Cannabis Compound Can Help People Overcome Drug Addiction

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A non-psychoactive component of cannabis can help reduce the risk of relapse among people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The results of recent study support the idea that non-psychoactive cannabinoids have possible medical benefits and it can be used as a treatment for drug addiction.

A person who is trying to overcome drug addiction cannot rely on willpower alone to achieve his goal. Even after he has broken the cycle of addiction, the desire to use a drug can still persist, especially after stress or higher levels of anxiety. And this desire or drug craving is one of the strongest predictors of relapse.

Cannabidiol or CBD is the major non-psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis sativa plant and it has been investigated as a potential treatment for a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. In the latest study, researchers tested the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on drug relapse and applied a gel containing CBD once per day for a week to the skin of the rat model. The animal had developed an addiction-like behavior because of daily alcohol or cocaine submission. Tests showed that CBD was useful and it effectively reduced relapse provoked by stress and anxiety in drug-experienced rats.

Furthermore, CBD was completely cleared from the brain and plasma of the rats three days after the therapy was completed. But surprisingly, animals that had been treated with CBD showed a reduced relapse even after five months.

“The efficacy of the cannabinoid [CBD] to reduce reinstatement in rats with both alcohol and cocaine – and, as previously reported, heroin – histories predicts therapeutic potential for addiction treatment across several classes of abused drugs,” said Friedbert Weiss, leader of an investigative team at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California . “The results provide proof of principle supporting the potential of CBD in relapse prevention along two dimensions: beneficial actions across several vulnerability states, and long-lasting effects with only brief treatment.”