Translational Research on the Effects of Treatment with Cannabidiol in Addictions


Addictions, known as chronic (recurrent) behavioural disorders reinforced by a pleasant feeling (“reward”), are shown to be mediated by activation of the central dopaminergic neuronal pathway of the middle brain (“Reward Pathway”) with deregulations proven in the dorsal striatum, globus pallidus, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, thalamus, amygdala, orbitofrontal, and prefrontal cortex. These neurological changes alter behaviour, judgment, memory, learning, and stress management and thus addiction was called “Brain Disease” (Uhl et al., 2019). However, in addictions, other vital organs (the liver, lungs, cardiovascular system, and digestive tract) also react by changing their functions. More and more preclinical and clinical studies are being realised to find a strategy for the treatment of addictions and, of course, also the possibilities of addiction prevention. In recent years, the application of cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa without the potential for addiction, has become one of the options for the proposed treatment of addictions (Parker et al., 2002; Izzo et al., 2009; Ren et al. 2009; Manzanares, 2019; Viudez-Martínez et al., 2019). In addition to the pharmacodynamic interactions of cannabidiol with the endocannabinoid system, its pharmacokinetic characteristics can also modulate the effects of drugs of abuse (Prud’homme et al., 2015; Zendulka et al., 2016; Lucas et al., 2018; Sulcova, 2019). The effects of cannabidiol confirming the suppression of neurotoxic, behavioural, and other changes in preclinical and clinical studies of addictions are considered a reason to recommend further research to verify the suitability of the indication of cannabidiol for the treatment of addictions.



PubMed (, a free search engine containing citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life sciences journals, and online books with the applied filters “Full text, books and documents, clinical study, review over the last 10 years”, was used to gather the scientific evidence on the possible treatment of addictions by cannabidiol presented below. To qualify for inclusion, the studies must feature either a placebo condition or control conditions.



The intention of the author and expected goal of the publication of this paper is to provide a striking insight into the increasing number of highly relevant expert communications on the topic under discussion, i.e. the possible use of cannabidiol for the treatment of addictions. Therefore, the cited publications are also divided into messages on the positive results of A) preclinical and B) clinical studies, and at the same time they are purposefully arranged in the text for an easier overview of the historical development of the topic under discussion according to the years of their publication.

| Šulcová, A. (2021). Translational research on the effects of treatment with cannabidiol in addictions. Adiktologie, 21 (3), 161–165.
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