While long-term cannabis use has been long been thought to lead to psychosis, a new study shows that CBD might actually help combat symptoms of this condition.
Cannabidiol — better known as CBD — is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD doesn’t make you feel high like you would after consuming the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and when taken alone, it can provide a wide range of health benefits. According to a new study, treatment of psychosis could soon be added to that list.
People dealing with psychotic disorders often have difficulty thinking normally and perceiving reality, and can also suffer from hallucinations. These psychoses can significantly alter their ability to have normal relationships, maintain employment, or otherwise function normally from day to day.
A New Psychosis Prognosis?
While some researchers say that cannabis taken in large doses can be a risk factor for psychosis in some users, it’s unclear whether cannabis can trigger the condition on its own if no other risk factors are present. Researchers also aren’t sure how much THC someone needs to consume during their lifetime to be at risk for psychosis.
On the flip side, a study by researchers at King’s College London shows that CBD might be a useful treatment for mental health conditions like psychosis.
For the study, a group of patients with schizophrenia received 1000 mg of CBD every day for six weeks. Another group received a placebo every day for six weeks. Both groups continued taking their existing antipsychotic medication, and after the six weeks, the group receiving CBD “had lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms, and were more likely to have been rated as improved and as not severely unwell by the treating clinician.”
According to King’s College London, antipsychotic drugs “are often only partially effective, and can be associated with serious side effects.” CBD, with no known side effects, might be a good alternative for those reluctant to take “normal” medication, or for those who can’t take handle their antipsychotic treatments because the side effects are too difficult to live with.
The lead author of the study calls the initial findings are promising, and says the next step is to carry out larger trials to “assess the effectiveness of CBD in other types of patients.”