The administration of oral CBD reduces cue-induced cravings and anxiety in subjects with a history of heroin use, according to clinical data published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
Investigators at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York City assessed the effect of CBD versus placebo in 42 drug-abstinent participants with a history of heroin use. In contrast to placebo, CBD dosing of either 400mg or 800mg “significantly reduced both the craving and anxiety induced by drug cues … in the acute term. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures seven days after the final short-term exposure.”
Researchers concluded, “CBD’s potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation of this phytocannabinoid as a treatment option for opioid use disorder.”
In observational models, patients with legal access to cannabis typically reduce or eliminate their use of opioids. In clinical models, CBD administration has been shown to reduce cravings for tobacco. CBD dosing has also been associated with reduced cravings for methamphetamine in preclinical models.
Commenting on the study’s findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “These conclusions add to the growing body of evidence that cannabis and its constituents represent an exit away from the use or abuse of other controlled substances rather than a supposed ‘gateway.'”
The abstract of the study, “Cannabidiol for the reduction of cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent individuals with heroin use disorder: A double-blind randomized placebo controlled trial,” appears online here. Additional information is available in NORML’s fact-sheet, “Relationship between marijuana and opioids.”