A very small study in Australia of cannabis addicts found that giving them lithium helped.
Lithium was commonly prescribed to people with bipolar disorder before the new generation of drugs. The study was of 20 people who had smoked marijuana every day for nine years. They took 500 milligrams of lithium twice daily for seven days. Three months later, most were getting high less and some had quit entirely.
Adam Winstock, chief investigator in the study, and on the staff of the Corella Drug Treatment Services and the University of New South Wales, admits the sample was really, really small.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald,
Studies in rats had shown they experienced an increase in levels of the hormone oxytocin when given lithium during withdrawal from cannabis. Oxytocin is dubbed the "happy hormone" and is released during lactation, orgasm, childbirth, hugging and touching and can produce feelings of wellbeing.
"When the rats were made to go through withdrawal without lithium they appeared to be aggressive and moody, but when they were given lithium they were a little more chilled," Dr Winstock said. "Many people say they smoke a lot of pot because they are depressed, but the truth is that most people in our trial cheered up significantly when they stopped."