Drug addiction is a cruel thing and it can ruin an individual’s life with a flick of a finger. In the United States alone, there are about 70,237 recorded deaths linked to a drug overdose. These drugs can be heroin, methamphetamine, opioids, cocaine and benzodiazepines. Among all these drugs, heroin has the biggest share, with 15,482 total deaths involving overdose.
Although the drug addiction isn’t eliminated yet, there’s still hope because according to a new study conducted by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBD or cannabidiol can greatly reduce cravings for illicit drugs.
Lead researcher and director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai Yasmin Hurd said that the culprit in drug abuse is craving. Hence, if there are medications meant to ‘dampen’ the craving, relapse on overdose risk can happen.
What is CBD?
First, it’s important to know what exactly is CBD or cannabidiol. The marijuana plant contains a lot of compounds, responsible for the plant’s notable image, including being high. CBD is one of these compounds but the good news is, CBD is non-addictive and non-psychoactive. This means, upon consumption, a person cannot experience symptoms linked to being high, including nausea, psychosis and appetite stimulation.
Now, given that there are more studies being conducted by experts, more people are being exposed to this compound. In fact, CBD is now in demand that more manufacturers are creating different products infused with cannabidiol.
In order to test if CBD can treat opioids and heroin addiction, the researchers looked at 42 adults with a recent history of heroin use. These adults also don’t use any pharmaceuticals to ease addiction symptoms. Moreover, participants had to abstain from any heroin use for the entire trial period of two weeks.
Researchers divided the participants into three groups; one, those administered 400 milligrams CBD, those given 800 milligrams of CBD and a placebo.
For two weeks, the researchers have administered CBD and the placebo, monitored the heart rate and stress hormone of the participants. They were able to find a significant difference in terms of participant’s craving for the drug. Those who were given CBD had a reduction of craving about two to three folds.
The lead researcher, Hurd claims that they are developing a medicine infused with CBD to help reduce drug addiction. This medicine will not only curb addiction but also helps ease anxiety and depression symptoms.
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