Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors | cannabisMD

Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors

Addictive behaviors and cannabidiol interaction

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active compound in marijuana. In industrial hemp, CBD is the most abundant active compound. It’s believed to control brain circuits connected to drug addiction.

Over the past decade, a growing number of researchers have focused on the effects of CBD with addiction. This journal article, “Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence,” is a systematic examination of the existing preclinical and clinical evidence on the effects of CBD with addictive behaviors.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Having an addiction to drugs means that every time an individual attempts to quit, a relapse will soon follow. It becomes an addiction when you can’t picture your day without taking the substance.

Does Cannabidiol Have the Ability to Treat Addictive Behaviors?

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has been found to have a positive impact for those that have addictive behaviors in relation to the reward system and plasticity of the brain. Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to modify neural connections and rewire itself.

Unlike Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most infamous cannabinoid cousin of CBD, CBD is non-psychoactive. In other words, it does not cause a “high” in users. THC has been studied since it was discovered in the 1960’s as the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis sativa. CBD has been less studied than THC. It has been shown to have many medicinal properties in a short time. CBD has the follow effects:

  • Anxiolytic (reduces anxiety)
  • Antipsychotic
  • Antidepressant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic (pain reliever)
  • Neuroprotective

THC is addictive due to its effects on the CB1 receptor. The CB1 receptor is located in our central nervous system, meaning our brain and spine. THC causes a rise in dopamine. Dopamine, “the happy” neurotransmitter, is connected to many drug addictions. CBD can treat addiction to THC and counteracts the level of psychoactivity of THC.

In current studies special attention is being paid to the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. There are other ionotropic cannabinoid receptors linked to neurophysiological functions in the ECS. One of particular intrigue is the transient receptor vanilloid potential 1 (TRVP1). TRVP1 binds with the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA).

As of 2015, researchers gathered 14 prior studies, in French and English, that detailed CBD’s impact on addictive behaviors. 9 of the 14 studies were preclinical animal-based studies. This means only 5 were proper clinical trials with human subjects.

A limited number of preclinical studies indicate CBD may have therapeutic values for treating opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. Some early clinical data suggests CBD may ease cannabis (THC) and tobacco addiction in human patients.

If interested in using CBD to treat a drug addiction, you must first consult your doctor. CBD, particularly when derived from the hemp plant rather than the marijuana plant, is legal in more states and countries than THC is. Out of caution, you should check your local laws anyway.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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