Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive ingredient in hemp and marijuana, could treat opioid addiction, suggests a new study. Given to patients with heroin addiction, cannabidiol, or CBD, reduced their cravings for the illicit drug as well as their levels of anxiety.
"The intense craving is what drives the drug use," said Yasmin Hurd, the lead researcher on the study and director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai. "If we can have the medications that can dampen that [craving], that can greatly reduce the chance of relapse and overdose risk."
The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, looked at 42 adults who had a recent history of heroin use and were not using methadone or buprenorphine. The participants were divided into three groups: one group received 800 mg of CBD, another 400 mg of CBD and another a placebo. All the participants were dosed once daily for three consecutive days and followed over the next two weeks. A week after the last administration of CBD, those who had been given CBD had a two- to three-fold reduction in cravings relative to the placebo group. (CNN, May 21, 2019)