In response to the ‘opioid epidemic,’ researchers have investigated the possibility that cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinoid agent, might reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety (characteristics that may contribute to relapse and continued drug use) in people who use heroin. The study design was a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled protocol, assessing drug cue–induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent people with heroin use disorder. CBD, but not placebo, significantly reduced both craving and anxiety induced by the presentation of drug cues (compared with neutral cues). The effects were protracted even after the final short-term exposure to CBD. CBD also reduced drug cue–induced physiological effects upon heart rate and salivary cortisol levels, but there was no significant impact cognition, or other serious adverse effects. It would appear that the time is right for further investigation of this potential approach to treatment.
Cannabidiol to offer a treatment option for opioid dependence?
May 24, 2019