Portland, OR: The administration of plant-derived CBD significantly reduces opioid cravings in animals, according to preclinical data published in the journal Addiction Neuroscience.
Investigators affiliated with Washington State University in Spokane and with the Legacy Research Institute in Portland assessed the efficacy and safety profile of vaporized CBD in a cohort of female rats.
They reported that rats provided with CBD were less likely to self-administer morphine.
“[T]he ability of WPE [whole-plant cannabis extract] to reduce opioid reward and drug seeking behavior appears quite robust and of great clinical utility,” authors concluded. “Additional systematic research is required to fully evaluate the potential for CBD to serve as an adjunct treatment for opioid use disorder.”
A limited number of clinical trials have previously demonstrated the ability of CBD to mitigate subjects’ cravings for various substances, including heroin, tobacco, and cannabis. Other studies indicate that CBD may also play a role in mitigating symptoms of opioid withdrawal. According to a 2020 review paper, “[E]vidence … demonstrates the potential [of] cannabis to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms, reduce opioid consumption, ameliorate opioid cravings, prevent opioid relapse, improve OUD treatment retention, and reduce overdose deaths.”
Full text of the study, “High-CBD cannabis vapor attenuates opioid reward and partially modulates nociception in female rats,” appears in Addiction Neuroscience. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’