Cannabis Oil Can reduce psychotic Symptoms and can ease anxiety and inflammation

Thursday, 30 August 2018  |  Editor

CBD reduces psychotic symptoms by normalising brain activity

Scientists have shown that a cannabis extract can treat reduce normal brain activity in people with psychosis and reduce inflammation and anxiety, says a new trial at King's College London.

CBD does not contain any THC, which is the component that makes users 'high'. A single dose of a supplement derived from cannabis reduces psychotic symptoms, despite psychosis being linked to the long-term use of the Class B drug, new research suggests. Such symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, anxiety and insomnia.

The differences between THC and CBD

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both derived from the cannabis plant. 

Together, they are part of the cannabinoid group of compounds found in hashish, hash oil, and most strains of marijuana. 

  • THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric, 'high' feeling often associated with marijuana.
  • THC interacts with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain and creates the sensations of euphoria and anxiety. 
  • CBD does not fit these receptors well, and actually decreases the effects of THC, and is not psychoactive. 
  • CBD is thought to help reduce anxiety and inflammation. 
  • CBD could be an 'ideal treatment' 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, results suggest that the brain activity of a suspected psychosis patient is abnormal compared to that of a healthy person.

Yet, after a single CBD dose, these patients' brain activity becomes less severe than those who were given a placebo. 

The researchers believe their findings could pave the way for new psychosis treatments.

Study author Dr Sagnik Bhattacharyya said: 'The mainstay of current treatment for people with psychosis are drugs that were first discovered in the 1950s and unfortunately do not work for everyone.

'Our results have started unravelling the brain mechanisms of a new drug that works in a completely different way to traditional anti-psychotics.'

On the back of their findings, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, the researchers are launching a large trial to investigate whether CBD could treat people at risk of developing psychosis, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder patients.

Dr Bhattacharyya added: 'One of the main advantages of cannabidiol is that it is safe and seems to be very well tolerated, making it in some ways an ideal treatment. 

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