Currently, in many European countries, the attending physician can prescribe benzodiazepines, leading to an increase in the use of these substances. This is an increasingly common solution and is directly linked to the increasing levels of stress to which we are socially exposed.
While benzodiazepines are somehow “the daily bread” of the Western lifestyle, CBD, a cannabinoid present in the composition of cannabis and also having anxiolytic effects, and which several studies indicate could be a powerful ally in the treatment of certain mental disorders, remains in the background, but stigmatized by illegality.
So,we will now examine these 2 substances. What are they used for? What are their side effects? Also,can CBD become an anxiolytic and replace or supplement benzodiazepine therapy?
What are benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are psychotropic drugs that act on the central nervous system, specifically the limbal system, by partially suppressing it.
What are the effects of benzodiazepines?
In fact,Benzodiazepines are drugs widely used in psychiatry for their powerful effects:
- muscle relaxant
- a certain degree of amnesia
This type of drug generally produces a high level of tolerance in our body and a strong symptom of abstinence.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the 545 components of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Of these components, approximately 104 have been identified as cannabinoids because they have some common structural characteristics.
What are the effects of CBD?
CBD does not cause the typical psychoactivity of cannabis, however, it is very effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.
What are the side effects of benzodiazepines?
In fact,several studies indicate that their prolonged use can have serious health consequences. Benzodiazepine use include:
- Generalized cognitive issues: Several clinical studies have reported that long-term use of benzodiazepines significantly reduces cognitive functions related to visual and spatial ability as well as prolonged attention.
- Sleep disorders: Long-term consumption of benzodiazepines is linked to various disorders that affect the quality of patients’ sleep.
- Danger to the elderly:Because Benzodiazepines are the most common cause of drug-related dementia.
- Long-lasting in tissues: on average, benzodiazepines can survive for more than 100 hours.
- Boomerang effect: Basically, benzodiazepine dependence leads to persistent anxiety disorders and social phobia, and symptoms gradually worsen.
- Aggressivity: Prolonged or chronic benzodiazepine use therefore may cause aggressive behavior and promote irascibility and violent impulses in the patient.
- Function as a vector of mental disorders: studies indicate that benzodiazepine use can lead to psychosis, delusions, and hallucinations, but also depression and agoraphobia.
- Immune system: Clinical studies have shown that long-term use of benzodiazepines can cause severe disorders especially in the immune system.
What are the side effects of CBD?
Since CBD has only recently been officially prescribed as a drug, side effects are difficult to measure. However, scientific research conducted on the subject does not indicate any serious or significant side effects on health. Besides,there is every reason to believe that the beneficial effects of this substance far outweigh the possible adverse effects.
CBD combined with other drugs: the interaction of cannabidiol with other types of drugs can cause problems in some cases. For instance,CBD may interact with some pharmaceuticals through the inhibition of the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of liver enzymes. In other words, CBD can reduce the effect of the drug.