Can CBD Prevent Psychosis? Perhaps It Can


We’ve all been warned about this clearly – marijuana use can lead to psychotic symptoms. Why is that so? Because of the high amounts of a particular cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol. THC, as it is called in brief, is what shows up on drug tests and has psychoactive properties.

Excess regular use of weed can also cause cannabis induced psychosis or CIP. Ironically, a substance found in the cannabis plant can aid in preventing or reducing psychosis. It’s a cannabinoid called cannabidiol which, unlike THC, doesn’t have psychoactive properties.

What Is Psychosis?

Before we dig deeper, here’s a quick recap on what psychosis is. Psychosis refers to the severe impairment of thoughts and emotions such that touch from reality is lost. It is not a condition, rather a symptom of different conditions, for instance schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations, disorganized thinking, difficulty focusing, and delusions. Often psychosis starts with signs such as strong paranoia, lack of attentiveness, etc. Psychosis occurs in short episodes and is treatable. There are antipsychotic drugs that can help however, those can be risky. Moreover, they are only partially effective.

Can Cannabis Extract Help?

German scientists fist noted a decade back that cannabis extract could be helpful in psychosis treatment. Researchers have conducted quite a few clinical trials to date which show the potential of cannabidiol or CBD oil in this regard.

Scientists from the King’s College London found this year that CBD is promising in terms of psychosis treatment. This study, that the American Journal of Psychiatry published, gave participants placebo as well as CBD for psychosis.

It concluded that patients who took CBD had fewer symptoms of psychosis. While the study couldn’t find how CBD does this, the team that conducted it suggested that CBD probably stopped an enzyme which cleared the brain’s natural antidepressant, anandamide.

A 2018 study as well showed the same; that CBD can reduce psychosis symptoms. The Journal of the American Medical Association: Psychiatry published this research. A 2012 research work also suggested that CBD could have therapeutic effects for patients of psychosis.

So, Can You Use CBD For Psychosis Treatment?

Right now there is not enough evidence that can enable CBD’s use for psychosis treatment. Researchers need to carry out more studies to have solid evidence which can encourage CBD use for psychosis.

Looking at the profile of cannabidiol, it is relatively safe with fewer adverse effects when compared to other drugs. It doesn’t carry the risk of addiction or any serious ailments. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved the use of a CBD drug for the treatment of a rare form of epilepsy.

Sum Up

Cannabis extract or CBD can be helpful in treating psychosis, even though marijuana itself causes psychosis. Several research works have suggested this. However, researchers need more clinical evidence for pushing CBD as a remedy for psychosis symptoms.


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