A new study just out this week demonstrated that Full Spectrum CBD (without THC) the non-psychoactive cannabinoid mostly found in the Hemp plant and to a much, much lesser extent, the Marijuana plant, could assist those with opioid addiction.
“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,” the study’s lead researcher and the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai director Yasmin Hurd said in a press release.
The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 42 men with known heroin addictions, but weren’t taking methadone or buprenorphine, two substances known to treat opioid addiction. None of these men were taking heroin or opioids at the time, and randomly divided into three groups—one collective taking pills containing 800 mg CBD, another with 400 mg CBD pills, and finally a placebo group.
Over the course of two weeks, individuals were shown various images that would test their potential cravings and overall mood. Some media participants saw included nature videos while other pictures shown were associated with drug use, like needles or packets filled with substances resembling heroin. Afterwards, individuals were asked to rate their heroin cravings, as well as their anxiety levels.
The groups that had taken CBD reported less cravings and anxiety on average compared to the placebo group, though the difference between the two CBD groups was insignificant. In addition, more objective measurements like heart rate and cortisol levels in saliva (which can be used to evaluate acute stress) were also down.
“Our findings indicate that CBD holds significant promise for treating individuals with heroin use disorder.” Dr. Hurd said. 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.
This Study comes on the heals of many States who have adopted their own Legalization procedures of their Individual State initiative process is July 1st, 2019 for many states, including Florida, as being finally ‘Legal’ in the eyes of legislative process and more importantly the people, who will benefit most.
While the authors caution this is an “exploratory” study, the scientific community remains encouraged by the results. To continue their findings, Dr. Hurd and her team will next explore CBD’s effects on the brain and the second will focus on more specific CBD formulas to treating opioid addiction.
Edited for content.