Addiction patient interested in medicinal cannabis as treatment


An emerging role for cannabinoids in the treatment of addictions

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

Our Research

Development of cannabinoid therapeutics to treat methamphetamine “ice” addiction

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:

  • CBD, but not cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), reduces methamphetamine-induced sensitisation of locomotor hyperactivity in rats. Read full paper here. (2022)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) strongly inhibits the intravenous self-administration of methamphetamine in rats. Read full paper here. (2018)

This is an ongoing collaboration between the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

Research team: Associate Professor Jennifer Cornish (Macquarie University); Professor Iain McGregorAssociate Professor Jonathon Arnold (Lambert Initiative, University of Sydney)

A randomised controlled trial of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal

This is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded parallel trial to examine differences in rescue medication (Diazepam) use (as a proxy for withdrawal severity) following a 5 day regimen of oral high dose cannabidiol (CBD) in 52 patients with alcohol dependency requiring inpatient acute withdrawal treatment.

Participants will receive one of the interventions (a daily fixed dose of an oral CBD or placebo) across a five day inpatient stay at either of the study sites; Royal Prince Alfred Hospital or Sydney Eye Hospital, both in Sydney. The objective of this trial is assess the clinical effectiveness, tolerability and cost-effectiveness of a fixed-dose of CBD during acute alcohol withdrawal in improving withdrawal outcomes for alcohol dependence relative to placebo.

This is a collaboration between the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, University of Sydney, Sydney Local Health District and South East Sydney Local Health District.

Principal Investigators: Professor Paul Haber (Sydney Local Health District) and Professor Nick Lintzeris (Sydney East Sydney Local Health District)

Project Coordinator: Kirsten Morley, PhD (University of Sydney)

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