Addictive behavior is a huge cause of worry. A compulsive disorder or loss of control is not a situation that you can ignore. One such addiction is that of drugs. A constant desire to seek, consume drugs, and lack control over their use has been in about 160-325 million globally.
As per a survey conducted in 2012, most people suffering from substance abuse fall in the age group of 16 to 65 years of age. Drug addiction and substance abuse has caused over 1,90,000 deaths. However, in recent years, with the latest technology and high-quality research, multiple advancements have been made in understanding the neural mechanism leading to such disorders. Many scientists and medical experts are trying to understand the role of CBD and CBN in treating addiction.
What is substance abuse?
Substance abuse is a chronically relapsing disorder marked by a compulsive desire to use drugs. It is a situation where a person loses control over the consumption of abusive substances despite knowing its adverse consequences on their mental and physical health. As we know, millions of people worldwide are suffering from substance abuse and have died due to drug-related issues. The critical systems and receptors that are involved in addiction-like behavior include:
- The glutamatergic system, responsible for signaling.
- The dopaminergic system, a set of neurons and receptors that assist the brain in thinking and moving.
Both play a vital role in reinforcing the effects of drugs and the chances of relapse.
- The Endocannabinoid system (ECBS) has also shown signs of influencing drug-seeking behavior. It is because it plays a role in the brain reward system, which leads to feelings of pleasure when it experiences something it enjoys. And brain plasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt.
- Cannabinoid receptors, especially Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1).
- The transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) interacts and binds with endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (AEA).
What are CBD and CBN?
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabinol (CBN) are cannabinoid compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound that does not cause a euphoric effect as it is non-intoxicating. It is known for its anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties.
Cannabinol (CBN), on the other hand, is very similar to CBD. However, it is a product of oxidation. THC, an intoxicating compound also found in the cannabis plant, when exposed to heat and light, causes itself to break down. This breakdown of THC leads to the formation of CBN. Thus, the creation of CBN is a result of numerous processes within the plant.
Both the compounds share some similarities and can substantially reduce the high associated with THC and potentially help fight substance abuse. Research is underway to understand if CBN and CBD oil for sleep can help combat substance abuse.
How do they work?
There is limited but rich data on the impact of CBD and CBN on addictive behavior. Based on 15 research studies conducted on humans and animals, preclinical results suggest that CBD and CBN may have potential therapeutic properties for treating opioid, cannabis, tobacco, psychostimulant, and cocaine addiction in humans. The existing preclinical and clinical studies and evidence highlight how the duo of CBD and CBN impact the human body:
- CBD interacts with the ECBS (Endocannabinoid system) and works as an inverse agonist on the CB1 receptors. How is it exactly?
- It stimulates the TRPV1.
- It also manipulates the hydrolysis of AEA (endogenous cannabinoid anandamide.
- The influence on AEA is due to the inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase.
- CBD works as an agonist of 5-HT1a serotoninergic receptors as per various studies. It helps in regulating stress response and other forms of compulsive behaviors.
- CBD has a protective effect on glutamatergic neurotransmission, the system responsible for signaling. Even though there is no direct interaction or development, their limited interaction is considered effective against addictive behavior.
- Studies have highlighted that CBD can inhibit a decrease of the ICSS threshold, which is the rewarding sensation of the brain caused by morphine.
Can they help fight substance abuse?
Researchers and medical practitioners are looking for alternative treatment methods and techniques to fight substance abuse. Several reports, including a recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, demonstrate that CBD can reduce cravings in people with some forms of drug addiction, including heroin and cocaine. It could also mean that the humble CBN and CBD oil for sleep has the potential of fighting drug-related compulsive disorders. The interaction of CBN and CBD with our body has shown signs of being a potential game-changer. With limited side effects and non-intoxicating effects, the duo can help fight substance abuse in people.
Any Scientific Data To Back The Claims Made For CBD And CBN?
In the past decade, several researchers have examined the effects of CBD and CBN on mental health. The duo acts on various neurotransmission systems involved in addiction and offers a positive and promising response. Apart from the impact as mentioned above on systems and receptors, both compounds have several therapeutic properties of their own that can indirectly be helpful in the treatment of addiction disorders.
Overall, they have found the duo of CBD and CBN to substantially impact an individual in the intoxication and relapse phase of drug addiction. But you should also consider that the lack of research and accurate data makes it difficult to understand if the duo works during the withdrawal phase.
Final words on the duo?
Fighting substance abuse has been a constant and challenging battle. With a huge part of the world population suffering from such compulsive disorder in some form or the other, it is essential to take new and practical steps to fight this evil. All hopes now rest on how researchers and medical practitioners use the duo of CBD and CBN with all its beneficial properties and effects.