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New Study Shows CBD Has Antipsychotic Properties

A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry has revealed that cannabidiol may reduce the symptoms of people who struggle with psychotic disorders. Brain scans in patients who participated in the study showed a reduction in abnormal brain activity that causes delusions, hallucinations, and other neurological symptoms.

 Just one dose of cannabidiol, or CBD as it is widely known, had a positive impact on patients with psychosis. One of more than a hundred other cannabinoids, CBD has already proven its effectiveness as a non-psychoactive treatment for other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

 Most current medications for psychotic disorders affect dopamine levels in the brain, but there have not been any significant developments for these treatments since the 1950s. The promising findings of this study may be the first step to developing a new medical preparation of CBD that can be used by patients who do not respond to existing anti-psychotic drugs.

 “These results will clearly pave the way for developing a novel class of anti-psychotic treatments,” said Sagnik Bhattacharyya, the head researcher at King’s College London. “We knew from previous studies that CBD had anti-psychotic effects, but we didn’t know how it worked.”

 To determine exactly how CBD reduces symptoms of psychosis, researchers gathered 33 patients that have sought treatment for psychosis in the past. The participants were split into two groups, 16 receiving a single dose of CBD while the 17 others were given a placebo. Researchers then studied the patients’ brain activity while they performed simple tasks.

 “This was just a single dose of CBD and that is not going to treat or cure psychosis,” said Bhattacharyya. “But this shows us that CBD at least has an effect on abnormal brain activity that is consistent with it being an antipsychotic.”

 Researchers at King’s College will begin recruiting participants for a larger trial next year to determine if a high-grade CBD treatment would be effective for those who are at risk of developing a psychotic disorder. Supported by the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research, the trial will have a focus on younger patients.



The Guardian
JAMA Psychiatry