Australian Study Releases Results to CBD Addiction Research

Australian Study Releases Results to CBD Addiction Research

June 10, 2019

While many have become used to seeing CBD as an additive in everything from bottled water to vitamins,  Australian researchers recently released a study indicating that CBD may also help in the fight against addiction.

CBD in the Fight Against Addiction

With almost 20 million Americans aged 12 and older battling substance abuse, addiction is an urgent issue across the country. From alcohol to methamphetamines and opiates, addiction takes the lives of more than 70,000 each year. Opiate-related deaths, in particular, have risen exponentially in the last decade, with more than 47,000 deaths documented in 2017 by the Center of Behavioral Science. Further, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone costs the US more than $78.5 billion a year. In the face of such an urgent public health crisis, the legalization of cannabis and CBD has allowed for the study of CBD in relation to substance abuse.

Australian Study Suggests CBD Benefits Can Help Addicts

The study was aimed at investigating whether the administration of cannabidiol can reduce the urges of recovering addicting to re-dose with methamphetamine, thus causing a relapse. While there is a growing body of research on CBD benefits and their capacity to help in the fight against, the study’s publication also triggered a slew of testimonials of individuals who tried CBD and found it to be effective. Though not as prevalent in the US as opiate misuse, approximately 1 million Americans are addicted to amphetamines.

To complete the study, a team of researchers from Macquarie University and the University of Sydney first trained 32 rats to dose themselves with methamphetamine by triggering a lever in the cage. Once addicted, the rats could pump the lever up to hundreds of times each hour. During the second phase of the experiment, scientists administered CBD to the rats in progressive dosages of 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg.

According to the study’s findings, which were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, “This is the first demonstration that cannabidiol can reduce the motivation to seek and consume methamphetamine, and suggests that cannabidiol might be worth trialing as a novel pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine dependence.” This is significant because the only, only psychological therapies exist to treat meth addiction, which makes finding CBD as a potential treatment option significant.

Several other studies have noted CBD’s potential for attenuating drug addiction. One such study, conducted by the Scripps Research Institute and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Alcoholism, found that CBD also helped rats addicted to cocaine and alcohol. In this study, which was published in May of 2018, researchers applied a CBD gel to the skin of rats with a history of daily self-administration of cocaine or alcohol.

They found that CBD was effective in reducing the self-administration of cocaine or alcohol. Researchers also noted that the use of CBD reduced impulsivity and anxiety often associated with drug addiction. Most notably about this study, researchers found that rats dosed with the CBD regime experienced a reduced level of relapse for longer. According to the study, “reduced reinstatement,” or reductions in rat relapses caused by stress or drug-related environmental cues, lasted for five months after the initial CBD treatment ended when CBD was no longer found in the rats’ blood or nervous systems.

While the growing number of CBD addiction animal studies are promising, more researchers are pushing for human clinical studies as data in regards to CBD and addiction is still lacking. In addition to studying CBD benefits for addiction, CBD has also been studied as a treatment for the most severe forms of childhood epilepsy.

The Promise of CBD Benefits in Medicine

While there still needs to be more clinical data and regulation in the rapidly developing CBD industry, findings like these help to reinforce studies about the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids other than CBD and THC. What kind of cannabinoid and CBD benefits have you curious about the future of the cannabis industry?


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