February 03, 2019 –

CBD as an Addiction Antidote

Research on CBD’s potential to treat opioid addiction itself is even more preliminary, though growing. Yasmin Hurd, Ph.D., director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai in New York City, for example, has shown that CBD reduces cravings for heroin, in both rats and humans. And she point out that CBD has few side effects (most of which are minor), making it an attractive option to treat opioid addiction.

Philip Blair, M.D., a family physician in Vancouver, Wash., and a consultant for the CBD manufacturer Elixinol, says he has helped dozens of patients taper off opioids by substituting with CBD. He encourages them to go at their own pace, stretching out the time between opioid doses and slowly adding in CBD. “If they know they have something to rely on, to count on, to get back to normal and get them through this time period, they can do it,” he says.Arnsten, at Montefiore Medical Center, has also weaned patients off opioids by putting them on cannabis, both THC and CBD, but “it’s slow going,” she says. “We’re probably going to need to see thousands of patients before we get enough to say, yeah, this is really successful.”

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