For the past couple of years, there has been mounting interest in the medical abilities of cannabidiol (“CBD”), a cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant. This was compounded by the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized industrial hemp and its derivatives and pushed CBD even more into the mainstream. The cannabinoid is said to be effective against a wide range of medical conditions, ranging from certain forms of epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
A growing body of research has also found that cannabidiol can help treat cocaine addiction. In a new meta-study, scientists analyzed 14 studies from the past five years on the administration of CBD in animal subjects consuming cocaine, and they determined that CBD appears to have a variety of effects that counteract addictive behaviors. The study, published this month in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior states that “CBD promotes reduction on cocaine self-administration. Also, it interferes with cocaine-induced brain reward stimulated and dopamine release.”
“CBD promotes alteration in contextual memory associated with cocaine and in the neuroadaptations, hepatoxicity, and seizures induced by cocaine.” Despite admitting that not all of the studies under review were consistent with each other and stressing on the need for human trials, the researchers said that animal research generally indicated that CBD can reduce self-administration of cocaine and many symptoms of addiction.
For instance, in a study from 2019, researchers reported that “the systemic administration of CBD (20mg/kg) 30 minutes before testing reduced the self-administration of a low dose of cocaine. However, lower concentrations of CBD did not produce the effect. Similarly, a study from 2018 found that a daily 20 mg/kg of CBD led to a “significant difference in the consumption of cocaine on the 10th day of the study and lower consumption throughout the entire procedure compared to the control group of mice.”
A separate study found that administering CBD to rats with a history of cocaine use made them less anxious, as evidenced by “the greater time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus-maze.”
The authors of the new meta-study concluded that “the evidence described in the present systematic review indicated that CBD is a promising adjunct therapy for the treatment of cocaine dependence due to its effect on cocaine consumption, brain reward, anxiety, related contextual memories, neuroadaptations, and hepatic protection as well as its anticonvulsant effect and safety.”
The findings of this research are likely to be welcomed by cannabis companies like Pure Extracts Corp. since the industry has always believed that scientists have barely scratched the surface of the therapeutic effects of cannabis compounds.
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