CBD oil could be able to reduce addict cravings and anxiety for Heroin, this discovery adds to the list of uses for the Cannabidiol (CBD) drug.
On Tuesday, Researchers at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York announced that the results of a specific study found an incredible, and unexpected, new use of CBD, which is a reduction of cue-induced cravings and anxiety in individuals with a history of heroin abuse, suggesting a potential role for it in helping to break heroin drug addiction.
“In other to address the critical need for fresh treatment options for a large number of people and families who are being devastated by this epidemic,
We launched a study to assess the potential of a nonintoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted persons,” said lead study author Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai in a statement.
“The exact effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are important in the growth of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.”
Previously, Hurd and her team had undergone research at Mount Sinai; they worked on the effects of CBD in animals on the Heroin. They found that CBD reduced the animals’ tendency to use Heroin in response to a drug-associated cue, so they decided to study the drug’s effects on humans.
Hurd and her team of researchers looked at 42 drug-abstinent men and women — ages 21 to 65 — with heroin use disorder. Half of the group, who had recently stopped using Heroin, received CBD — 400 mg or 800 mg once daily — and the remaining half received a placebo. These test subjects were then exposed to neutral and drug-related cues in three different sessions: immediately after administration, one day after CBD or placebo administration, and a week after the third and final daily CBD or placebo administration.
The team found that those who received CBD had significantly reduced drug cravings. So also, they found that the participants reported less anxiety when looking at pictures of drug addicts. Moreso, CBD seemed to have a lasting effect — it continued to reduce cravings and anxiety for seven days, well beyond the time the drug is expected to be present in the body.
Vital organ signs, including skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation, among others, were obtained at different times during the sessions. To the surprise of the team. They found that CBD reduced heart rate and salivary cortisol levels, which increases typically when anxiety-provoking images are shown to addicts.
This finding further supported Hurd’s idea that CBD may be a promising tool in helping to curb opioid addiction.
“Cravings and anxiety are very subjective effects. People can always trick themselves, so we measure their physiological responses. These drug samples increased heroin users’ heart rates and the levels of cortisol, so we know it’s not subjective because with the CBD their heart rates and levels of cortisol decreased — which was a significant finding” Hurd told NBC News.
William Kellogg is a veteran writer who’s covered the subject of the intersection of technology, health and mental wellness for nearly two decades.