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Scientific Review Finds Potential for CBD to Manage AUD Symptoms

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Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a condition characterized by the impaired ability to control or stop the use of alcohol despite adverse health, occupational or social consequences. A recent scientific review on cannabidiol (CBD) and its effects suggests that the compound may help manage symptoms of alcohol use disorder.

CBD is one of the two primary compounds found in the marijuana plant, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t induce a high when ingested. The nonpsychoactive compound does, however, possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The review was carried out by local health districts in Sydney and researchers at the University of Sydney. Their objective was to investigate potential neurobiological mechanisms by which cannabidiol may relieve some symptoms of alcohol use disorder.

In their report, the researchers cited prior studies which suggested that cannabidiol could impact reward, salience, emotion regulation and generation as well as executive control processes. They explained that these processes were relevant to alcohol-seeking behaviors, which suggests that this compound could possibly help manage alcohol use disorder.

For their review, the investigators examined prior neuroimaging studies on the effects of cannabidiol on healthy brains, with a focus on how the compound affected activity in the brain as well as subjective measures such as mental sedation and anxiety.

The investigators stated in their report that while their review wasn’t supported by all the research presented, a majority of the literature proposed that cannabidiol could normalize the aforementioned processes via its effect on salience, limbic, fronto-striatial and mesocorticolimbic signaling. In their conclusion, the researchers highlighted the need for further studies into the effect of cannabidiol on the brain and behavior of individuals with alcohol use disorder.

This review’s findings provide additional support to the idea that compounds such as CBD could be useful in the treatment of substance use disorders. They also add to the growing body of research on the conditions cannabidiol may help treat, and how.

For instance, separate research has proposed that oral CBD doses may aid in the regulation of menstrual-related symptoms such as stress, anxiety and irritability. It should be noted that depression scores did not change during this study period.

The investigators published their review findings in the “Journal of Cannabis Research.”

In other news, the National Animal Supplement Council has deduced that CBD is safe for long-term use in canines. This comes after emerging research showed that cannabis can effectively manage conditions such as anxiety and some skin illnesses among dogs.

As more data becomes available explaining how exactly CBD works to manage the symptoms of AUD, major marijuana companies such as TerrAscend Inc. (TSX: TSND) (OTCQX: TSNDF) could assess the available market and develop products tailored for those struggling with alcohol use disorder.

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