It takes as little as four weeks of treatment with CBD (a cannabidiol phytochemical obtained from cannabis), for researchers to begin to observe a reduction in the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder – the majority are diagnosed during late adulthood; although that is up for dispute, as late-onset schizophrenia is now believed to be a real schizophrenic disorder surfacing much later in life – often after the age of 45.
No one knows what causes schizophrenia. Symptoms range from moderate to severe and effects the way one thinks, talks and even moves. Some effected are helped through available anti-psychotics such as Risperidal, Abilify, Zyprexa, Compazine, Clozapine and others. But a large segment of patients experience severe and unpleasant side-effects from these pharmaceuticals and often refuse taking their medication.
New treatment options with fewer side-effects are needed and researchers are looking to CBD as a possible new treatment modality, one that appears to come with little or no adverse side-effects.
Cannabis to the rescue?
Cannabis contains two principle phyto-chemicals, THC and CBD. THC is highly psychoactive and evidence suggests that alone and in high doses, THC might actually increase psychotic behavior and thoughts, this worsening schizophrenic or psychotic episodes.
As luck would have it, nature has a built-in mitigator for the negative effects that can be brought on by THC. As it turns out, CBD (cannabidiol), is an excellent counter-weight to the potential adverse effects of THC. CBD acts as a modulator, a traffic cop of sorts, to limit many of the potentially adverse effects of THC.
Even in the absence of THC, CBD is a powerful neuro-protectant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant agent. All important factors in modulating a complex neurobiological disorder such as schizophrenia.
Learn more: Cannabidiol: Good for You and Your Brain
Medical studies referenced for this article:
- Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease
Zuardi et al. 2009 | Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18801821
- Antipsychotic effect of cannabidiol
Zuardi et al. 2005 | Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7559378
- GW Pharmaceuticals Announce Positive Proof of Concept Data in Schizophrenia
GW Pharma Press Release 2015 | Link: http://bit.ly/2dOIGM6
- Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia
Leweke 2012 | Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3316151/
Cannabidiol, among other Cannabinoid Drugs, Modulates Prepulse Inhibition of Startle in the SHR Animal Model: Implications for Schizophrenia Pharmacotherapy
Peres et al. 2016 | Link: http://bit.ly/2dOKp40
Does cannabidiol have a role in the treatment of schizophrenia?
Gururajan et al. 2016 | Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27374322