Medicinal cannabis as a treatment for psychosis – Shipping Medical THC Store Ottawa Canada

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the term psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind. During an episode of psychosis, a person's thoughts may have difficulty understanding what is real and what is not.

Psychosis: symptoms, causes and treatment with medicinal cannabis

The symptoms include illusions, hallucinations, a speech without sense, social isolation, lack of motivation, difficulty to function with normality in general, as well as depression, anxiety and sleep problems.

Psychosis can have different causes such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, sleep deprivation, certain medication and drugs, such as alcohol or cannabis[1] (psychosis induced by cannabis).

While chronic cannabis use and the early onset of psychosis have been linked in some patients[2], recent studies indicated that two of the main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant -the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – have opposite reactions in the human brain with respect to psychopathology. While THC can induce symptoms in healthy individuals caused by cannabis use, CBD could reduce them. In addition, when CBD is co-administered with THC, it was able to reduce the psychogenic action of THC[3].

Research on medicinal cannabis and psychosis

In 2018, a clinical investigation in humans was carried out to study the therapeutic potential of CBD. The experts found that a single dose of CBD administered orally could normalize dysfunction in certain regions of the brain (temporal lobe, mesencephalon and striatum), which are implicated in the processes that cause the disease, but the mechanisms remain unclear.

Preclinical models propose that overactivity in the temporal lobe region leads to subcortical dopamine dysfunction through projections to the mesencephalon and striatum. On the other hand, contemporary studies with neuroimaging confirm that a later onset of psychosis is related to a increase in the functions of dopamine in the striatum and mesencephalon, and alterations in the structure of the temporal lobe. The temporal lobe is a critical area for new learning, while the mesencephalon and striatum also play a role in coding and updating information in memory[4].

Antipsychotic drugs act by antagonizing central Dopamine D receptorstwo, but the therapeutic response is poor in up to a third of patients. CBD has been reported as useful in patients who have not responded to this type of medication (for example: haloperidol). The endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of cannabinoids within the human body.

Another article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that CBD has beneficial effects as adjunctive treatment for schizophrenia. After six weeks of treatment with CBD (twice a day) along with the existing antipsychotic medication, the results showed lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms, good tolerance and rates of adverse events similar to those of the placebo group.

As the mechanisms of action of the CBD do not seem to depend on dopamine receptor antagonists, a number of actions have been proposed, including inhibition of Adenosine collection, inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase, agonism of TRPV1 and 5-HT receptors1A and partial agonism by the dopamine D2 receptor.

The conclusion of this multicentre randomized controlled trial suggests that CBD may present a new class of treatment for this disorder[5]. However, more research about medicinal cannabis treatments for large-scale psychosis is necessary.

Did you like this post? Make an assessment. This post has been made based on existing research until the date of publication of the article. Due to the increase of studies around medical cannabis, the information exposed may vary over time and we will inform in subsequent writings.

[1] RAISE Questions and Answers. NIMH Retrieved 23 January 2018

[2] Large M, Sharma S, Compton MT, Slade T, Nielssen O. Cannabis use and earlier onset of psychosis: a systematic meta-analysis. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2011; 68: 555-61.

[3] Bhattacharyya S, Morrison PD, Fusar-Poli P, Martin-Santos R, Borgwardt S, Winton-Brown T et al. Opposite effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on human brain function and psychopathology. Neuropsychopharmacology 2010; 35: 764-774.

[4] Bhattacharyya, S, Wilson, R, Appia-Kusi, E, et al. (2018) Effect of cannabidiol on medial temporal, midbrain, and striatal dysfunction in people at clinical high risk of psychosis: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 75: 1107-17.

[5] McGuire, P. et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) as an adjunctive therapy in schizophrenia: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Am. J. Psychiatry 175, 225-231 (2017).


Medicinal cannabis as a treatment for psychosis


Medicinal cannabis as a treatment for psychosis


A new study shows that medicinal cannabis relieves psychotic symptoms, as well as hallucinations or illusions. This could allow cannabidiol to be considered as a treatment for psychosis.


Tim Meiboon

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Kalapa Clinic

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