Looking for more evidence that cannabis can be used to help combat the opioid epidemic? You're in luck because a new study suggests that the non-intoxicating cannabis compound CBD can reduce cravings and anxiety related to heroin withdrawal.
The study was launched in hopes of finding a non-opioid drug that can be used to treat opioid addiction.
"To address the critical need for new treatment options for the millions of people and families who are being devastated by this epidemic, we initiated a study to assess the potential of a non-intoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted individuals," said Yasmin Hurd, first author of the study, which was conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
"The specific effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important in the development of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use," Hurd added.
The double-blind study looked at 42 people who were abstaining from heroin and gave them either a placebo or one of two available doses of a CBD solution (400 mg or 800 mg). Afterward, researchers monitored each subject's cravings, cognition, and other vital signs while showing the subjects craving cues (videos of drug use in the experimental group, nature videos in the control).
Researchers found that the CBD had seriously reduced cravings and anxiety despite watching videos that triggered their drug cues. In fact, even seven days later, there were still significant effects on these measures and they didn’t find any negative physiological effects. You know what that means: opioid addiction cure, here we come!