New research out Tuesday may be the latest to declare that cannabis—or at least an essential ingredient of it—might assist people struggling with dependency. It found that people with opioid usage disorder experienced fewer problems of craving when presented cannabidiol, or CBD, over a placebo. CBD also helped them settle down and limited their stress and anxiety.
CBD is the part of cannabis that will not make us feel high (that is THC). It is already used to treat certain types of seizures, as a prescription drug authorized just a year ago called Epidiolex. However, there are lots of other advertised health advantages, such for instance stress reduction or protecting against dementia, which has helped sprout a cottage industry over CBD.
A whole lot of these products and statements are unlikely to become more than overhyped bunk. However, there has been some evidence showing that CBD might help using the opioid crisis. Some people are regularly using cannabis as a partial substitute for doctor prescribed opioid painkillers to handle their pain—a use that researchers may also need to study within the lab. Moreover, research elsewhere, including because of the current study’s authors, has shown that CBD can dampen the consequences of withdrawal and yearning in opioid-dependent animals which are taken off the drug.
The gold standard for testing whether or not something is doing what it is claimed to be doing is a double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled scientific trial, however. So that is what the authors behind this study, published into the American Journal of Psychiatry, experimented with doing.
With regards to their trial, they recruited 42 gents and ladies who had been living with opioid use disorder, specifically heroin but were currently not using the drug. Half were randomly given pills containing CBD (actually just Epidiolex), in 2 dosages, although the rest took a placebo. Then, throughout per week, the volunteers needed to watch three-minute long videos either containing nothing but neutral graphics, like nature sounds, or videos featuring drug paraphernalia like syringes or bags of powder meant to appear to be heroin. The 2nd set of videos, it was thought, will make the volunteers crave the drug and/or anxious.
The test subjects were given CBD for three days. Also, they were tested for post-video craving and anxiety symptoms just after they took a pill, every single day after a CBD session, and per week after the last session. Across these situations, the researchers found, people on CBD reported less craving and anxiety an average of than the placebo group, while objective measurements like heart rate and cortisol levels in saliva (often utilized to indicate acute stress) were also lower.