A small study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has been released. According to the study, CBD may be able to reduce cue-induced cravings and anxiety among those who have a history of heroin abuse. Thus, the study suggests that CBD may have a role in helping those who are addicted to the drug.
Yasim Hurd, the director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai and lead study author, said in a statement to NBC News
“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 nonintoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted individuals. 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.”
During the study, 42 men and women from ages 21 to 65 who abstained from drugs participated. Half of participants recently ceased heroin use and were administered CBD ranging anywhere from 400 to 800 mg. In addition, participants received both drug-related and neutral cues throughout the sessions. The three sessions included after administration, 24-hours post-CBD or placebo administration, and even after seven days after they were given either CBD or a placebo.
The researchers determined that those receiving CBD experienced a reduction in drug cravings and less anxiety. These reductions lasted for about seven days. Hurd told NBC,
“Cravings and anxiety are very subjective effects. One of the things people can do is trick themselves. That’s why we measured their physiological responses. These drug cues increase heroin users’ heart rates and the levels of cortisol so we know it’s not subjective because with the CBD their heart rates and levels of cortisol decreased — that’s really important,”
The big question that arises from this study is whether CBD can be used against to opioid epidemic. According to the article, such studies are not new, and marijuana restrictions have caused setbacks in additional research. At this point, there is still a great deal to learn about how CBD affects anxiety and addiction in general.