How CBD Could Help End The Opioid Epidemic

By Brit Smith, host of Blunt Talk

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) ---Yet another study is suggesting that a compound from the cannabis plant could be a gateway drug out of life threatening heroin and opioid addiction.

The latest findings come this week from researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The team of scientists took 42 men and women with heroin addictions who had gotten clean, and gave half of them either 400mg or 800mg of CBD once a day. The other half got a placebo.

Both groups were then exposed to environmental cues, like pictures of people using drugs, which the study’s lead author Yasmin Hurd says is one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.

The study shows the group that were taking daily doses of CBD reported significantly reduced cravings for heroin in comparison to the placebo takers. They also reported having less anxiety than the placebo group.

But it wasn’t just the subjective feelings of cravings and anxiety that were measured. And that’s where it gets really interesting. They also measured physiological responses while the addicts were being exposed to the environmental cues.

Things like temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate were tested as a way to objectively calculate the level of craving an addict was experiencing.

Interestingly, the study also found that the participants who were being given daily CBD had reduced heart rates and lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in their saliva.

That illustrates that it wasn’t just their own opinion that they were feeling less anxious and less of a desire to use heroin. Their bodies really were experiencing less craving for opiates. And that effect continued for seven days after the CBD was administered.

This is not the first study of its kind to label the non-intoxicating marijuana and hemp extract as a possible way out of opiate addiction. Here, you can read about five other studies that found states with legal access to marijuana are seeing a significant drop in opioid prescriptions, and opioid-overdose death rates.

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Blunt Talk is a podcast about cannabis hosted by Brit Smith every Monday. You can listen to all previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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