New study examines cannabidiol's antipsychotic effects

Zej Moczydlowski
Sep 4, 2018 6:11:29 PM

While there is already evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) can prevent certain types of psychosis, how and why such benefits occur has previously been unclear. A recently published study, completed at King’s College London's Department of Psychosis Studies, attempts to shine a light on this topic...

The study took 33 young people at clinical high risk of psychosis as well as 19 healthy controls. Sixteen of the at-risk group were given 600mg of cannabidiol, the other 17 received a placebo, and the control group was given nothing. Hours later the patients performed a memory task while hooked up to an MRI that was tracking brain functions. The results of the study showed that a single dose of CBD could partially normalize dysfunction in certain areas of the brain in individuals at clinical high risk of psychosis.

The head of the study, Dr. Sagnik Bhattacharyya, noted that the study did more than just support previous evidence supporting the usage of CBD as an antipsychotic, it also helped the study psychosis in general. He noted, "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."

This study is another example of how, when it's allowed to move forward without restriction, research into cannabis and its chemical elements is beneficial to patients and the progress of medicine at large. Unfortunately, while this study in England was able to take place, if attempted in the United States it would have likely been impossible due to the current listing of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. Hopefully, as studies like this continue to prove the medicinal value of cannabis, the stigmas which have prevented progress in America will continue to fall away and lead to further research.

Link to the press release about the study

Link to the study, as published in the Journal of the American Medical Association – Psychiatry

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