Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is the active ingredient found in marijuana and hemp. A new study argues that the chemical could be used in the treatment of heroin addiction since it can reduce the need for the high-risk drug, and it can also mitigate the anxiety episodes which tend to appear during withdrawal.
According to the lead researcher, the craving feeling is the leading hook which keeps drug consumers engaged in the habit. A drug which can tackle the craving will play a significant role in the attempt to minimize the risk of relapse or overdose.
Some drugs, among which we can count buprenorphine and methadone, are used to treat opioid addiction, and they can also be used in the case of dependence to other drugs. Data provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that less than 33% of the patients who opt for private treatment centers receive this type of treatment.
Cannabidiol Could Be Used as a Heroin Addiction Treatment
Another source mentions that only one in five opioid addicts receive treatment or therapy. The use of methadone and buprenorphine is quite limited because the drugs are deemed to be opioids and access to them, and the quantity that can be prescribed is limited. Patients will have to visit a doctor regularly to receive new prescriptions.
While they have managed to reduce mortality rates after a year of treatment by up to 59% percent, the use of these drugs remains controversial among the medical community. It is estimated that more than 400,000 Americans died because of issues linked to opioid addiction, almost on par with the number of soldiers who died in World War II.
The study observed 42 patients divided into three groups. Two of them received CBD, while the other was a control group. The results were quite promising, and a long-term study has been approved. While further research is needed, the use of CBD could lead to positive effects in the long run.