CBD and Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a horrible condition that plagues many individuals and families. Addiction was responsible for 70,237 deaths in the United States in 2017. The road to recovery for addicts can be a long and difficult journey. Often, people recovering face daily struggles like depression, anxiety, relapsing, and possible death.
Fortunately, there are many rehabilitation facilities and medications dedicated to helping treat addiction. However, sadly, not all of these methods are always effective. It can be expensive and difficult to find the right treatment needed.
One drug in particular that can cause havoc and intense addiction is heroin. Ex-users of heroin often find themselves craving the drug when without it in their system.
CBD, which stands for cannabinol, has become popular for a list of ailments people say it helps with. Ailments such as addiction, stress, anxiety, and much more. CBD has become popular with the spread of cannabis legalization. Another reason for CBD’s popularity is the fact that it doesn’t get you “high” like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) does.
Recently, a small study was conducted by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The results showed positive results for using CBD to reduce cravings and anxiety for people who suffer with a long history of heroin use. This study is starting point to learning more about how CBD might be able to fight drug addiction.
More on Study
Dr. Hurd stated, “to address the critical need for new treatment options for the millions of people and families who are being devastated by this epidemic, we initiated a study to assess the potential of a non-intoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted individuals.”
The study “used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled design to explore the acute (one hour, two hours, and 24 hours), short-term (three consecutive days), and protracted (seven days after the last of three consecutive daily administrations) effects of CBD administration on drug cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent individuals with heroin use disorder. Secondary measures assessed participants’ positive and negative affect, cognition, and physiological status.
Through the study, 42 drug-abstinent men and women were randomly assigned to receive either 400 mg or 800 mg of an oral CBD solution or a matching placebo. Participants were then exposed to neutral and drug-related cues during the course of three sessions: immediately following administration, 24 hours after CBD or placebo administration, and seven days after the third and final daily CBD or placebo administration. Neutral cues consisted of a three-minute video showing relaxing scenarios, such as scenes of nature, while drug-related cues included a three-minute video showing intravenous or intranasal drug use and exposure to heroin-related paraphernalia like syringes, rubber ties, and packets of powder resembling heroin. Measures of opioid craving, anxiety, positive and negative affect, and vital signs (skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) were obtained at different times during the sessions.
The study team found that CBD, in contrast to placebo, significantly reduced both the craving and anxiety induced by drug cues compared with neutral cues in the acute term. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures seven days after the final short-term exposure. In addition, CBD reduced the drug cue-induced physiological measures of heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. There were no significant effects on cognition, and there were no serious adverse events. The capacity of CBD to reduce craving and anxiety one week after the final administration mirrors the results of the original preclinical animal study, suggesting that the effects of CBD are long-lasting, even when the cannabinoid would not be expected to be present in the body.”
“Our findings indicate that CBD holds significant promise for treating individuals with heroin use disorder,” says Dr. Hurd.
“A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll, enormous health care costs, and treatment limitations imposed by stringent government regulations amid this persistent opioid epidemic.”
The study itself may have been small, but these results are huge. More research is still needed on CBD has drug addiction aide, but this study could help green light other studies to look into this topic in more depth.