Can CBD help alleviate Opioid addiction?
7 Aug 2019
It has been claimed in some media quarters that CBD can help tackle opioid addiction. It is no secret that America has seen an epidemic unearth in recent years of Opioid users with over 400,000 overdoses in the last 20 years and there are growing concerns this trend has begun to be mirrored in the UK.
An article published in the Daily Mail today (21st May 2019) titled 'Cannabis-derived compound CBD could be used to treat HEROIN addiction by reducing addicts’ cravings for the illegal drug' claims there is evidence to support exactly that based on researchers from New York, where researchers tested the effects of CBD on 42 former heroin addicts.
The study claims to have found that CBD reduces the cravings in Opioid addicts whether they are current users or previous users who may be susceptible to relapse. The reduction of cravings is significant as it is attributed to the primary cause of the reason users continue to use or use again after a prolonged period of absence.
The article states 'Cravings are a huge problem for recovering addicts because they draw them into relapsing and may lead to overdose if their tolerance dropped while they were clean". This could be considered a big breakthrough in the treatment of people addicted to Opioid substances as CBD is non-addictive and impossible to overdose from. There are serious question marks over the current methods to try and treat Opioid addiction as they are also Opioid based, such as Methadone, and possess an addictive nature themselves meaning some may see them as a continuous substitute for Opioid substances instead of a mechanism to get them off it completely.
Dr. Hurd who headed the study claims; 'A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll, enormous health care costs, and treatment limitations imposed by stringent government regulations amid this persistent opioid epidemic...'[CBD] doesn't get you high, but it can reduce craving and anxiety... This can really help save lives.'
Ian Hamilton - a mental health lecturer and substance abuse researcher at the University of York - suggests that compounds found in Marijuana that may help tackle opioid addiction might not be something entirely new. He told MailOnline: "The idea that some chemicals found in cannabis could help people who have developed problems with opiates has been talked about for some time, particularly by patients who have tried using cannabis to help ease their withdrawal from heroin"
Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist in New York who didn't participate in the project, agreed it was a considerable breakthrough in the treatment of chronic pain. 'This is an extremely significant paper,' she told CNN. She went on to declare ''We need to utilise every possible treatment in helping people with chronic pain to find other ways to manage their symptoms and in people with opiate addiction to find relief. 'CBD not only manages the anxiety and cue/craving cycle, but it also diminishes the original pain and inflammation that leads to opiate use in the first place.'
You can read the full article from the MailOnline here