There are old as well as new research efforts on the mode of action of CBD on the human organism. Especially how cannabinoids affect the neurological processes in the brain. The main reason for this is that THC, the other main active substance in cannabis plants, causes the well-known and popular “high” experienced by many users. This has, of course, aroused great interest among researchers and led to the researching of this effect (high).
Today, researchers and scientists are aware of the medical potential of CBD, and they are searching and researching specifically on its effects and potential applications. However, the strong psychoactive effect of THC can have a negative impact on psychological processes in certain individuals or in excessive doses. And this negative effect precisely describes an increased risk of developing schizophrenia and psychosis. So, what role does CBD play in the development of these mental disorders?
The Antipsychotic Properties of CBD
It has long been known by researchers that CBD can reduce or completely eliminate the negative properties of THC. It even improves the positive medicinal properties of this cannabinoid. CBD acts as an antagonist to THC and blocks or reduces certain signals in certain receptors in the brain that could experience overstimulation through THC. This process highlights the antipsychotic properties of CBD.
In the past 20 years, breeding cannabis has been focused on increasing THC levels, and consequently, an increase in psychosis among users of these highly potent THC cannabis strains was noted. This has to do with the fact that through the illegality of this plant, breeders try to pack as much THC as possible into a certain amount of cannabis in order to increase the price of the product and to smuggle less quantities.
These highly bred varieties lack a natural balance of cannabinoids as these plants contain relatively little CBD. In any case, it has been established that CBD is the cannabinoid that prevents cannabis users from developing psychosis. This, in turn, demonstrates the medical potential of CBD in a mental illness such as psychosis or schizophrenia. You can read more about CBD’s antipsychotic properties in the following lines.
Foreword to Schizophrenia and Psychosis
There are quite a significant number of mental disorders out there, schizophrenia being one of them.
This particular mental condition affects about 1% of the people in the US, according to the American Psychiatric Association, it is an illness that is hard to bear, severely affecting one’s quality of life and ability to lead a normal existence.
Some of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia include lack of motivation, poor ability to focus, difficulties in investing effort into thinking processes, delusions, and even hallucinations.
Thus, a person suffering from schizophrenia will be separated from the real life and world to a certain degree, living with false conceptions and assumptions.
Symptoms and Treatment for Schizophrenia
It is worth mentioning that people who suffer from schizophrenia are not violent persons or people who cannot have a home or a job. They may have altered perceptions about life, but most of them are capable of living with their families and blending in with their communities.
These people don’t show multiple personalities and they are not dangerous for those around them. However, the lack of connection between the thoughts, emotions, and actions of a person suffering from schizophrenia can seriously affect their life quality.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this chronic mental illness, but with the help of adequate medication, a person can manage the symptoms triggered by the condition and live a life that is as close as possible to reality.
The symptoms of this condition include: hearing voices, hallucinations, paranoia, and distorted beliefs; the inability to find pleasure in life, lack of motivation, desire to speak, or to express emotions; trouble focusing or going through thinking processes and adopting a strange behavior; difficulty in paying attention, with the memory, or educational process.
What kind of treatment is used in the case of schizophrenia? Anti-psychotics are prescribed by a psychiatrist after a close medical examination, as there are cases in which other conditions present the same symptoms as schizophrenia.
Traditional Schizophrenia Treatments & Side-effects
Just like in the case of many other drugs available on the market, the drugs used for managing the symptoms of schizophrenia offer relief, but not without a wide range of unwanted and unpleasant side-effects.
While keeping symptoms under control, antipsychotics can cause trouble in a different sector. For example, one of the most common problems experienced by people who follow a treatment with antipsychotics is weight gain.
Besides this, we can add dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, restlessness, constipation, blurred vision, sexual issues and unbalanced menstrual cycles in women, the growth of tissue around the breasts in men and women, low blood pressure, and even seizures.
Considering that the first signs of schizophrenia can emerge, in some cases, around the early ages, between 20 and 30 years old, many people have to go through antipsychotic treatment for a very long time. When it comes to the long-term use of antipsychotics, the consequences can be even more severe.
In the worst case scenarios, a condition called tardive dyskinesia can be developed as a result of taking antipsychotics for too long. This condition presents symptoms that affect the muscles of the face, neck, and tongue, causing them to move uncontrollably. Unfortunately, this kind of damage is in some cases permanent.
CBD – Alternative Treatment for Psychosis & Schizophrenia?
CBD oil is a substance extracted from a plant that has a rather notorious reputation. Used for recreational purposes, hemp or cannabis can offer much more than just a break from one’s quotidian worries.
For quite a while, scientists have been studying the potential of CBD oil as an alternative treatment for a wide range of illnesses, including severe mental conditions that don’t have any cure, just a treatment with way too many repercussions on one’s health.
Cannabidiol or CBD for short presented exceptional results in the preliminary tests and studies that were recently carried out. This will only make researchers want to continue their work and underline the real potential of this natural oil.
So far, it was determined that CBD oil is well-tolerated by very many people, is safe, and can be as effective as traditional antipsychotics. It is also accompanied by a much shorter list of potential side-effects.
Double-blind study performed on schizophrenia patients
According to a study conducted by researchers led by Markus Leweke from the University of Germany (Cologne), CBD has enormous potential for treatment in schizophrenia. They conducted a double-blind study of 39 patients with schizophrenia.
19 of the patients receive a drug (named amisulpride) that is not approved in the United States but is comparable to the approved drugs in the United States. The remaining 20 patients received CBD for a total of 4 weeks.
All participants in both groups showed significant clinical improvement in symptoms at the end of this 4-week period. This led to the conclusion that CBD has tremendous potential in the treatment of schizophrenia, with no serious side effects.
A study on the effect of CBD in cognitive impairment
Schizophrenia, which is considered to be a neuropsychiatric disorder, is associated with cognitive impairment which includes attention deficits, inability to learn and memory loss. Conventional antipsychotic medications are limited in their effect, especially to improve cognition.
In the search for a better drug in the treatment of schizophrenia, CBD has been considered. This is because it has anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antipsychotic properties. However, because CBD’s ability to improve cognitive deficits in schizophrenia is not clear, another study was conducted on rats.
A prenatal infection model was used to investigate the effect of chronic CBD treatment on cognition and social interaction. Food and water intake and body weight were monitored weekly. Sociability was tested through the assessment of recognition and working memory and the social interaction test.
It was found that treatment with CBD significantly improved recognition, memory and interaction deficits without a weight gain or increased food – water intake. In summary, chronic CBD administration can improve social interaction and cognitive deficits, which represents a potential in the use of CBD in the treatment of cognitive deficits and the social withdrawal of schizophrenia.
CBD natural anti-anxiety and an antipsychotic properties
For quite a while now, neurologists and scientists have been studying the action of CBD or cannabidiol on the human brain.
It is well-known at this point that THC is the particular substance in the cannabis plant responsible for altered perceptions and rapid heartbeats, or the so-called “high” effect.
As scientists have discovered, CBD has the power to turn down the unwanted effects caused by THC and actually create a much better team together, with extensive benefits for human health. In other words, CBD can eliminate the psychoactive effects of THC, allowing it to act on relieving physical pain, for example.
CBD oil is a potent and natural anti-anxiety and antipsychotic agent, allowing the brain to relax and calm down without intoxicating it in any way. Thus, a person can use CBD oil at any moment of the day, as his or her ability to focus and perform daily activities will not be affected by this substance.
Having this in mind, it is not a surprise that CBD oil is seen as a treatment with great potential in the case of epilepsy, schizophrenia, psychosis, and anxiety disorders.
- CBD Oil for Anxiety – Cannabidiol & Anxiety Disorders
- CBD to THC Ratio – What is the best CBD : THC Ratio?
CBD oil offers the balance our brain and body needs
When someone suffers from a disease, the organism is actually out of balance. In the case of schizophrenia and psychosis, as mentioned earlier, the connection between emotions, thoughts, and behavior is affected. This is why the brain of a schizophrenia patient may fabricate scenarios and thoughts that are not in accordance with real life, affecting one’s perception and behavior.
Because CBD is a natural endocannabinoid modulator, meaning that it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors of our brain, it has the power to act as a buffer for the imbalances that take place and recreate a state of balance within the organism.
As scientists and doctors call it, CBD is a homeostatic regulator, meaning that it will bring the body and brain to a state of balance where it can function properly and improve the overall state of a person.
This explains why CBD has such great potential for various disease symptoms. Many health conditions work in the same way and create imbalances in the body.
According to researchers, CBD acts at the level of the cause so it has a strong detoxification potential, strong anti-inflammatory properties and directs the body to homeostasis via regulation of the endocannabinoid system. It brings the body back into balance, so to speak.
- How CBD affects the Brain – The Neurological Effects Of Cannabidiol
- CBD Effects & the Importance of Homeostasis for the Human Body
CBD and Schizophrenia Conclusion
It is not one of the best ideas to load a schizophrenia patient with drugs and expect that person to get better. These people need therapy, the support of their friends and family, and a natural treatment, which may or may not be paired with conventional drugs so that they can finally live a comfortable and risk-free life.
Considering that CBD can compete with the conventional drugs even in the first studies, there is a huge potential. No matter how we put it, CBD oil has great potential to create a better future for people suffering from schizophrenia and psychosis being a treatment with an insignificant number of risks and side-effects.
It is entirely natural and comes in a variety of forms, allowing patients to choose the treatment method that is most suitable to their preferences and lifestyle. Studies in this sector will continue, so we can expect new findings on the matter in the near future.