Cocaine use disorder (CUD) is a major public health issue associated with physical, social, and psychological problems. Excessive and repeated cocaine use induces oxidative stress leading to a systemic inflammatory response. Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained substantial interest for its anti-inflammatory properties, safety, and tolerability profile. However, CBD anti-inflammatory properties have yet to be confirmed in humans. This exploratory study is based on a single-site randomized controlled trial that enrolled participants with CUD between 18 and 65 years, randomized (1:1) to daily receive either CBD (800 mg) or placebo for 92 days. The trial was divided into a 10-day detoxification (phase I) followed by a 12-week outpatient follow-up (phase II). Blood samples were collected from 48 participants at baseline, day 8, week 4, and week 12 and were analyzed to determine monocytes and lymphocytes phenotypes, and concentrations of various inflammatory markers such as cytokines. We used generalized estimating equations to detect group differences. Participants treated with CBD had lower levels of interleukin-6 (p = 0.017), vascular endothelial growth factor (p = 0.032), intermediate monocytes CD14+CD16+ (p = 0.024), and natural killer CD56negCD16hi (p = 0.000) compared with participants receiving placebo. CD25+CD4+T cells were higher in the CBD group (p = 0.007). No significant group difference was observed for B lymphocytes. This study suggests that CBD may exert anti-inflammatory effects in individuals with CUD.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.