This could be really something. A study out of the University of Helsinki says that CBD curbs compulsive & uncontrollable eating – “binge-eating” – of high fat/high sugar foods in mice, and that the more CBD you take the greater the effect.
The researchers were building on the work of others that found something similar – that CBD “reduces the self-administration of cocaine, morphine, alcohol, and sucrose [sugar] in rodents, suggesting an effect on the reward-response.”
In other words, the Helsinki study says that compulsive eating is an addiction: “Eating energy-dense food activates the dopamine, opioid, and endocannabinoid systems in the brain. This elicits the activation of the reward process.”
The jury’s been back for some time now on the fact that certain foods – think chocolate cake & cheeseburgers, not carrots & cauliflower – trigger the addiction process. Twelve years ago, for example, University of Texas scientists said it plain as day:
Considerable evidence in rodents and humans now supports the theory that both drugs of abuse and the consumption of highly palatable foods converge on a shared pathway. . . . Much of this work has focused on the . . . dopamine pathway because all common drugs of abuse increase dopamine signaling.
Natural rewards, such as food, stimulate similar responses within the . . . dopamine pathway. Presentation of highly palatable foods induces potent release of dopamine . . .
This release of dopamine is believed to coordinate many aspects of an animal’s attempts to obtain food rewards, including increased arousal, psychomotor activation [you’ll work hard to get it] and conditioned learning (remembering food-associated stimuli).
. . . it is clear that chronic consumption of highly palatable foods can alter brain function in ways similar to drugs of abuse, particularly within the . . . dopamine reward pathway.
Determining the long-term consequences of diets high in sugar and fat . . . may yield important new insights into the cause and treatment of compulsive eating.
That’s the potentially blockbuster news from Helsinki: If their work translates to us humans, then CBD could help not just with that other global pandemic – obesity, but also with the opioid crisis in the US & Canada, and addiction writ large.
Think about it: Is there any other treatment on the horizon that we can even begin to say that about?