CBD for Schizophrenia: Everything You Should Know About CBD’s Effects On The Mental Disorder
Schizophrenia affects nearly one percent of the world’s population. This mental disorder is characterized by hallucinations, confused thinking, false beliefs, and abnormal behavior. Most patients become socially withdrawn, often with a lack of motivation and no interest in any sense of pleasure. Although some antipsychotic medications can control the symptoms to some extent, they have malicious side effects including hypercholesterolemia, weight gain, and diabetes. Apart from hindering a patient’s mental and social functioning, schizophrenia also disrupts the lives of his families and friends. For many decades, researchers have been looking for a drug that controls this mental illness with minimal side effects. Recent studies have shown that cannabis oil, when used in a controlled manner, treats this condition.
The dangers of THC:
Many THC-rich cannabis strains are known for their psychoactive effect, a “high” feeling that is undesirable while diagnosing a medical condition. Moreover, the psychosis triggered by THC is similar to that observed in schizophrenics. In fact, it was found that the effects of schizophrenia worsened after THC was administered to patients. This is the reason why many physicians including Dr. Steven Laviolette, an associate professor at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, are advising to steer clear of low-THC cannabis oils for therapeutic use.
What are the studies saying?
Dr. Laviolette’s study carried out on rats provides enough evidence for cannabidiol’s anti-psychotic effects. The doctor, along with his colleague, Dr. Renard observed that CBD acts on the brain’s dopamine system, alleviating the effects of psychosis. But, this cannot be confirmed until clinical trials were performed on humans. Interestingly, research from Harvard Medical suggests that people whose families have a history schizophrenia will be at a high risk of this condition if they use cannabis (high-THC strains). So, if someone in your family has this illness, seek the advice of a doctor before using cannabis, even for anxiety, nerve pain or any other ailment.
How does CBD help schizophrenics?
Schizophrenia disrupts the body’s endocannabinoid system causing a deficit of type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2). The patients will also have insufficient levels of the enzymes responsible for the secretion of diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL), N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase (NAPE) and endocannabinoids. In turn, they are found to have abnormally high levels of the enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids, triggering a psychotic effect. Cannabidiol stops the breakdown of some endocannabinoids like AEA, postponing the onset of psychosis, and this makes it the perfect compound to treat schizophrenia. This was proved in a study involving a group of schizophrenics who were given 200 mg of CBD each day. The dosage was gradually increased till the subjects reached 800 mg a day, administered four doses of 200 mg each. The results were largely in favor of CBD’s anti-psychotic effects.
How to take CBD?
Cannabidiol is available in the form of oil, pills, drinks, tincture and CBD-rich edibles. But, these products are extremely costly, so take only as much as you can. Also, vaporizing is better than smoking cannabis in a pipe or joint because smoking pot leads to lung irritation apart from disintegrating the useful cannabinoids. We strictly recommend you to speak to your family doctor before administering cannabis in any form, even if you are using CBD-only products.