Tobacco withdrawal is associated with deficits in cognitive function, including attention, working memory, and episodic memory, all of which result in an increased relapse risk. According to a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, and published online by the National Institute of Health, cannabinoids may help combat these deficits during early tobacco withdrawal.
For the study, researchers “investigated in mice the role of CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) in memory impairment and spine density changes induced by nicotine withdrawal precipitated by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine. Drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system [meant to mimic cannabinoids] and genetically modified mice were used.”
Researchers found that, among other positive effects, “Memory impairment during nicotine withdrawal was blocked” by a cannabinoid receptor agonist meant to mimic the natural effects of cannabinoids.
“These findings underline the interest of CB1R as a target to improve cognitive performance during early nicotine withdrawal”, the study concludes. “Cognitive deficits in early abstinence are associated with increased relapse risk.”
The full study can be found by clicking here.