Studies and research on cannabis continue to bring us good news on the ways the plant and its compounds could help us cope with pathologies and addictions. In this case, a study published in the scientific journal Addiction suggests that CBD, the non-psychotropic component of marijuana, could be useful for people who have an addiction to one of the most addictive substances on the market: nicotine.
CBD may decrease nicotine addiction
Could CBD help break addiction patterns? According to research published in the scientific journal Addiction, this cannabinoid may decrease the desire of people with nicotine addiction. In this study, CBD or a placebo was administered to thirty dependent tobacco smokers who were not seeking to stop their addiction. Those who took cannabidiol felt less desire towards images of cigarettes and other items related to nicotine.
Memory as maker of bad habits
It seems that a molecule derived from cannabis could be able to rewrite memories linked to habitual behaviours. Our memory changes our behaviour in a profound way. On the one hand our memories are basic to our life and our survival in it and also enable us to make predictions about the future. But, on the other hand, our memory can also drag us into the formation of bad habits. Smoking nicotine cigarettes is associated with precisely this issue.
Nicotine as reward
People with nicotine addiction associate cigarettes with reward, either in tense, stressful moments or as a prize in more enjoyable situations. So, for smokers who relate tobacco with stress or disconnection, they will often become anxious if they can not smoke in these situations. The act of smoking is remembered in our subconscious memory as a relief from tense situations. The experience and the environment generate a habitual behaviour.
30 dependent smokers take CBD
The researchers used attractive cigarette images to test people who were being treated with CBD. Was there a change in the reaction to these signals that usually caused them cravings? Participants who took 800 milligrams of CBD did not find the images as pleasant as they used to, which did not happen to people receiving a placebo.
Reconsolidation of memory
According to emerging research, cannabinoids can alter the process of habit formation through the interference between memory formation and repeated behaviour. According to research from 2017 collected in the publication Neuroscience, the endocannabinoid system can interrupt the process known as memory reconsolidation. This procedure occurs when the brain remembers a memory and then edits it to ensure its accuracy, making small changes and necessary corrections. The exact form in which cannabis modifies the memory is not known, but it seems that the plant works during the process of its reconsolidation, separating the bridge of memory between behaviour, environment and reward.