March 25th, 2018 – While Cannabidiol (CBD) has received attention for it’s therapeutic potential in treating epilepsy and psychiatric disorders, recently, CBD has also been explored for potential in treating drug addiction. Substance use disorders are chronically relapsing conditions and relapse risk persists for multiple reasons including craving induced by drug contexts, susceptibility to stress, elevated anxiety, and impaired impulse control. A recent study evaluated the “anti-relapse” potential of a transdermal CBD preparation in animal models of drug seeking, anxiety and impulsivity.
The study, “Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use: preclinical proof of principle” has been published in Springer Nature’s Neuropsychopharmacology.
The preclinical study using rats “addicted” to cocaine or alcohol has shown a gel containing cannabidiol (CBD) applied to their skin daily for a week reduced relapse provoked by stress and drug cues, while also alleviating anxiety and impulsivity in the rats.
Another very interesting result from the study was the rats that had been treated with CBD still showed a reduced relapse induced by stress or drug cues five months later.
“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, leader of an investigative team at the Scripps Research Institute in California.
“The findings also inform the ongoing medical marijuana debate concerning medical benefits of non-psychoactive cannabinoids and their promise for development and use as therapeutics,” says the study abstract.