CBD oil may help limit cravings and anxiety in heroin users, study finds

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By Shamard Charles, M.D. and Ali Galante

Add the possibility of reducing cravings and anxiety in heroin addicts to the growing list of potential CBD uses.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York announced Tuesday that results of a small study found a promising, and unexpected, new use of CBD: a reduction of cue-induced cravings and anxiety in individuals with a history of heroin abuse, suggesting a potential role for it in helping to break heroin drug addiction.

The results of the study are published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“To address the critical need for new treatment options for the millions of people and families who are being devastated by this epidemic, we initiated a study to assess the potential of a nonintoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted individuals,” said lead study author Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai in a statement.

“The specific effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important in the development of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.”

Hurd and her team at Mount Sinai previously studied the effects of CBD in animals on heroin. They found that CBD reduced the animals’ tendency to use heroin in response to a drug-associated cue, so they decided to study the drug’s effects on humans.

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