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Can CBD Be Used to Prevent or Treat Psychosis?

August 26, 2022 4 min read

Can CBD Be Used to Prevent or Treat Psychosis?

Can CBD Be Used to Prevent or Treat Psychosis?

CBD treats psychosis by calming the body and lowering irrational behaviors associated with the condition. It also treats depression and anxiety that lead to psychotic behavior.

CBD in the medical world has grown in popularity and demand recently. The cannabis derivative helps with many illnesses and mental disorders. Anecdotal studies have shown that CBD helps with neuropathic pain and inflammation and suppresses psychological disorders such as anxiety and PTSD. Notably, the efficacy of CBD for mental and physical treatment is still a subject of study. This article discusses the impacts of CBD on certain body functions and evaluates how CBD’s interaction with the body can treat psychosis.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental condition where an individual is alienated from reality. The condition is hallucinating; psychotic patients might see or hear non-existent phenomena. Although it could emanate from mental illnesses such as bipolar disease, psychosis can result from drug use, brain injury, or extreme stress. Patients have difficulty focusing on tasks and concentrating for long; the patients may also have fear and false beliefs.

How CBD works on psychosis

CBD is one of the hundreds of compounds found in the cannabis plant; it is similar to THC, another cannabis compound popularly known for its 'high' effects when smoked or inhaled. Kosgodage (2018) and Baswan et al. (2020) showed that CBD can treat arthritis, acne, and cancer-related pain. Studies also show that trace amounts of THC in CBD products can reduce the effects of drug-induced psychotic symptoms. 

The body's endocannabinoid system has receptors that aid the transmission of information throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system is also responsible for controlling mood, sleeping patterns, and food intake. CBDs' interaction with this system is thought to correct mental disorders such as anxiety ( Moltke & Hindocha (2021). From this context, CBD could be effective for some symptoms of psychosis. Although scientists are excited at this new possibility, more research needs to ascertain these claims. 

How might CBD help combat the symptoms of psychosis?

Antipsychotics trigger the release of some neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and noradrenaline that suppress psychotic symptoms. However, the production of dopamine might cause severe psychosis. Studies show that CBD's ability to interact with the body's neurotransmission might help patients at high risk of psychosis. CBD might be able to normalize the brain's activity through its interaction with ECS. One major limitation of CBD is its ability to undermine the effectiveness of other antipsychotic drugs, a phenomenon that could aggravate psychotic behavior.

What to know before considering CBD for psychosis

THC and CBD are extracted from the cannabis plant, and although most of the extraction focuses on CBD, products might contain THC traces. There are three forms of CBD; full spectrum containing all compounds of the cannabis plant, broad spectrum containing some but not all cannabis derivatives, and isolates containing only CBD as the sole compound. Studies show that cannabinoids in Full spectrum work in synergy to provide a wider range of benefits compared to the broad and isolate spectrums.

The legal amount of THC accepted in CBD is 0.3%; however, some brands might contain low quality products with misleading levels of THC. It is important to remember that THC should not be consumed for psychotic symptoms. Therefore, you should get the right quality of products to avoid harmful amounts of THC.

Does CBD have any side effects?

Although CBD products are considered safe, users could experience some side effects. However, many of these side effects emanate from low-quality products or improper usage of CBD. Some of the side effects are dry mouth, fatigue, diarrhea, and feeling nauseous (Meissner & Cascella (2021). In addition, CBD products may interact with pharmaceutical products, reducing their action in the body; for instances some heart medicine and antipsychotics might interact with CBD. If you have any prescribed medicine, consult your doctor before taking CBD.

Conclusion

The research on CBD products is in its infancy; current claims rely on observational studies and anecdotal research. However, a fair amount of data shows that CBD products can reduce psychotic precursors like stress, depression, and anxiety. While full-spectrum CBD provides an entourage effect for psychotic behavior, users should avoid elevated levels of THC; psychoactive drugs worsen psychotic symptoms. Therefore, users should use high-quality products with known compositions of THC to prevent the harmful effects of THC-laden products.

References

Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N.             (2020).Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and             disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 927.

Kosgodage, U. S., Mould, R., Henley, A. B., Nunn, A. V., Guy, G. W., Thomas, E. L., ... &             Lange, S. (2018). Cannabidiol (CBD) is a novel inhibitor for exosome and    microvesicle (EMV) release in cancer. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 889.

Meissner, H., &Cascella, M. (2021).Cannabidiol (CBD).In StatPearls [Internet].StatPearls Publishing.

Moltke, J., &Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of             CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal         of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.