With Medical Marijuana reaching new levels of mainstream acceptability, it shouldn’t be surprising that every year we discover new potential treatments from its effects. While we already knew CBD could be used to treat anxiety and body pain, current research and anecdotal evidence suggests that it also shows potential as an antipsychotic for schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder characterized by extreme delusions, and distortions in ones thinking. Many sufferers report everything from severe visual hallucinations to the more common auditory ones, otherwise known as “voices”. People with this debilitating condition often suffer depression as a side effect, as the illness not so surprisingly makes it difficult to maintain regular social relationships and hobbies. While there are many pharmaceutical medications available on the market for treating schizophrenia, many patients report overtly sedating or otherwise negative side-effects from their use.
With a clear market for alternative medicines for the treatment of schizophrenia present, it was only a matter of time before marijuana derivatives were considered for research. While scientists were at first quite sceptical, the initial studies into using CBD to treat schizophrenia have been quite promising, with an ever-increasing body of evidence which indicates its effective use as an antipsychotic.
For this article we sourced both peer-reviewed research and user-reported information via websites like Reddit. As a general disclaimer, we do not recommend ANYONE with a mental illness to go against advice from their medical practitioner and would advise them to work WITH their doctors regarding choices around CBD and their health. This article should be used as a reference to the research, and not as a total unfettered endorsement. That being said, lets get to the studies.
It is curious to see that some of the negative psychological implications of Cannabis use has helped fuel the research of CBD as an antipsychotic. In the past, CBD has been shown to counterbalance some of the negative effects reported by Marijuana smokers (paranoia, anxiety etc.) so research into how it would interact with those symptoms outside of marijuana use was the next logical step in the research.
Studies into this connection have led researchers to the conclusion that high-CBD varieties of marijuana lead to less psychotic episodes compared to others. This was first established in a study published in 2011 by Schizophrenia Research. In 2006, researches additionally noted that CBD could be seen to alleviate lab- induced symptoms of psychosis in both animal and human subjects. This is according to a study written in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research.
The reasons behind CBD’s potential as an antipsychotic is likely tied to its relation to the body’s natural “endocannabinoid system”. Information included in a study published in 2014 by Current Pharmaceutical Design states “ECS modulates emotion, reward processing, sleep regulation,” and even the functions of our adrenal gland or our ability to handle traumatic memories. With this understanding, it seems less surprising that CBD might help relieve these symptoms.
One does not need to wade deep into heavy scientific literature to find examples of testimonies relating to CBD and schizophrenia. With places like Reddit, we can look into thousands of self-reported cases, people who have nothing to lose who simply want to share their stories in the hope that they can help others.
Simply browse this Schizophrenia subreddit for testimonials relating to CBD and mental health. On Redditor called dirtpig had this to say.
“I have been using CBD oil … for a few months now. It works well. For me, the symptoms of schizophrenia are still there, but lessened.”
CBD made the voices stop,” writes one redditor called theflexorcist in a post.
“Even after all the research I’ve done, I was so skeptical,” she writes. “Honestly. My bf had to convince me to take it. Well after 10 minutes I had almost no psychotic symptoms.”
Schizophrenia and CBD: Choices and Your Health
As all mental illnesses, there are rarely miracle cures. The same goes for schizophrenia. With the correct treatment, many people with this illness are able to live healthy happy lives. Modern therapy and state-of-the-art psychiatric medications have without doubt helped a lot on this front.
Our hope with this article was to empower patients of schizophrenia, along with their friends and family, with the knowledge of the most up-to-date research surrounding their illness, and to consider every potential treatment. With knowledge comes power, the power to help oneself. Thanks for reading.