Researchers from King’s College London have found that a cannabis extract, cannabidiol (CBD), can reset the brain so that the abnormal reactions characteristic of psychosis is reduced.
Their findings were published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal. The researchers were led by Sagnik Bhattacharyya, PhD., who works at King’s College London at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.
The team recruited 33 young people who hadn’t been diagnosed with psychosis but displayed the classic symptoms of that condition. Nineteen control subjects were also included in the study.
These study subjects were divided into three groups. One group had the control subjects while another group had 16 youths showing symptoms of psychosis. The third group had 17 psychotic youths.
The brain activity of all the study subjects was studied and recorded using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Then, one group of the psychotic subjects was given a single dose of CBD while the other group received a placebo.
The three groups were then given a memory test designed to activate the same areas of the brain that fire abnormally in psychotic individuals. MRI scans were done as the study subjects completed the memory test.
The scan results revealed that the psychotic youth who were given CBD showed a reduced level of abnormal brain activity in the target brain regions. This reduction of abnormal activity brought the performance of those subjects to almost the same level as the level of the control subjects.
The researchers welcomed these results for several reasons. First, CBD seemed to be well tolerated by all the subjects who received it. This is unlike contemporary medicines, which aren’t tolerated by some patients.
Secondly, CBD showed promise as a substance that can be used to treat young people who are at risk of developing psychosis. Currently, there is no medication that can be used for such people, because what is available is too strong and causes several adverse reactions.
Interestingly, an earlier study at the same university established that CBD counteracts the effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabidol), the cannabis ingredient which can cause psychosis.
The King’s College London researchers now plan to conduct a larger clinical trial that will include several trial centers. This follow-up study will provide more concrete answers about the possibility and mechanism of treating psychosis with cannabis extracts.
Such studies that unearth the promising cannabis cures are encouraging to companies like ChineseInvestors.com (OTCQB: CIIX) and SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING), which are involved in the young cannabis industry.
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