Cannabidiol, or CBD, is used for medicinal purposes to treat everything from anxiety to joint pain. Recent research even found that cannabidiol reduces the number of convulsive seizures in children with epilepsy.
Now, a new study has discovered that CBD may one day be an effective alternative treatment option for cocaine addiction and could help prevent relapse.
CBD is an active compound in the cannabis plant but doesn’t have any of the psychoactive THC, so CBD users don’t get the “high” that comes with taking typical marijuana.
Researchers from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California conducted a study using rats recovering from cocaine addiction.
The results, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, show that the rats were less likely to relapse even months after the study was conducted.
CBD helps treat anxiety, depression, and stress, which is why the researchers think that it effectively works to treat addiction and aid in recovery. Stress, anxiety, mood swings, and increased cravings are all common symptoms during cocaine withdrawal and recovery.
For the study, rats who were addicted to cocaine or alcohol were given a topical treatment of CBD in the form of a gel every day for a week.
The gel was applied to the skin and the researchers tested the rats in several stress-inducing scenarios like covered mazes that could trigger claustrophobia.
Impulsiveness was also measured in the rats as this could determine the likelihood of relapsing.
After three days of treatment, the rats were less likely to relapse and the benefits lasted months after the CBD was administered.
“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,” said Friedbert Weiss, the lead author of the study.
By Kay Vandette, Earth.com Staff Writer