Posted on May 21, 2019, 9 p.m.
Cannabidiol can make it easier for people to overcome addiction to heroin or opioids according to a study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, results showed CBDs reduced anxiety and cue induced cravings, as published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Addiction related overdoses have surpassed gun related deaths within the United States, use of heroin and opioids has resulted in well over 300,000 deaths in the past decade, of which the numbers continue to climb, and despite the unprecedented epidemic there are limited treatment options.
Methadone and buprenorphone are designed to work on the same opioid receptors as heroin, however they are potentially addictive themselves making them strictly regulated, meaning these treatments are unavailable to many diagnosed with disorder.
“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 specific effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important in the development of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.” explains Dr. Yasmin Hurd.
42 drug abstinent participants were randomly given either 400mg of CBD; 800mg of CBD; or a matching placebo, participants were then exposed to neutral and drug related cues immediately after administration; 24 hours later; and 7 days after the third and final day of administration.
Drug related cues were videos showing drug use and related paraphernalia, and neutral cues were three minute videos of relaxing nature scenes; measurements of cravings, anxiety, positive and negative affect, as well as vital signs were obtained at different times throughout the sessions.
CBD was found to significantly reduce cravings and anxiety from drug cues; positive effects of CBD persisted for 7 days after exposure suggesting that the benefits of CBD as a treatment are long lasting, even when the CBD was not expected to be present in the body.
“Our findings indicate that CBD holds significant promise for treating individuals with heroin use disorder. 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.”
Quantities used in this study were fairly large doses, for everyday sufferers of pain, anxiety, and other conditions doses between 5-200mg per day are believed to be enough to provide relief to some people.
CBDs stimulate the endocannabinoid system which maintains balance and function within the body, when out of balance introducing phytocannabinoids such as CBDs can help to rebalance the system to allow it to get back to work.
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