Study Shows CBD Could Be Helpful for Treating Crack Addiction

Medically assisted treatment for crack addiction often involves psychotropic drugs like fluoxetine and clonazepam. The drugs are fairly effective, but they are known for some pretty nasty side effects. Are there alternatives? There may be, in the form of CBD. A recently published study out of Brazil that showed CBD to be equally effective without many of the side effects related to psychotropic drugs.

Although the study was small in nature, its findings are both interesting and worthy of further study. Giving patients undergoing crack use disorder (CUD) CBD rather than additional mind-altering drugs can only be a good thing.

CBD Is a Cannabinoid

CBD is not a synthetic drug made in a lab. Rather, it is a natural cannabinoid found in multiple strains of cannabis plants – most notably hemp. It is actually CBD acid in its natural form. By exposing CBD acid to heat, it is converted to CBD. Its main benefit as a crack addiction treatment is the fact that it is not psychotropic.

Unlike cannabis’s other primary cannabinoid, delta-9 THC, CBD does not produce a high. It does not make a user feel euphoric or influence thought patterns. Therefore, administering CBD to a patient undergoing CUD treatment should not result in any mental health issues.

What the Study Shows

Getting back to the previously mentioned study, researchers originally enrolled ninety individuals who met eligibility requirements. Just twenty-five completed the study. All had used crack cocaine a minimum of twenty times within the previous month. In addition, they all reported a desire or intention to seek treatment.

CBD did not perform any better than psychotropic drugs in terms of leading to successful treatment. Outcomes for both the control and CBD groups were comparable. But CBD did outperform its psychotropic counterparts in the side effect department.

Researchers determined that CBD led to fewer and less severe side effects. They noted “significant differences between the CBD group in comparison to the control group with fewer episodes in the CBD group regarding diarrhea, constipation, nausea, dizziness, memory impairment, low concentration, tremor, ataxia, and nasal congestion.”

Their conclusions need no further explanation. Clearly, patients undergoing treatment did far better in the side effect department when they were treated with CBD. Given how side effects can influence a person’s decision to stick with treatment, this is big.

People undergoing addiction treatment are subject to all sorts of withdrawal symptoms and side effects. It is for this very reason that medically assisted detox exists. With medical intervention, side effects and withdrawal symptom severity can be reduced, thereby increasing the chances that a patient will complete treatment.

CBD in the United States

Here in the U.S., CBD is fully legal across the country. As explained by the experts behind, consumers do not need a special card or license to purchase CBD at retail outlets. They do need a cannabis card or license to purchase. Practically speaking, this means that addiction treatment centers can utilize CBD to help crack addicts recover. They can recommend CBD as a treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and side effects.

The exact mechanisms behind CBD’s ability to facilitate an easier withdrawal from crack are not clear at this time. But that is understandable given our lack of knowledge about the human endocannabinoid system. Hopefully, the research out of Brazil will encourage further research here. If it turns out that CBD rally does make for an easier and more comfortable withdrawal, it could end up helping a lot of patients being treated for CUD. It is hard to find anything negative about that.

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