CBD Could Be A Key To Treating Long-Term Coke Addiction
According to recent research, cannabidiol, the extremely popular cannabis compound and touted as a panacea for general well-being, may be effective in treating cocaine addiction.
What is cocaine?
Unlike addiction to opiates or alcohol, there is no pharmaceutical treatment for cocaine addiction. National Institutes on Drug Abuse qualified for " powerfully addictive". (Whether it's the substance itself, the user's experiences, or a combination of the two that lead a person down the path of the chronic disease known as " addiction Is another question).
Building on others preclinical research that suggest cannabidiol might be useful in treating cocaine addiction, Spanish scientists found that lab mice treated with CBD were less likely to resume cocaine use after a period of non-use, even after being exposed to triggers associated with reuse.
"These findings suggest that CBD may reduce the urge to seek cocaine after a period of abstinence," the researchers wrote in their findings published earlier this month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
While warning that the results are very preliminary - and that they contradict other recent research on CBD treatments for cocaine addiction, conducted in humans - researchers not involved in the study contacted for this article agreed that the results suggest that CBD could be a valuable tool for treating a variety of substance abuse disorders. They also agree that the research corroborates the anecdotes of treatment centers and cannabis advocates who present cannabis as "replacement therapy" for people trying to wean themselves off from much more dangerous drugs.
"This study is consistent with a growing body of animal research suggesting a role for CBD in various addiction spectrum disorders, including stimulant use disorders like cocaine and amphetamines," said Stephen Ross. , physician and associate professor of psychiatry at the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University, where he is co-director of psychedelic research. "This preclinical study is helping to pave the way for the use of CBD in the treatment of cocaine use disorders in humans."
In the study, psychologists and psychobiologists from the University of Valencia and the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid looked at two triggers: a stressor called 'social defeat' and 'cocaine initiation', in which lab mice with a habit were dosed and then left to see if they would reuse. In both cases, the researchers found that CBD "blocked this stress-induced reintegration."
What is perhaps more remarkable is that CBD appears to reverse a change in dopaminergic neurons in mice associated with the initiation of cocaine. Drug abuse is known to alter brain chemistry to encourage greater consumption; Could CBD reverse brain reprogramming that causes a user to become addicted?
Cannabidiol as a treatment for craving and relapse
Maybe, but maybe not either. (This is how preliminary research works.) In another study, 40 adults with a "moderate to severe" cocaine use disorder were given a daily treatment of 800 milligrams of CBD. And "all but three participants relapsed" to cocaine, according to results published by Canadian researchers in the review Addiction. Despite this, the researchers contacted for this article maintain that CBD still shows promise in the treatment of addiction.
“The fact that a study in humans did not yield positive results does not necessarily mean that cannabidiol is not helpful,” said Dr. Ziva Cooper, research director at the Cannabis Research Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles. “The take-home message is that we are only in the early days of this research to understand how CBD might be helpful for substance use disorders. "
The mouse study, which found that CBD reduced reuse in mice exposed to stress, could mean that CBD would help humans for whom anxiety is a trigger for re-uptake. “The mouse study is a good positive indicator that adds to the evidence that CBD may be useful in reducing certain aspects leading to relapse,” added Cooper.
The study does not mean that smoking weed or taking any CBD concoction available online or at your local wellness merchant is a viable addiction treatment option. There are big differences between CBD-rich cannabis flower varieties as well as between CBD oils, none of which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nonetheless, for clinicians who treat addictions and have no chemical intervention, CBD holds promise. And as interest in this cannabis compound is still booming, more studies will follow.