Opioid addiction is “a chronic brain disorder that requires long-term treatment,” and CBD must be part of the solution, says Dr. Yasmin Hurd, a renowned professor of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, and Pharmacology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine whose work has been cited more than 5,000 times.
“CBD reduces the reward-seeking effect that morphine has on individuals with opioid-use disorder,” Dr. Hurd said in an editorial published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Cue-induced cravings and anxiety are reduced in individuals who take cannabis while trying to kick heroin use, according to the elected member of the prestigious American Academy of Medicine who also heads the Mount Sinai Addictions Institute in New York.
“Intriguingly … cannabidiol resulted in a maintained reduction in heroin craving even a week after the last administration,” said Professor Hurd.
“This finding may be of particular benefit in treating opioid-use disorder, because the protective effects in reducing craving, and thus risk of relapse, could be maintained even if the individual has missed a daily dose.”
A full battery of research must be explored to determine the potential of cannabidiol for opioid-use-disorder treatment, she said.
She added that: “States with medical marijuana laws have seen a reduction in opioid-related deaths, opioid prescriptions and opioid-related motor vehicle fatalities,”
Since at least 1974, experimental animal research has been suggesting that CBD can treat addiction, with no side effects.
It is now clear that this extraordinary finding also applies to humans.
“The Opium Wars dominated life in Asia 175 years ago, when the first issue of what would become the American Journal of Psychiatry appeared,” said Dr. Hurd
“There is much to be learned after 175 years that will help transform the clinical toolbox in the coming years.”
“Molecular genetics and new medication strategies for opioid addiction” was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, August 2018.
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