CBD, schizophrenia and psychosis
When reality gets distorted.
Psychoses are mental illnesses, very disabling and generally affect young adults. They are characterized by a loss of contact with reality. During such crises, patients are no longer able to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Approximately 3 out of 100 people will experience at least 1 psychotic episode in their lives.
Psychosis is a mental illness that causes psychotic episodes that can last from a few hours to several days. Psychosis can also be permanent, as in schizophrenia. During an episode, the patient's brain no longer differentiates between the real and the unreal, which has serious repercussions on his social or professional life. The symptoms of psychosis can be different from one patient to another, hallucinations, delusions. In the case of schizophrenia, in addition to psychosis, patients often experience cognitive difficulties, loss of motivation and social withdrawal.
Causes of schizophrenia
The probable causes of psychosis are numerous and several factors may interact.
- Heredity : the predisposition to the disease could be genetically transmitted.
- Anatomical abnormalities of the brain, which may be due to an infection during gestation, or difficulties during childbirth that may have affected the brain.
- The use of drugs, alcohol or medication can lead to psychosis.
In order to be as effective as possible, treatment of psychosis must be implemented quickly as soon as the first symptoms appear. The treatment is based on 2 actions :
- Drug treatment: anti-psychotic drugs are prescribed to restore the balance of the functioning of the neurotransmitter system that was disturbed. They also help to reduce anxiety and distress. Treatment for depression (present in 50% of cases) may also be prescribed.
- Psychosocial treatments: these are intended to help patients to learn more about their illness, but also to maintain a social and professional life. Help and support for the families of patients.
CBD schizophrenia and psychoses
CBD is an extraordinary substance from industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa). Cousin of THC (Cannabis Indica), it has no psychotropic effect, that's why its consumption and sale is legal. It is important to understand that cannabis is actually a family of plants. The best known are :
- Cannabis Sativa, also called Industrial Hemp, very rich in CBD.
- Cannabis Indica, rich in THC, is the recreational hemp (illegal in most countries).
- Cannabis Ruderalis, poor in CBD and THC.
CBD is usually consumed as CBD oil from Sativa Cannabis. Its consumption is extremely simple, since half a teaspoon in the morning and evening is sufficient. For several years now, medical research on cannabis and more particularly CBD has been multiplying because its effects on health are so promising. However, few studies have yet looked at schizophrenia and psychosis in general. Here is a summary of the studies on the subject.
- A 1995 study (Zuardi et al.) showed that CBD reduced symptoms such as aggression, self-mutilation, incoherent thoughts and auditory hallucinations in a 19-year-old patient who was unable to tolerate conventional antipsychotic treatment. It is also reported that the dosage of Diazepam to calm her was significantly reduced.
- In 2018, a study from the University of Sao Paulo showed the efficacy of CBD on patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and psychosis together. CBD was taken in addition to the usual treatment and resulted in a significant reduction in psychotic symptoms.