New findings “strongly suggest” that cannabidiol (CBD) may be useful in the treatment of alcohol use disorders.
The study, published by the journal Addiction Biology, “evaluated the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on ethanol reinforcement, motivation and relapse” in mice.” The effects of “CBD (60 mg/kg, i.p.) on blood ethanol concentration, hypothermia and handling-induced convulsions associated to acute ethanol administration were evaluated.”
Researchers used the two-bottle choice paradigm to assess the effects of CBD (30, 60 and 120 mg/kg/day, i.p) on ethanol intake and preference. In addition, “an oral ethanol self-administration experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of CBD [a single s.c. administration of a microparticle formulation providing CBD continuous controlled release (30 mg/kg/day)] on the reinforcement and motivation for ethanol. The effects of CBD (60 and 120 mg/kg/day, i.p.) on ethanol-induced relapse were also evaluated.”
In conducting these tests, researchers found that cannabidiol “reduced the ethanol-induced hypothermia and handling-induced convulsion, and “reduced ethanol consumption and preference in the two-bottle choice, significantly decreased ethanol intake and the number of effective responses in the oral ethanol self-administration, and reduced ethanol-induced relapse.”
Furthermore, “the administration of CBD significantly reduced relative gene expression of tyrosine hydroxylase in the ventral tegmental area, Oprm1, CB1 r and GPR55 in the NAcc and significantly increased CB2 r in the NAcc.”
Taken together, “these results reveal that the administration of CBD reduced the reinforcing properties, motivation and relapse for ethanol.”
The study concludes; “These findings strongly suggest that CBD may result useful for the treatment of alcohol use disorders.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, an alcohol use disorder is “a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol.”
The study was published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health as well as Addiction Biology; it can be found by clicking here.