Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, conducted the pre-clinical study. Using rats that had a history of self-administered addiction to alcohol or cocaine, researchers administered transdermal CBD to the test subjects every 24 hours, for seven days.
Following the week-long CBD treatment, rats were tested for addictive behavior response. The study showed a decreased level of “context-induced or stress-induced drug seeking behaviors.” After transdermal CBD was ceased, the rats still showed benefits for up to five months, though CBD levels were detectable for only three days after treatment. It also was noted the rats showed no effects that interfered with normal motivation or resulted in sedative effects. Cannabidiol has no psychoactive effect.
Study lead author Gustavo Gonzales Cuevas and research team said that study results would contribute to the debate around the disputed medical benefits of cannabis. Federal schedule one status for cannabis means it is defined as having “no medical benefits,” and prohibits clinical research of cannabis in the United States.
“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. The findings also inform the ongoing medical marijuana debate concerning medical benefits of non-psychoactive cannabinoids and their promise for development and use as therapeutics,” said a study abstract.