While THC may be linked to the exacerbation of anxiety and schizophrenia, cannabidiol or CBD can potentially facilitate improved cognitive function and provide a greater relief for patients with mental disorders according to a recent study. In a detailed review of CBD’s impact on schizophrenia, in particular, researchers seem to have discovered some “fascinating insights” on its budding role in mental health treatment.
CBD may treat mental health
As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia is “a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves.”
Schizophrenic patients can exhibit very distressing symptoms including but not limited to: hallucinations, delusions, interrupted thought patterns, agitation, memory issues, an inhibited ability to process information and more.
The CBD study, led by Dr. Katrina Green from the University of Wollongong, Australia was initiated due to a previous review which found that it “may improve aspects of learning and memory in illnesses associated with cognitive impairment,” said Dr. Green.
Based on this evidence, her team sought to investigate whether CBD improved cognition and social interaction in rats and found that,
CBD was able to restore cognition and working memory, as well as social behavior to normal levels.
Apparently, CBD has the potential to treat medication-resistant forms of schizophrenia and lack the side-effects of most antipsychotic drugs used for treatment.
What about humans?
It may feel like a stretch to link a rat study (though positive) to that of humans, but the research team feels confident that further testing will show similar results in the human brain. In fact, they’ll soon be examining the neurotransmitter signals in the human brain and their reaction to CBD to get a sense of its possibilities.
Can THC induce-psychosis?
To date, THC use is said to increase the risk of psychosis and many official websites detailing the dangers of cannabis use will regurgitate this information. However, the evidence shows that only those with a family history of psychotic disorders, those genetically prone to such disorders, or those who have experienced deeply-rooted traumas are more at risk.
For others, the chances are relatively small. Susceptibility could also result from teenage-use of marijuana and its effects on the developing brain. Dr. Ran Barzilay, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine explains that,
Cannabis has a differential risk on susceptible versus non-susceptible individuals. In other words, young people with a genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia – those who have psychiatric disorders in their families – should bear in mind that they’re playing with fire if they smoke pot during adolescence.
Fortunately, the use of CBD in conjunction with THC can greatly reduce the risks of developing mental disorders. Dr. Green noted that,
CBD may well be capable of reducing cognitive impairment that has been associated with THC.
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