The ability of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) to reduce anxiety, prevent seizures and reduce psychotic behaviour may be relevant in the treatment of addiction to alcohol and other drugs
This project is investigating whether cannabinoids have therapeutic efficacy in treating methamphetamine addiction. We are testing various phytocannabinoids in a preclinical model of addiction in which rats voluntarily self-administer methamphetamine.
Some of the findings of this ongoing study have been published, showing that cannabidiol strongly inhibits the intravenous self-administration of methamphetamine in rats. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30260267
This is an ongoing collaboration between the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.
In the past decade opioid overdose deaths have nearly doubled in both the USA and Australia, now killing more people in the USA each year than car crashes, firearms and breast cancer. In Australia, the majority of opioid overdose deaths are related to pharmaceutical opioids. The severe physical withdrawal syndrome that emerges after cessation of opioid use is a significant contributor to individuals transitioning to problematic use and is a major hurdle to recovery attempts. The endogenous-cannabinoid and opioid systems are deeply intertwined, with numerous lines of evidence suggesting cannabinoids may offer a breakthrough treatment for opioid addiction. In this project we are using gold-stand preclinical models to assess the potential of cannabinoids for treating opioid withdrawal.
Research Team: Dr Michael Bowen (Lambert Initiative, University of Sydney)