Cannabidiol and substance use disorder: Dream or reality

Neuropharmacology. 2022 Apr 1:207:108948. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2022.108948. Epub 2022 Jan 13.


Background: Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the major constituents of Cannabis sativa L. that lacks psychotomimetic and rewarding properties and inhibits the rewarding and reinforcing effects of addictive drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine (METH), and morphine. Additionally, CBD's safety profile and therapeutic potential are currently evaluated in several medical conditions, including pain, depression, movement disorders, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, ischemia, and substance use disorder. There is no effective treatment for substance use disorders such as addiction, and this review aims to describe preclinical and clinical investigations into the effects of CBD in various models of opioid, psychostimulant, cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine abuse. Furthermore, the possible mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of CBD on drug abuse disorders are reviewed.

Methods: The current review considers and summarizes the preclinical and clinical investigations into CBD's effects in various models of drug abuse include opioids, psychostimulants, cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine.

Results: Several preclinical and clinical studies have proposed that CBD may be a reliable agent to inhibit the reinforcing and rewarding impact of drugs.

Conclusions: While the currently available evidence converges to suggest that CBD could effectively reduce the rewarding and reinforcing effects of addictive drugs, more preclinical and clinical studies are needed before CBD can be added to the therapeutic arsenal for treating addiction.

Keywords: Addiction; Alcohol; Cannabidiol; Cannabis; Nicotine; Opioid; Psychostimulants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy*


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
  • Cannabidiol