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Cannabis can help people kick both alcohol and cocaine


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Thor Benson / Cannabis News Box Contributor

It’s known that cannabis is helping people avoid opioid addiction issues around the U.S., but it turns out cannabis is also useful for staying off cocaine and alcohol. That’s according to a new study that focused on the effects of using CBD.

The study was on rats, so the results aren’t conclusive for humans, but they are promising. Researchers got rats addicted to alcohol and cocaine, separately, and found the rats were able to kick their habit with the help of CBD gel that they injected into the rats. The rats that didn’t get the CBD were found to be significantly more likely to relapse.

“I think the early data looking at cannabis as a substitution for more addictive prescription drugs, especially controlled substances, is really impressive,” Dr. Sue Sisley, who is studying how cannabis may be able to treat PTSD, told Cannabis News Box. “The mechanism of action of CBD is not well understood yet. The most intriguing aspect of CBD is it’s the only known cannabinoid to have documented beneficial clinical effects without being intoxicating.”

Sisley said it appears CBD can help people avoid the cravings that come with trying to kick a drug addiction. Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at John Hopkins, told Cannabis News Box it’s important to note pure CBD is being used in these kinds of studies.

“CBD is in some cannabis/marijuana, but not all, and most cannabis contains a host of other substances that do not have the same effects and may not help and could even be detrimental to folks with substance abuse problems,” Vandrey said.

Vandrey agreed with Sisley that it’s still a mystery why CBD does what it does.

“We are just beginning to understand the complex pharmacology of CBD,” he said. “The exact mechanism by which it may help as a treatment for substance use disorders remains uncertain.” He also believes more studies need to be done so we can better understand it soon.

While we don’t know why CBD is so good at so many things, there’s now clear evidence it can be useful for helping people stay off a variety of substances far more dangerous than cannabis. Support for legalizing CBD appears to be growing, and there could be many medical benefits for society if that does happen soon.

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Cannabis can help people kick both alcohol and cocaine