Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently received a lot of attention for its ability to combat substance use disorder. In the United States, the number of people suffering from drug addiction continues to rise, and there is an increase in the need for effective therapies and treatments.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of medical research backing the effectiveness of using CBD for addiction therapies and reducing the relapse rate in individuals with a history of substance abuse. Once you understand your endocannabinoid system’s fundamental role, you will begin to connect the dots and understand the potential cannabidiol may have to control cravings associated with substance abuse.
In recent case studies, researchers ran a series of tests on animals with a history of addiction, dependency, and impulsive self-administering cocaine and alcohol habits. The researchers administered CBD to the animals to see if it could reduce the relapse rate. The animals with substance abuse disorders were given CBD every 24 hours for just seven days. The results were astonishing. In this study, researchers discovered that cannabidiol was not only effective in preventing relapse, but it also provided long-lasting benefits that are crucial to the health and well-being of the individual fighting substance use disorder. Even though CBD was only given to the animal for a short time period, seven days, the effects were long-lasting and supportive by targeting the risk state, where the individual is most vulnerable to relapse.
These studies focus on the pharmacotherapeutic potential of cannabidiol and how it interacts with serotonin receptors. This is where the researchers take into consideration the effects CBD has on stress, anxiety, and any risk state that could trigger the individual with substance use disorder to relapse. If CBD can reduce the risk states of drug use, drug cues, and positively impact the brain circuitry responsible for drug craving and reward-seeking behaviors, then we are one step closer to a natural therapeutic solution that can ultimately save millions of lives. The good news is that more research is being pursued. These success stories have sparked an interest in the medical research community, and there are ongoing investigations on the therapeutic potential CBD has for substance use disorder and relapse.
As of now, there are no FDA approved medications for treating substance use disorders. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is pursuing studies on how cannabidiol could be used as an anti-cocaine remedy. The NIDA has been studying CBD’s effects on cocaine-addicted rats and has observed the dose-response curve shifts downward with the use of CBD. They have also discovered that CBD blocks certain serotonin receptors and targets several molecular pathways producing anti-addictive effects on the addicted lab animals. These findings suggest CBD may have the ability to reduce the rewarding effects of cocaine. These studies are shedding light and opening up possibilities of how CBD may be very helpful for drug addition therapies.