Journal Club: The role of cannabinoids in treating cannabis use disorder

Journal Club: The role of cannabinoids in treating cannabis use disorder
Cannabis Health News

In the latest issue of the Journal Club, experts at Grow Pharma explore the potential role of cannabinoids in the treatment of cannabis use disorder (CUD). To sign up to the Journal Club mailing list, click here For this edition of the journal club, we explore the potential role of cannabinoids in the treatment of cannabis use disorder (CUD). CUD is defined as the recurrent use of cannabis despite adverse consequences, causing clinically significant impairments or distress, and is estimated to affect 13 million people globally [1]. A recent review by Thomsen et al [2] summarised the current state of the literature, noting that there is encouraging preliminary evidence supporting the use of both CBD alone and balanced THC:CBD preparations in reducing cannabis use and associated cravings in patients with CUD. This is consistent with cannabinoids acting on serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways in the medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus; areas related to the reward system. [3] In this issue of the Journal Club, two of the most recent randomised controlled trials (RCTs) discussed in the review by Thomsen et al [2] are highlighted.   The first study is a multi-site, double-blind, placebo-controlled RCT of nabiximols (a balanced THC:CBD preparation) for the treatment of CUD. 128 treatment-seeking individuals with CUD who had been nonresponsive to previous alternative treatment attempts received either nabiximols or placebo for a period of 12 weeks. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was offered to patients in both groups. Over the 12-week study period, the placebo group on average reported significantly more days using cannabis than the nabiximols group (53 vs 35 days). Both groups reported reduced withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and improvements in health status compared to baseline, but no differences between groups were observed, suggesting CBT alone can be effective for some patients. Treatment retention was comparable…

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