Psychosis is a broad term used to describe beliefs which aren’t rooted in sensory experiences or reality. For example, someone may smell or see something that doesn’t exist. Psychosis can be caused by different factors, such as extreme stress, brain injury, drug use or mental illness (bipolar disorder, for example). New research is showing that cannabidiol (CBD) has promise as a treatment for psychosis even if more research needs to be done on the matter.
A randomized-placebo controlled trial conducted on 88 patients who took CBD oil alongside their conventional (pharmaceutical) medication revealed that the patients who received CBD displayed reduced symptoms of psychosis. The functional and cognitive abilities of the patients who were give CBD were also much better than those who only got the placebo.
This conclusion was reached after the researchers measured the cognition, symptomology and overall behavior patterns of all who took part in the study both before and after the administration of the CBD and placebo.
The study brought into question the traditionally held belief that psychosis results from the excessive production of dopamine in the brain. However, some people exhibiting psychotic symptoms were found to have dopamine levels that are considered to be within the normal range, so there was a possibility that other neurotransmission systems could be contributing to the development of the condition.
CBD was able to normalize the brain activity in the areas associated with the development of psychosis. This finding raised the possibility that CBD can help people who face a heightened risk of developing psychosis to avoid crossing the tipping point where psychotic symptoms start manifesting.
The research findings also raise the possibility that CBD can become a viable adjunctive treatment modality for patients with psychosis.
It should be noted that the beneficial effects of CBD on psychotic patients were observed with respect to positive symptoms of the condition, such as delusions and hallucinations. The negative symptoms, such as mood changes and emotional withdrawal, weren’t improved by CBD.
Another limitation that the researchers pointed out in their report is that all the patients in the study were given CBD as an adjunct, or additional treatment to the conventional medications that they were taking. This means that CBD shouldn’t on its own be regarded as solely responsible for the improvements observed. More research therefore needs to be done to ascertain whether CBD can still provide the same improvements when it is used as a standalone treatment modality.
Experts observe that CBD research is still in its infancy, but they add that industry players like Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P) are likely to be vindicated as more therapeutic uses of CBD are revealed by research.
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