Research has shown that THC can trigger psychosis, but there’s another cannabinoid that seems likely to act in the opposite way. Psychiatric Times reports on CBD or cannabidiol for psychosis and the interesting contrast between THC and CBD.
In a report intended for psychiatrists, Dr. James Phelps reports on the concerns raised by “high potency” marijuana with its incredibly high concentration of THC. He says that research shows that people who use these super-strong strains are three times more likely to exhibit a psychotic disorder, and that young people who use cannabis are a particularly high-risk group in which preventable psychosis may develop.
Does CBD have the opposite effect to THC?
Phelps points towards a review of recent studies into CBD as an anti-psychotic agent that was published in the Journal “Schizophrenia research”. It is apparent that there is a large volume of evidence regarding the effects of CBD in the psychiatric context:
Eight studies have looked at the effect of different CBD to THC ratios in cannabis and how this effects the psychoactive properties of THC. Seven studies compared the effects of CBD and THC on healthy volunteers. Nine studies have reported on neuroimaging after CBD was given to healthy individuals, and a further five studies have specifically looked at the effects of CBD on patients with psychosis.
A selection of our products
Cannabidiol for psychosis: a new treatment with a unique mode of action?
All of the studies are interesting, but psychiatrists are most interested in the effects of CBD on psychosis. However, Dr. Phelps says conclusive results that will allow medical professionals to decide whether CBD for psychosis really can be used as an alternative medication are still lacking. Three of the five studies into CBD for psychosis are very limited case studies. One of them concerns a 19 year old who improved significantly when given CBD. In a follow-up study, three patients suffering from medication-resistant schizophrenia were treated, and only one showed improvement.
Psychosis associated with Parkinson ’s disease
Phelps is particularly interested in a study on CBD as medication for Parkinson ’s disease patients who were suffering from psychosis. In this trial, notable improvements were observed and absolutely no adverse side-effects were reported. Since most anti-psychotic drugs do cause notable side-effects, this finding could point towards CBD as a safer means of treatment. Phelps notes that a reduction in motor control is common when using these drugs, but that CBD did not have this effect.
Last but not least, Phelps notes that a trial on 40 schizophrenic patients compared CBD to the drug amisulpride. Both groups showed the same amount of improvement, indicating that CBD was just as effective as the registered pharmaceutical, but there was one significant difference. Amisulpride has several side-effects, but absolutely no side-effects were observed in the group given CBD.
More evidence needed
These results are certainly very promising, but larger trials need to be conducted before results can be confirmed. For now, psychiatrists are hoping that cannabidiol for psychosis will offer them a better treatment option for the future.