Since cannabidiol (CBD) is considered a schedule 1 substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, concern of CBD abuse potential was studied at Syneos Health in Ontario, Canada. This was a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial comparing CBD with alprazolam, dronabinol and placebo in healthy recreational poly drug users. The publication appeared in Epilepsy & Behavior in 2018.
Patient CBD dosing was prescribed at either 750mg, 1500mg and 4500mg. Alprazolam was dosed at 2mg and dronabinol was dosed at both 10mg and 30mg, The primary end-point to assess abuse potential was on Drug-Liking scale.
Patients had significantly higher Drug-Liking with alprazolam and dronabinol as compared to CBD at all doses of 750mg, 1500mg and 4500mg. Results also demonstrated higher patient values of Overall-Liking and Take Drug Again in alprazolam and dronabinol. CBD also showed no adverse effects on cognitive/pyschomotor tests in contrast to alprazolam.
The results support minimal CBD abuse potential and low cognitive/pyschomotor impairment over a range of doses up to a supratherapeutic dose of 4500mg. It also demonstrates the minimal psychoactive effect of CBD.