Cannabidiol and Schizophrenia

Studies and peer-reviewed research into the effects of CBD and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

 

CBD as an antipsychotic drug 

From the abstract:

A high dose of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main Cannabis sativa (cannabis) component, induces anxiety and psychotic-like symptoms in healthy volunteers. These effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are significantly reduced by cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis constituent which is devoid of the typical effects of the plant. This observation led us to suspect that CBD could have anxiolytic and/or antipsychotic actions. Studies in animal models and in healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. The antipsychotic-like properties of CBD have been investigated in animal models using behavioral and neurochemical techniques which suggested that CBD has a pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical antipsychotic drugs. The results of two studies on healthy volunteers using perception of binocular depth inversion and ketamine-induced psychotic symptoms supported the proposal of the antipsychotic-like properties of CBD. In addition, open case reports of schizophrenic patients treated with CBD and a preliminary report of a controlled clinical trial comparing CBD with an atypical antipsychotic drug have confirmed that this cannabinoid can be a safe and well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia. Future studies of CBD in other psychotic conditions such as bipolar disorder and comparative studies of its antipsychotic effects with those produced by clozapine in schizophrenic patients are clearly indicated.

 

Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for psychosis 

From the abstract:

Although cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of developing psychosis, the cannabis constituent cannabidiol (CBD) may have antipsychotic properties. This review concisely describes the role of the endocannabinoid system in the development of psychosis and provides an overview of currently available animal, human experimental, imaging, epidemiological and clinical studies that investigated the antipsychotic properties of CBD. In this targeted literature review we performed a search for English articles using Medline and EMBASE. Studies were selected if they described experiments with psychosis models, psychotic symptoms or psychotic disorders as outcome measure and involved the use of CBD as intervention. Evidence from several research domains suggests that CBD shows potential for antipsychotic treatment.

 

CBD enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia  

From the abstract:

Cannabidiol is a component of marijuana that does not activate cannabinoid receptors, but moderately inhibits the degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide. We previously reported that an elevation of anandamide levels in cerebrospinal fluid inversely correlated to psychotic symptoms. Furthermore, enhanced anandamide signaling let to a lower transition rate from initial prodromal states into frank psychosis as well as postponed transition. In our translational approach, we performed a double-blind, randomized clinical trial of cannabidiol vs amisulpride, a potent antipsychotic, in acute schizophrenia to evaluate the clinical relevance of our initial findings. Either treatment was safe and led to significant clinical improvement, but cannabidiol displayed a markedly superior side-effect profile. Moreover, cannabidiol treatment was accompanied by a significant increase in serum anandamide levels, which was significantly associated with clinical improvement. The results suggest that inhibition of anandamide deactivation may contribute to the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol potentially representing a completely new mechanism in the treatment of schizophrenia.

 

Medical use of cannabis. CBD: A new light for schizophrenia?

From the abstract:

The medical properties of cannabis have been known for many centuries; its first documented use dates back to 2800 BC when it was described for its hallucinogenic and pain-relieving properties. In the first half of the twentieth century, a number of pharmaceutical companies marked cannabis for indications such as asthma and pain, but since then its use has sharply declined, mainly due to its unpredictable effects, but also for socio-political issues. Recently, great attention has been directed to the medical properties of phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant alongside the main constituent Δ⁹-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); these include cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Evidence suggests an association between cannabis and schizophrenia: schizophrenics show a higher use of marijuana as compared to the healthy population. Additionally, the use of marijuana can trigger psychotic episodes in schizophrenic patients, and this has been ascribed to THC. Given the need to reduce the side effects of marketed antipsychotics, and their weak efficacy on some schizophrenic symptoms, cannabinoids have been suggested as a possible alternative treatment for schizophrenia. CBD, a non-psychoactive constituent of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been receiving growing attention for its anti-psychotic-like properties. Evidence suggests that CBD can ameliorate positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Behavioural and neurochemical models suggest that CBD has a pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical anti-psychotic drugs and a clinical trial reported that this cannabinoid is a well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia.

 

A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of CBD: 30 years of a translational investigation

From the abstract:

Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) is the main compound of the Cannabis Sativa responsible for most of the effects of the plant. Another major constituent is cannabidiol (CBD), formerly regarded to be devoid of pharmacological activity. However, laboratory rodents and human studies have shown that this cannabinoid is able to prevent psychotic-like symptoms induced by high doses of Δ(9)- THC. Subsequent studies have demonstrated that CBD has antipsychotic effects as observed using animal models and in healthy volunteers. Thus, this article provides a critical review of the research evaluating antipsychotic potential of this cannabinoid. CBD appears to have pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical antipsychotic drugs as seem using behavioral and neurochemical techniques in animal models. Additionally, CBD prevented human experimental psychosis and was effective in open case reports and clinical trials in patients with schizophrenia with a remarkable safety profile. Moreover, fMRI results strongly suggest that the antipsychotic effects of CBD in relation to the psychotomimetic effects of Δ(9)-THC involve the striatum and temporal cortex that have been traditionally associated with psychosis. Although the mechanisms of the antipsychotic properties are still not fully understood, we propose a hypothesis that could have a heuristic value to inspire new studies. These results support the idea that CBD may be a future therapeutic option in psychosis, in general and in schizophrenia, in particular.

 

 

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