CBD’s list of potential health benefits has grown once again!
CBD, the cannabis compound that’s become wildly popular as people tout its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, & pain-relieving abilities (among others), can add a new feather to its cap:
A recent study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry found that CBD may have the potential to be of benefit for people dealing with heroin addiction.
Researchers led by Dr. Yasmin Hurd at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York conducted a small study on the effects of CBD on people with heroin use disorder, who were currently abstaining from using the drug. The results were unexpected and staggering: CBD was found to lower levels of cue-induced cravings & anxiety in the participants, suggesting CBD could potentially help those looking to break heroin addictions.
Researchers are particularly interested in the fact that CBD showed promise in lowering levels of cue-induced cravings, as they’re one of the biggest triggers leading to relapse.
Here’s how the study went down:
42 participants were broken down into groups- half received either a 400mg or 800mg dose of CBD, while the other half received a placebo. A total of 3 doses were given out. Participants did not know which group they were placed into.
Participants were then shown environmental cues (ex. being shown images of drug paraphernalia or videos of people using drugs) in three sessions. The first session occurred immediately after the dose of CBD or placebo, the second 24 hours after, and the third 7 days after.
After being shown the environmental cues, participants were asked to rate their level of cravings, anxiety, and also had their vital signs monitored for things like heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and even cortisol levels.
One week after the final doses of CBD/placebo were handed out, participants in the CBD groups were experiencing less than half of the levels of cravings and anxiety as the placebo groups. Essentially, the study showed CBD could significantly reduce drug cravings, both initially, and potentially long-term, as the results held even a week after participants took the CBD. Since cravings are what typically drive people to relapse, CBD’s potential ability to lower cravings has huge implications on its ability to treat heroin addiction.
The results of this study are overwhelmingly positive and promising, but more research on the subject should be conducted before any conclusions can be drawn. This study was fairly small, and further research would ensure the validity of these findings, proving the results aren’t a one-off fluke.
Opioid addiction levels are incredibly high right now, so results like these are incredibly important. It’s time to fund cannabis research because clearly, there’s so much we don’t know about these plants and all the good they can do.