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A recent study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcholism shows what cannabis activists have been saying for years may be right: medical marijuana may present a real tool to help people who struggle with severe drug addiction. Specifically, the study looked at the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on the drug-seeking behavior of animals addicted to various substances.
The study comes from the Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Department of the Scripps Research Institute and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacology, and it shows that CBD has very great potential for addiction treatment in humans.
Animals who were addicted to ethanol alcohol and cocaine were given CBD during the seven days immediately following the cessation of their assigned drug. The study found that drug seeking activities was reduced in the animals and remained “full attenuated” (or really, really low or nonexistent) in the animals as long as five months after the treatment ceased. The CBD also appeared to decrease some of the long-term negative behaviors associated with addiction, such as poor impulse control and anxiety-like behavior during tests.
Essentially, the study found that a short-term CBD treatment of addicted animals had long-term beneficial results with little to no side effects or risk. Given what options currently exist for addicts, CBD and cannabis (or medical marijuana) just might be the best treatment option available.
Considering how addictive behavior is linked to life-long risk of relapse, whole-plant cannabis medicine should also be studied as a treatment to resist relapse. Addicts often struggle with addictive impulses during periods of stress or anxiety or after having their cravings triggered by real-world cues. If individuals have the immediate relief of combusted or vaporized cannabis available to offset the need for their substance of choice and the comfort of psychoactive THC to balance to aid the CBD in relapse resistance, it stands to reason that risk of relapse would be even more reduced.
Contrary to the old myth that marijuana is a gateway drug, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the opposite is true. Cannabis is an exit drug that helps those struggling with addiction stay sober. It’s about time that medical science and mainstream consciousness caught on to this concept.
For previous Ladybud articles about addiction, click here.
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