There has long been an issue over finding viable opioid addiction treatments that don’t cause the individual to go cold turkey and suffer or turn to other potentially addictive substances instead. This issue has become increasingly troublesome due to the soaring numbers of opioid-related deaths that occur each year in the United States and worldwide. According to the CDC, over 841,000 people have died from a drug overdose since 1999. Opioids alone have accounted for more than 70% of drug overdose deaths in 2019.
But luckily, news has come out that the FDA has recently approved an experimental CBD trial for opioid addiction. This trial is significant as it is one of the few and only CBD trials currently being run. There are hopes within the scientific community that this experimental drug will meet the considerable need for non-addictive therapy within suffering individuals.
CBD is touted as a treatment for more than 50 health conditions, but there is little trial-based evidence to back up these claims in many cases. There has to date been only one exception: research has shown that CBD can help control severe seizure disorders and doctors developed CBD into an FDA-approved medication called Epidiolex.
However, there is growing interest in researching how CBD may help with other conditions. One theorized usage is being used as a therapy for those addicted to opioid usage. This seemingly paradoxical idea – treating one drug use problem with a chemical derived from a psychotropic plant that can be addictive – is an interesting new angle in the battle to find more methods to aid those suffering from opioid use disorder.
This newest approved study is a giant leap forward for many in opioid addiction
Research and is one of the first and only trials thus far approved by the FDA. The research will occur at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Richard De La Garza, PhD, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and molecular and medicinal pharmacology, and Edythe London, PhD, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and molecular and medicinal pharmacology, will lead the trial.
CBD seems to meet many requirements for a safe method to prevent drug use, and this trial is a way to test that effectiveness in a broad group of people. CBD is not an opioid, is non-addictive, has a long half-life, and appears to lessen anxiety in persons with substance abuse problems.
“This clinical trial with Nantheia ATL5 has the possibility to advance applications for CBD in ANANDA’s patented delivery technology in an area that could positively impact the lives of a large number of people suffering from opioid addiction. Opioids are a huge driver of overdose deaths in the U.S., and a non-addictive therapy is a significant unmet need” said ANANDA’s president, Sohail R. Zaidi.
The company itself is a prominent research-focused biotech business pioneering high-quality clinical studies for cannabinoids in therapeutic indications such as PTSD, Radiculopathic Pain, Anxiety, and Opioid Use Disorder. It is their hope that this is only the beginning of intense research into the therapeutic usage of CBD.
While more studies need to be done into the usage of CBD to treat opioid addiction, this is a giant leap forward in the right direction. Fresh and perhaps even unusual ideas are necessary when tackling the opioid Addiction issue, especially when the ‘tried and true methods have already failed. Even though the use of CBD might be seen as an unconventional approach by some, it has already shown promising results. Hopefully, it will help alleviate the symptoms of opioid addiction for many in the future, but the trials must be done now to ensure that future is even a possibility.
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