Some 22 million people around the world reportedly live with cannabis use disorder (CUD), a condition typified by cravings and withdrawal symptoms when marijuana isn’t taken.
Yet, according to a new study from Lancet Psychiatry, a promising treatment for cannabis dependence could be one of the drug’s own compounds: CBD, the famously calming cannabinoid.
After running a randomized controlled clinical trial – the first of its kind for CBD and CUD – the researchers behind the new study found that participants who took CBD had more cannabis- abstinent days compared to those given a placebo.
. Kicking the habit
At the start of the trial, 48 volunteers were recruited, all of whom were deemed to be living with CUD.
“This was done using a clinical interview and screening assessment using the DSM-5,” Dr Tom Freeman, an addiction researcher at the University of Bath and lead author of the study, told Analytical Cannabis.
“[DSM-5 is] a psychiatric classification system and there are 11 possible symptoms of cannabis use disorder and we had criteria that you had to have a moderate cannabis use disorder – at least four out of the eleven symptoms.”
The participants then agreed to stop consuming cannabis for the trial period and to instead take four capsules a day when prompted via text messages. For some participants, these four capsules amounted to 200 milligrams (mg) of CBD per day. Others could be consuming 400mg or 800mg per day, and some volunteers took placebo capsules that didn’t contain any CBD. But all participants were unaware of their particular dosage.