In a 2004 study performed on rats, researchers showed data that suggests that both CBD and THC may reduce the chance of relapse when recovering from a cocaine or amphetamine addiction. They found that "both cannabinoids potentiated the extinction of cocaine- and amphetamine-induced place preference learning" in rats.
In order to reach that conclusion, they administered amphetamine to rats in one specific area of their cage until the rat was conditioned to prefer that area regardless (conditioned place preference). They then compared the time it took for the rat to no longer prefer the conditioned area (extinction) when administered either CBD, THC or saline. They found that both CBD and THC shortened the time to extinction of the conditioned place preference.
They also determined that the shortened extinction time involved neither the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), nor the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). The psychoactive effects of cannabis occur when THC binds the CB1 receptor in the brain; CBD does not directly bind either receptor—which is why CBD consumption does not lead to psychoactivity.
However, CBD does interact with the serotonin receptor (5-HT1A)—which is central to the etiology of both depression and anxiety; hence, the use of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) as a first line treatment for both conditions. Similarly, pre-clinical studies suggest that CBD’s antidepressant and anxiolytic effects are at least partially derived from CBD’s interaction with the 5-HT1A receptor.
The serotonin (5-HT1A) receptor is also fundamental "to virtually all behaviors associated with psychostimulant addiction." When amphetamines bind the serotonin receptor, serotonin floods into an area called the "synapse" of the serotonin receptor; the serotonin can then bind the "postsynaptic" area of the serotonin receptor, setting off a series of molecular events which—in combination with a concurrent flood of dopamine—lead to feelings of euphoria (among other emotional and physical responses). The increase in serotonin—in addition to dopamine—is a core mechanism of action for drug addiction.
Together, pre-clinical studies suggest that CBD’s interaction with the serotonin (5HT1A) receptor is the common-causative molecular event necessary for CBD to impart its anxiolytic, anti-depressant and addiction-intervening properties.
I can’t say which CBD oil is best, but I recommend what to look for:
- CO2 extraction 2. Whole plant philosophy 3. Organic hemp or cannabis 4. Clearly labeled milligrams of CBD per dose