Addiction is a very serious and challenging problem to work with for many people. Memories, sights, even smells can trigger an individual into a relentless craving for a drug. It is also important to realize that it is not the drug itself that the addict craves but the feeling that it gives them - relief, connection, apathy towards their problems etc.
Current treatment for individuals suffering from Heroin/Opioid addictions is to use powerful drugs such as "Methadone" and "Buprenorphine" which work by targeting the same pathways and receptors that opioids use. They perform very well in relieving the person of the physical need for the drug, but they do not help with the overwhelming anxiety that many feel when triggered by environmental cues.
What researchers are now looking towards to combat anxiety is "Cannabidiol" (CBD), which is a nonpsychoactive component of cannabis. Research is now showing that CBD looks promising in reducing stress, hormone levels, and heart rate - all great physiological componenets to target when treating anxiety.
Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, conducted a randomized, controlled double blind trial of 42 drug-abstinent people with a heroin-use disorder. The participants took either 400 or 800 milligrams of CBD or placebo at different intervals so that researchers could assess the immediate and longer-term effects of the compound. Those in the CBD groups exhibited reduced anxiety and craving in response to drug-related cues such as videos showing drug paraphernalia. They also had reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva and lower heart rates. These effects of CBD lasted a week after the last dose, when little to no CBD would be expected to remain in the body.
Althought the research looks promising, researchers still believe that CBD treatment still has some time before it is generalized. Those studying its effects have yet to work out a proper dose for individuals, as well as making it controlled across its various uses ie. smoking, or ingesting. Many believe that these commecial use cases wont be the best options for those looking to maximize the effect due its little dose control.