• New research suggests Cannabidiol (CBD) could be a powerful antipsychotic
  • The clinical trial was conducted by researchers at King’s College University
  • 220,000 people are being treated for schizophrenia in the UK by the NHS

Results from the latest clinical trial on CBD found it has anti-psychotic properties and could be used in the treatment for symptoms of psychosis and paranoid delusions.

Researchers at King’s College University wanted to see if Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, could be used as a treatment for patients with psychosis.

88 patients were selected for the trial and administered either 1000 milligrams of CBD or a placebo.

Those who received CBD after 6 weeks showed lower levels of “positive” psychotic symptoms, for example, paranoia, delusions and hallucinations.

They also showed minor improvements in their overall functioning and cognitive performance.

“…if trials of CBD as a monotherapy are positive it would be reasonable to consider using it alone, particularly in patients in whom antipsychotic medication hadn’t worked,”
– Dr. Philip McGuire

The results of the trial were so successful that the researchers reached the conclusion that CBD could have the potential to revolutionise treatments for patients suffering from schizophrenia:

“These findings suggest that CBD has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia.

“As CBD’s effects do not appear to depend on dopamine receptor antagonism, this agent may represent a new class of treatment for the disorder.”

Speaking to Herb, lead researcher Dr. Philip McGuire, Professor of Psychiatry & Cognitive Neuroscience at King’s College London, explained that it’s possible that cannabidiol could replace current antipsychotic medications for some patients.

“At present, because CBD is a relatively new drug, clinicians might be cautious about using it instead of a well-established treatment like antipsychotic medication.

“This was one reason why we started by assessing it as an adjunctive or add-on to conventional treatment.

“However, if trials of CBD as a monotherapy are positive it would be reasonable to consider using it alone, particularly in patients in whom antipsychotic medication hadn’t worked.”

At any one time, about 220,000 people are being treated for schizophrenia in the UK by the NHS.

Patients who are prescribed pharmaceutical anti-psychotics often complain about their side-effects, such as seizures, drowsiness and dizziness.

More research will be needed before any definitive conclusions can be made, but if CBD can offer similar, if not better, relief to schizophrenic patients without these nasty side-effects, it does not seem silly to suggest that cannabis could be the future of mental illness treatments, rather than the cause of them.

References and further Reading

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29241357

https://herb.co/2017/12/21/cbd-psychosis-schizophrenia/