Review: CBD Holds Promise in Treating Alcohol Use Disorder

Bron, France: The use of cannabidiol (CBD) holds promise in the treatment of alcoholism and may offer protection against alcohol-induced liver damage and brain damage, according to a review of preclinical data published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.

A team of French scientists reviewed experimental data finding that CBD administration reduces alcohol intake and cravings in animals. Separate findings also demonstrate the compound to mitigate alcohol-related steatosis and fibrosis, and to possess neuroprotective effects against alcohol-related brain damage.

Authors concluded: "[E]xperimental data underline that CBD offers multiple therapeutic prospects in patients with AUD (alcohol use disorder). CBD seems to facilitate drinking reduction, making CBD an interesting pharmacological option in AUD treatment. Moreover, CBD might provide idiosyncratic protection to the liver and the brain. … In this perspective, CBD treatment could be proposed to subjects who are unable to reduce or to stop alcohol consumption, in order to prevent or reduce the effects of alcohol on the brain and the liver, thus opening new and original therapeutic options for harm reduction in AUD."

The administration of CBD in human trials has previously been shown to reduce cravings for both heroin and tobacco. Population-based studies have also shown that those subjects who report consuming cannabis are less likely than non-users to suffer from either fibrosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Therapeutic prospects of cannabidiol for alcohol use disorder and alcohol-related damages to the liver and the brain," appears in Frontiers in Pharmacology.