The Anti-Psychotic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD)

Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a biological system composed of what are known as endocannabinoids. For the scientifically literate, these are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout our central and peripheral nervous systems. For the rest of us, this essentially means that we have loads of neurological sockets in our brain that only become active after interacting with some of the active compounds in cannabis. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes ranging from fertility to memory, and it’s been shown to have a regulatory effect on occurrences of psychosis.

One of the main benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) is its anti-psychotic properties. Studies conducted on laboratory animals seemed to suggest that CBD prevents some of the effects produced by THC [86]. Similar results were also found in people – Cannabidiol seemed to reduce levels of euphoria and general impairment experienced by those taking pure THC [87,88]. While CBD was initially thought to be devoid of any benefits, it was also observed that patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital in South Africa after the use of a variety of marijuana weak in CBD showed a much more higher frequency of acute psychotic episodes than in other countries [89], suggesting that the presence of CBD in cannabis samples protects users against the occurrence of THC-induced acute psychotic episodes. A team of UK researchers show in a study for JAMA Psychiatry that a single dose of CBD can normalise aberrant brain activity associated with psychosis.

The theory was then developed that CBD-rich Cannabis Oil acted as a modulator for THC’s more undesirable qualities. This explained why psychotic events, which are relatively rare amongst cannabis users, increased when test-subjects were given an isolated form of the compound. Subsequent tests tended to indicate there was something to this hypothesis; CBD proved to be effective in controlling psychotic episodes in clinical trials of patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions. Further studies, [31] demonstrated that CBD acts to inhibit the anxiety and psychotic-like symptoms that can be brought on by THC.

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