A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that CBD could reduce addiction cravings associated with opioids, according to a Fox 8 report outlining the research.
The two-week study by Mount Sinai researchers found that study participants who were given CBD had a two- to three-fold reduction in cravings compared to those given a placebo; participants in the study had used heroin for an average of 13 years.
“The intense craving is what drives the drug use. If we can have the medications that can dampen that [craving], that can greatly reduce the chance of relapse and overdose risk.” – Addictions Institute of Mount Sinai Director and lead researcher Yasmin Hurd to Fox 8.
The study included 42 adults who were divided into three groups: one given 800 milligrams of CBD, another 400 milligrams, and a placebo group. The participants were dosed daily for three consecutive days. Over the course of the study, the participants were shown images or videos of nature scenes along with images of heroin paraphernalia and drug use and asked to rate their cravings and anxiety levels. The researchers also measured heart rate and the stress hormone cortisol and found that those levels were lower in the participants who were given CBD.
Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist in New York and former assistant professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine who was not involved in the study, called it “extremely significant.”
“We need to utilize every possible treatment in helping people with chronic pain to find other ways to manage their symptoms and in people with opiate addiction to find relief,” she said in the report. “CBD not only manages the anxiety and cue/craving cycle, it also diminishes the original pain and inflammation that leads to opiate use in the first place.”
This isn’t the first study to find a link between cannabinoids perhaps playing a role in fighting opioid addiction – which is even acknowledged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse – and several states include opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis access.
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