The researchers deduced that, when taken together, these results indicated that CBD has the ability to reduce the reinforcing properties, motivation and relapse for ethanol, making it useful for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.
Disulfiram (Antabuse) is probably the most well known of the pharmaceutical interventions and is a drug that causes physical discomfort (such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches) any time the person consumes alcohol.
Chronic Severe Subtype: Accounting for only 9% of alcoholics, this is the smallest subtype. Chronic severe alcoholics drink more frequently than any other group, have a high divorce rate, and are likely polydrug users. 66% of them have sought help for alcoholism.
Cannabidiol reduces ethanol consumption, motivation and relapse in mice
The treatment of chronic Alcoholism conditions usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes, self-help, psychological interventions and sometimes medications with the main aim being total abstinence. The type of recommended treatment is often based on the severity of symptoms and the person’s response to it.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that in addition to CBD helping reduce the desire and need for alcohol that potentially aids with abstinence and prevents relapse, CBD also helps reduce many of the psychological and physical side effects associated with withdrawal, including tremors, aches, pains, anxiety and depression.
Both scientific and anecdotal evidence indicates that CBD can help treat alcoholism with researchers having shown its potential to reduce addiction behaviours and urges, protect against alcohol induced neurological damage, as well as help prevent relapse via several mechanisms. However, it is also important to remember that alcoholism can be a serious, chronic condition that can have a short as well as long-term impact on health. If you or a loved one are suffering from alcoholism, talk to your medical practitioner. He or she can help put together a plan that includes CBD along with other treatment options to help you deal with it safely and effectively.
As mentioned, CBD may help with many of the symptoms of withdrawal, including nausea, pain and inflammation. Similarly, CBD may also be helpful in reducing many of the underlying causes of alcoholism, including psychological issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and trauma.
This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study designed to assess the efficacy of fsCBD and bsCBD, compared to a placebo control (PC), to reduce drinking in participants with moderate alcohol use disorder according to the DSM-V. If eligible for the study, subjects will be randomized to receive one of the conditions for 8 weeks.
To minimize risk of COVID transmission, the investigators will utilize Zoom for weekly subject check-ins and our Mobile Pharmacology Lab (MPL) for the collection of blood samples and clinical data for the majority of in-person visits. The initial Week 0 / Baseline visit will take place at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. There will be MPL follow-up visits at Weeks 1, 4, and 8. Participants will be contacted by Zoom each remaining week during the 8-week period. A follow up Zoom interview will occur in Week 16 approximately 8 weeks after the end of dosing.
Overall, the clinical study is expected to take 1-2 years to complete enrollment and data analysis.
To better understand the effects of hemp-derived CBD with and without a small amount of THC, the investigators propose a Phase II randomized clinical trial (RCT) to examine the safety, tolerability, and clinical effects of Full Spectrum CBD (fsCBD, contains less than 0.3% THC) vs. Broad Spectrum CBD (bsCBD, does not contain THC), vs. a matching placebo in a population of AUD subjects.
The current study will directly test the hypothesis that a moderate dose of CBD leads to a reduction in alcohol consumption, alcohol craving, peripheral markers of inflammation, and anxiety. It is further hypothesized that CBD will lead to increased sleep duration and quality among individuals with AUD who want to quit or reduce their drinking. The study will also determine whether the small amount of THC found in full spectrum hemp-derived CBD products produces any negative effects. The hypotheses are grounded in previous studies suggesting that CBD reduces the reinforcing properties of alcohol and decreases drinking motivation and consumption (Viudez-Martínez, García-Gutiérrez, Fraguas-Sánchez, et al., 2018). Further, CBD has shown clinical promise for tobacco, cannabis, and opioid use disorders (Hurd, 2017; Hurd et al., 2015; Prud’homme et al., 2015), and evidence indicates that these effects may be due to the ability of CBD to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety (Gonzalez-Cuevas et al., 2018; Hurd et al., 2019). The hypotheses are also grounded in the pre-clinical literature suggesting that CBD may modulate the immune system and have anti-inflammatory effects which also helps to reduce harm associated with alcohol and may have a positive effect on those attempting to quit. Other potential mechanisms that might underlie the effects of CBD include a reduction in the severity of acute withdrawal, a reduction in protracted withdrawal, and the neuroprotective effects of CBD. Given the background literature with respect to CBD and AUDs, a logical next step is for human studies to address these questions.
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