CBD oil may help control cravings and anxiety among heroin users, according to a small U.S. study.
New York-based researchers tested the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid, which is extracted from cannabis plants, on dozens of longtime heroin users who had abstained from the narcotic for periods of less than a month to three months. The study showed that CBD oil could reduce craving and anxiety, which researchers said are two critical features of relapse in people addicted to heroin.
“Despite the staggering consequences of the opioid epidemic, limited nonopioid medication options have been developed to treat this medical and public health crisis,” researchers wrote in the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. “CBD’s potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation of this phytocannabinoid as a treatment option for opioid use disorder.”
Researchers assigned participants to receive varying doses of a CBD solution or a placebo solution and exposed them to various cues, including videos of nature scenes and videos of drug use. Cravings and anxiety were most reduced in participants who had been given CBD one to two hours earlier.
“CBD’s potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation of this phytocannabinoid as a treatment option for opioid use disorder,” researchers wrote.