Australian researchers recently began evaluating CBD as a potential treatment for substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is characterized by repeated use of a substance, leading to clinically significant distress making it a serious public health concern.
Past research has identified that the endocannabinoid system facilitates the rewarding and motivational effects of substances and substance-related cues leading to drug seeking behaviors, with recent research identifying CBD as a potentially effective treatment in managing these urges, providing relief to those with substance use disorders. CBD studies on humans and animals suggest that CBD has the potential to reduce cravings and relapse; specifically, it has been shown to impair the reconsolidation of drug-reward memory, lessen the importance of drug cues and inhibit the reward-facilitating effect of drugs by targeting the endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems.
This proposed research will evaluate the underlying evidence for CBD as a potential treatment for substance use disorder, across a range of substances including nicotine, alcohol, psychostimulants, opioids and cannabis. Specifically, researchers will be looking at how CBD affects the endocannabinoid system of patients who suffer from substance use disorders. While early research supports this research, further preclinical and clinical trials are required.
The full study article can be found here.