A new study published in the September issue of the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism has found strong evidence that cannabidiol, or CBD, may offer highly effective treatment for symptoms known to trigger addiction relapse.
The study, conducted by researchers from the Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Department of the Scripps Research Institute, and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacology, examines the effect of CBD on animal models of alcohol and cocaine addiction.
The abstract begins as such:
“Drug addiction is a chronically relapsing disorder. Susceptibility to relapse can be traced to multiple factors: craving elicited by drug-related cues, anxiety, hypersensitivity to stress, and impaired impulse control. Relapse prevention treatments that concurrently target these vulnerability states may offer significant clinical advantages.
Cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychoactive component of cannabis sativa, may provide such a profile of actions. CBD reduced ethanol and cocaine seeking in animal models of relapse during 7-days of treatment. Remarkably, drug seeking remained fully attenuated as late as 5 months after treatment termination.
CBD also reduced anxiety-like behavior as measured in the elevated plus maze test, both during and after CBD treatment. Finally CBD reversed high impulsivity, measured by a delay discounting task, in rats with an ethanol dependence history.
CBD neither interfered with behaviors motivated by non-addictive natural reward, nor altered spontaneous activity.
The findings reveal two unique clinically relevant dimensions that characterize the actions of CBD: (1) beneficial actions relevant for multiple vulnerability states associated with drug craving and relapse, and (2) long-lasting effects with only brief treatment. Thus, CBD may exert neuroregulatory actions that restore normal function to brain regulating reward, incentive motivation, impulsivity, stress and anxiety.”
In short, the study concludes that cannabidiol can help reduce the risk of relapse in those combating alcohol and/or cocaine addiction.