In a recent study conducted by the Journal of Psychopharmacology provides evidence proving that cannabidiol, one component of cannabis, can reduce the motivation to consume methamphetamine in rats.
The first findings suggest that the compound could be useful in fighting addiction to methamphetamine, which has grown to become the most common drug of choice to abuse around the world.
Study author Jennifer Cornish of Macquarie University said, “One focus of my laboratory is to understand the neurobiology of methamphetamine addiction so that we can discover effective treatments to reduce this burden on our society. Cannabinoids are showing promise as medications for a number of mental health disorders and symptoms in preclinical models, including drug addiction and relapse for opiates and psychostimulants.”
She also adds, “Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant, however, the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) had not yet been investigated for reducing reward or relapse in rats experienced at lever pressing for intravenous methamphetamine infusions. As it is known that CBD acts on a number of targets in the brain that may impact on the pharmacology of methamphetamine use, this study was a logical next step for discovering more about methamphetamine addiction and the effects of CBD treatment.”
The experts discovered that treatment with 80 mg/kg of cannabidiol reduced the motivation to consume methamphetamine in rats trained to self-administer the drug. The smaller doses of 40 mg/kg or 20mg/kg did not reduce the cravings.
The cannabidiol, however, did not impact the motivation to consume the sucrose, which implies the effects are targeted rather than affecting reward mechanisms in general
According to a statement given to PsyPost by Cornish, “I think it is important for our society to understand that ‘medicinal cannabis’ covers a broad range of chemicals that are found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant, many of these are not psychoactive (unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of marijuana), and each may have a medical application — yet to be discovered.”
Like all studies, the research includes some limitations and speculations.
“This study has shown that in a preclinical setting, high doses of CBD can act to reduce methamphetamine consumption and also relapse to taking methamphetamine. Many other studies need to be done in this space prior to the use of CBD in the human population of methamphetamine addicts – but this study is a first step for understanding the potential use of CBD treatment in methamphetamine addiction.”
He explained in detail to reporters, “The major caveats here are that the study is conducted in rodents and uses high doses of CBD. However, there is substantial overlap between the neurobiology of rats and humans, and preclinical studies such as this provide important information on the potential use of new chemicals in human disorders.”
The research also showed “…. we are able to design further experiments that not only discover the effectiveness of CBD as a therapy for methamphetamine addiction, but also the mechanisms by which CBD can reduce methamphetamine intake. By understanding these mechanisms, we can inform the discovery of more targeted therapies that would work like CBD, yet with smaller therapeutic doses.”
The study which studies how cannabidiol treatment can reduce the motivation to self-administer methamphetamine and methamphetamine-primed in rats was conducted by Gracie L Hay, Sarah J Baracz, Nicholas A Everett, Jessica Roberts, Priscila A Costa, Jonathon C Arnold, Iain S McGregor, and Jennifer L Cornish.
“There is so much more to discover with over 400 chemicals in the cannabis plant, including over 70 cannabinoids. The potential therapeutic benefits of these are great and should be explored to develop targeted therapies for mental health (or other) disorders.” Said Jennifer L. Cornish
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