According to a pre-clinical study with rats, there could be evidence that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of marijuana, could help reduce the risk of relapse recovery for those addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., conducted tests that involved addicted rats to see if the substance could help them. The team’s findings have been published in Neuropsychopharmacology.

“The results provide proof of principle supporting potential of CBD in relapse prevention along two dimensions CBD: beneficial actions across several vulnerability states, and long-lasting effects with only brief treatment,” said Friedbert Weiss, the leader of an investigative team at the Scripps Research Institute.

As part of the study, for one week, researchers applied a gel containing CBD to the skin of the rats once a day, who had an addiction-like behavior because of voluntary daily alcohol or cocaine use.

According to the researchers’ report, CBD effectively reduced relapse despite stress and drug cues, in addition to reducing anxiety and impulsivity in the drug-experienced rats. The research also found that CBD showed to have completely cleared from the rats’ brains and plasm three days after the therapy was completed.

“Drug addicts enter relapse vulnerability states for multiple reasons,” Weiss remarked. “Therefore, effects such as these observed with CBD that concurrently ameliorate several of these are likely to be more effective in preventing relapse than treatments targeting only a single state.”

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