Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of cannabis’ more than 100 active components. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is synonymous with causing a high, CBD lacks any psychoactive effects. However, users can still experience the medical, psychological, and neurological benefits of the substance.
This month, a group of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (CA) may have discovered another advantage of CBD--by helping those suffering from addiction to reduce the rates of relapse. The study was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
During the preclinical trial, lab rats consumed alcohol or cocaine on a daily basis, resulting in addictive behavior. As soon as the animals showed signs of addiction, the scientists started to apply a gel containing CBD onto the rats’ skin, once a day for a week. The study demonstrated the addicted rats that were treated with cannabidiol showed less anxiety, and fewer relapses when placed in situations which trigger the addictive behavior. In conclusion, the treatment effectively reduced relapse provoked by drug and stress cues, and reduced anxiety and impulsiveness.
Providing proof of the medicinal benefits of CBD for addicts, the results show that the substance can be beneficial for several vulnerable states of addiction and has long-lasting effects with only brief treatment.
Furthermore, the length of time which the effects appear to last are both encouraging and unexpected. While the cannabidiol treatment ceased after seven days, the rats experienced reduced relapse rates for five months afterward.
According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 21 million Americans (ages 12 and older) suffer from substance abuse. Three out of four of these cases are alcohol-related. The relapse rates for these individuals are somewhere between 40 and 60 percent. Stress, which CBD helps reduce, is one of the main triggers.
The new findings show hope for helping those affected by addiction kick the habit once and for all.
For more information about CBD and the benefits of cannabis, contact New Jersey Alternative Medicine today.