A new meta-study of 14 studies conducted over the past 5 years determined that CBD holds promise for treating cocaine addiction.
“The CBD promotes the reduction of cocaine self-administration. Also, it interferes with the stimulation of cocaine-induced brain reward and dopamine release,” says the study published this month in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior.
Although not all the studies reviewed are consistent with each other, and the researchers stressed the need for human trials, they said that animal research has generally indicated that CBD can decrease cocaine self-administration and the many symptoms of addiction.
For example, a 2018 study found that a daily dose of 20 mg/kg of CBD resulted in “a significant difference in [cocaine] consumption on day 10 of the study and lower consumption throughout the procedure compared to the control group” of mice.
In 2019, the researchers also reported that “systemic administration of CBD (20 mg/kg)” 30 minutes before the test “significantly reduced self-administration of low doses of cocaine. However, the effect did not occur with lower concentrations of CBD.
Another study that was analyzed showed that CBD doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg “significantly increased the threshold for self-stimulation, suggesting a reduction in the reward for brain stimulation,” which is a major component of addiction.
Subjects with a history of cocaine use treated with the cannabis compound also had less anxiety, according to another study. It was “evidenced by the more time spent in the open arms of the elevated maze.
The evidence described in this systematic review indicates that CBD is a promising adjunctive treatment for cocaine dependence because of its effect on cocaine use, brain reward, anxiety, related contextual memories, neuroadaptations, and liver protection, as well as its anticonvulsant effect. and safety,” the authors of the study concluded.
The clinical administration of CBD results in a reduction in cocaine self-administration and, consequently, in the amount of drug consumed. Besides, the reward induced by cocaine is blunted by treatment with CBD.
Other findings from this literature review include the neuroadaptations promoted by cocaine reduced; contextual memory associated with cocaine reduced; anxiety associated with cocaine use reduced, and hepatotoxicity and seizures associated with cocaine use reduced when animals treated with CBD. Given the low toxicity, absence of serious side effects, and reduction in cocaine-related behaviors, CBD is a promising adjunct in treatment processes for people with cocaine-related problems,” the meta-study concludes.