Use Disorder

Much is spoken about cannabis’s ability to reduce opioid and opiate use, but what about other addictive prescription drugs, especially ones with a sedative effect like benzodiazepines? Well, cannabis and cannabinoids & terpenes like THC, THCA, CBD, CBG, CBN, beta-caryophyllene, humulene, linalool and myrcene could be extremely useful as a replacement for benzodiazepines.

Sedatives like benzodiazepines, like alcohol and opioids, are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. They are used to treat epilepsy, nerve pain, anxiety disorders, PTSD, restless leg syndrome (RLS) and insomnia. Cannabinoids can be used to reduce CNS activity by talking to receptors in the CNS region of the brain, but in a far less direct and harmful way compared to other sedatives and opioids. As there are not high concentrations of cannabinoid receptors in the lower brain stem, phytocannabinoids do not affect functions such as breathing in the way sedatives or opioids do.

Those who are using cannabis to reduce or replace benzodiazepines should taper sedative use in order to prevent overdose, as cannabis interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize sedatives. Tapering of benzodiazepines should be done with the aid of a medical professional, as withdrawal can potentially be deadly.

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Animal Study

2

Clinical Meta-analysis

1

Meta-analysis

8

Total studies

Benzodiazepine Use Disorder

11

Positive

9 studies

82%

Negative

2 studies

18%

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