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CBD and Schizophrenia: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that CBD could potentially help treat the symptoms of schizophrenia? Read on to learn everything you need to know about CBD and schizophrenia.
February 15, 2019

Today, 46 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have passed some degree of medical cannabis laws.

CBD is an important medicinal compound of cannabis. In fact, recent research on CBD and schizophrenia has shown a lot of promise.

CBD oil may be one of the safest and most effective options for assisting with the symptoms of schizophrenia. It’s not yet an approved alternative to traditional pharmaceutical medication that has undesirable side effects.

To learn more about CBD oil and it’s relationship with potential schizophrenia therapies, keep reading.

What is CBD?

The cannabis sativa plant contains over 104 chemical compounds that we know of. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the more well-known and researched of these cannabinoids.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC is well known for its psychoactive properties. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting you high when you smoke marijuana.

CBD isn’t a psychoactive compound. It shares many of the same properties of THC, and a lot of other exclusive health benefits, but without the sensation of getting high.

This is partly why CBD is such a desirable substance. It offers all the benefits of THC without any of the feelings of getting high.

For patients with schizophrenia, avoiding the psychoactive properties is of special importance. They can actually exacerbate psychotic episodes.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is an extract from the form of the cannabis sativa plant that is CBD dominant (i.e the hemp plant). Oil can be derived from flowers, stalks, and leaves of the plant. Sometimes, it’s diluted with a carrier oil.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a regulatory system in our bodies. The system consists of endocannabinoid compounds that are naturally produced by our body as well as receptors.

The ECS extends throughout our body. It goes from the mammalian part of our brain to the central and peripheral nervous systems. It’s also in the organs, glands, and our immune cells.

The endocannabinoid system helps our body achieve homeostasis. This refers to an internal balance that includes sleep, pain, immune system response, appetite, and even mood.

Your body produces endocannabinoids. These neurotransmitters bind to tiny protein receptor and stimulate them out chemical signals. But the compounds found in cannabis can also interact with that system and positively affect it.

It can ease the discomfort caused by a number of different acute and chronic health issues. It also offers a natural alternative for various symptoms and negates the needs to involve opioids or more dangerous, habit-forming drugs.

CBD and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that falls under the psychotic disorder spectrum. Schizophrenia patients experience distortions in thinking that are severe and debilitating. They may have hallucinations, depression, and difficulty engaging in social activities.

Cognitive Symptoms

Schizophrenia has both positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. These range widely from individual to individual.

  • Positive symptoms are those that aren’t visible in healthy individuals.
  • Negative symptoms are symptoms that cause disruptions in normal behavior.
  • Cognitive symptoms involve problems concentrating, focusing, comprehending new information, and making decisions.

The conventional medications for schizophrenia aim to control positive symptoms like hallucinations. But this type of treatment doesn’t work as well on cognitive and negative symptoms.

Studies show that CBD may be able help with cognitive symptoms.

Psychotic Episode Symptoms

Cannabis with high-CBD concentrations leads to fewer psychotic episodes for many schizophrenia patients. Studies demonstrated this effect in both animals and healthy volunteers. In this capacity, CBD can assist schizophrenia patients to gain back their sense of reality and, ultimately, their lives.

How Does it Work?

We won’t know the benefits of CBD and schizophrenia without larger, randomized clinical trials. This will help scientists better understand how it should be used for various conditions.

Research also provides insight into exactly how CBD works with our bodies to produce such benefits. For now, researchers have some ideas as to how CBD works.

The ECS we discussed early regulates emotions, sleep, reward processing, and many other elements that are needed for internal balance. And, technically, the ECS produces its own cannabis-like compounds in the form of naturally produced cannabinoids.

You can think of the ECS as its own antipsychotic system. Because its aim is to achieve internal balance, the ECS has a large impact on our mental health. CBD essentially supplements your natural cannabinoids with those derived from the cannabis plant.

Alternative to Other Treatment

There are pharmaceutical treatments for schizophrenia that can help a person live a more normal life. However, they often carry undesirable side effects.

These include muscle spasms, tremors, restlessness, drowsiness, and dizziness. But they may also cause physiological effects such as metabolic changes, weight gain, and high cholesterol.

CBD has not yet proved itself to be an effective, safe, and well-tolerated therapeutic option for many of the symptoms of schizophrenia, though this study is a great start. It is, however, a natural option with little to no side effects or associated risks.

Are You Considering CBD Care?

The research shows that the relationship between CBD and schizophrenia is a positive one. CBD shows promise in assisting with both the cognitive symptoms of the illness as well as the psychotic episodes. Best of all, it’s well-tolerated by most individuals.

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