CBD Reduces Drug Craving and Anxiety in People With Heroin Use Disorder

Benjamin A. Smith
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A new study found a promising adjunct use for cannabidiol in individuals with a history of heroin abuse. This adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that CBD is more than just a simple relaxant or garden variety anti-inflammatory.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York published the study results in the American Journal of Psychiatry today. The researchers looked at 42 drug-abstinent men and women — ages 21 to 65 — with heroin use disorder. One half of the control group received CBD at 400 mg or 800 mg doses once daily; the other half received a placebo. Participants were then exposed to neutral and drug-related cues during the course of three sessions: immediately following administration, 24 hours after CBD or placebo administration, and seven days after the third and final daily CBD or placebo administration.

The results: Acute CBD administration—in contrast to placebo—significantly reduced both craving and anxiety induced by the presentation of salient drug cues compared with neutral cues. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures 7 days after the final short-term (3-day) CBD exposure. Additionally, CBD reduced the drug cue–induced physiological measures of heart rate and salivary cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

Furthermore, CBD’s safety profile—as commonly demonstrated in prior adjunct studies—produced no significant effects on cognition, nor serious adverse effect in general. Recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Associations have already demonstrated how filled opioid prescriptions have dropped significantly in cannabis-legal states.

Previous studies in animals suggest that it might help with anxiety, pain and inflammation. In turn, this has spawned an entire market sub-segment dedicated to pet care wellness, involving several Canadian licensed producers—including Canopy Growth Corp., the world’s biggest LP.

Overall, today results add to a growing body of research suggesting that CBD may have broad medicinal value in the fields of pain management, addiction medicine, and neurology. Additional higher profile studies are currently in the pipeline, attempting to prove whether CBD can help mitigate and/or alleviate human inflammatory ailments such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

Benjamin A. Smith

Benjamin A. Smith

Ben is a research analyst and capital markets professional with nearly 20 years of experience. His areas of expertise are broad-based, and include extensive knowledge of macro economics, stock/derivative trading, commodity complexes, cryptocurrencies and technical/quant analysis. He also maintains an particular affinity for U.S. politics and the macro-regulatory environment facing...
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