Psychosis is a broad term that refers to a range of mental illnesses. The worst symptoms are perhaps even more severe than general sadness, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder during their peak. Psychosis is when people lose touch with reality entirely. It’s when individuals begin acting strangely erratic and can no longer tell what’s real and what’s not.
Some would claim that schizophrenia is impossible without psychosis. However, having psychosis alone does not imply that one has schizophrenia, as additional symptoms are required. Furthermore, Dr. Alexandre Loch of the University of Liège, in a paper published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, claims that schizophrenia isn’t really a psychotic disease at all!
It appears that a natural treatment such as CBD, or any medication, can not reverse the condition’s onset. However, investigations into the impacts of CBD on schizophrenia and psychosis are ongoing. In fact, scientists are starting to focus more attention on cannabidiol as a possible therapy.
This article will look at some of these contemporary and up-to-date research. They suggest that CBD for psychosis might be a viable treatment option, with encouraging results. Please keep in mind that cannabidiol is not a cure for the most severe phases of schizophrenia or psychosis. It may, however, assist patients in managing their symptoms.
What Happens During Psychosis and Schizophrenia?
The causes of psychosis and schizophrenia are still being investigated by scientists. Some researchers are unconvinced about why some people get psychotic symptoms, while others do not. Unlike medical issues like diabetes or a heart condition, no one has yet identified a biological cause for the problem.
However, it’s generally agreed that physical, genetic, and environmental influences account for the disorder’s onset.
In terms of genetics, for example, schizophrenia tends to run in families. Someone with a family member that went through psychotic episodes in the past is potentially more likely to develop the disorder. However, no single gene has been traced to the disease.
Schizophrenia may run in families, but no single gene has been linked to the disorder.
Likewise, research suggests that individuals with psychosis undergo changes in the brain’s physical structure. While subtle, it’s believed that these changes may result in some chemical depletion or malfunction, which leads to a separation from reality.
Neurotransmitters may also be involved in the development of psychosis and schizophrenia. These are brain chemicals that communicate between cells. It is thought that abnormalities in their function (particularly dopamine and serotonin) play a significant role in the onset of symptoms development.
In terms of environmental triggers, things like stress and drug abuse could influence the onset of the disorder. This is especially the case when combined with any of the aforementioned chemical/physical irregularities.
Psychosis and Schizophrenia Statistics
Psychosis is likely more common than one might think. According to the World Health Organization, schizophrenia affects 24 million people worldwide. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests that up to 3% of the American population experiences psychosis.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, approximately 40% of persons with schizophrenia do not receive any treatment. This is due, in part, to the high cost of drugs and a lack of healthcare accessibility for the majority of sufferers. In contrast, CBD is readily accessible to everyone and comes at a reasonable price.
Here are some other statistics involving the prevalence of psychosis across the U.S:
- It is one of the leading causes of disability in America.
- Roughly 75% of schizophrenia patients develop the illness between 16 and 25.
- Its onset is at least partially genetic.
- To receive an official schizophrenia diagnosis, individuals must show consistent symptoms for a minimum of six months.
- According to research, roughly 25% of people with schizophrenia recover entirely from the first episode. Another 25% improve substantially with treatment. Yet another quarter improves somewhat with treatment but needs a lot of support. A further 15% live life with no improvement, while many of the remaining 10% commit suicide.
- The estimated annual economic costs of treatment are between $94 billion and $102 billion.
Reportedly, between 25% and 50% of all homeless adults have a mental disorder.
Does CBD Help Schizophrenia? What Does the Research Say?
Research into CBD’s impact on psychosis and schizophrenia is growing. Early signs are that the cannabinoid could prove effective, but some studies have mixed results.
A 2018 study from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), conducted by Bhattacharyya, et al., found that CBD reduced symptoms of psychosis in people with a history of mental illness. The cannabinoid was able to accomplish this by resetting activity in three distinct brain regions.
The study in question included 33 people who had psychotic symptoms. There were also 19 individuals without a history of mental illness in the control group. They served as a comparison to the patient group. 600mg of CBD was given to one-half of the persons with psychosis alone in an oral dose. The other half received a placebo instead. The placebo group did not receive any medicine.
Next, all participants had to complete a memory task that engaged three brain parts linked with the start of psychosis. They are the striatum, midbrain, and medial temporal cortex. The researchers scanned all participants with an MRI scanner during the task. The scans of the psychosis patients showed abnormal activity compared to the control group.
However, those who consumed the CBD showed a less severe instance of abnormalities than the placebo group. The researchers believe it is a sign that large doses of CBD could reset abnormal activity in certain brain regions.
This was a small study with limitations that couldn’t consider every factor that could influence the outcome. The researchers were also unable to determine if the effect was only short-term. Nonetheless, it was a positive step forward.
Other Studies Into CBD, Psychosis, and Schizophrenia
McGuire et al. investigated CBD as an adjunct therapy in schizophrenia in a study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in March 2018. It was a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Schizophrenia patients were assigned to receive either 1000mg of CBD per day or a placebo.
After six weeks, the CBD group had significantly lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms than the placebo group. Also, they were more likely to rate themselves as “improved” and less likely to rate themselves as feeling “severely unwell.” Patients also reported tolerating the compound quite well.
The June 2019 edition of the Journal of Clinical Medicine included a comprehensive study by Battle et al. on cannabidiol’s capacity to treat psychosis and addiction. CBD was found in some studies to be an effective treatment for psychosis, according to the researchers.
Some research has suggested that CBD could help those with schizophrenia to manage the condition. However, it remains unclear what the optimal dosage is.
However, the review pointed out that the dosage and administration of CBD varied. Also, many of the studies didn’t describe the source of the CBD. Even so, there is ample evidence to warrant further investigation.
However, a comprehensive literature review published in Frontiers in Psychiatry in 2021 was far less optimistic. Researchers reviewed eleven relevant articles from eight online databases to assess the effect of THC and CBD on schizophrenia.
The study team found that THC given via an IV injection worsened learning/recall in one of the placebo-controlled trials. CBD was reported to improve psychosis and cognition in one six-week trial, but other studies showed varied outcomes. CBD was no more effective than a placebo, according to one six-week study.
The researchers concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to say CBD or THC had an effect “on symptoms, cognition, and neuroimaging measures of brain function in schizophrenia.” Furthermore, they wrote that research doesn’t support the recommendation of medical cannabis for treating patients living with schizophrenia.
CBD Oil for Schizophrenia: How Much Is Enough?
People who use cannabidiol for chronic pain, anxiety, and other ailments typically utilize less than 50mg per day. However, because there is no clear dosage for any medical problem, it’s often a case of trial and error among individual users.
On the one hand, while CBD oil for schizophrenia has shown to require high dosages, CBD oil for stress and anxiety (CBD oil) has not. In the 2018 JAMA study, participants were given a single oral dose of 600mg. In 2018, patients suffering from schizophrenia received 1,000mg of CBD per day for six weeks in the American Journal of Psychiatry research. Meanwhile, in 2021’s Frontiers in Psychiatry study, patients took 600mg to 1000mg doses of an isolate across all tests. These are isolates rather than broad-spectrum CBD doses.
CBD Treatment for Schizophrenia: What Are the Options?
CBD oil is still the most commonly used form of cannabidiol. Because it does not involve smoking and produces no euphoria, this is the preferred method of medical patients.
The most significant aspect of CBD for Schizophrenia is that there is no cure or quick solution available. CBD, on the other hand, has the ability to address some of the symptoms. It might assist relieve early symptoms and reduce the frequency of occurrence-related psychotic breaks. Hopefully, it will provide a solution for millions of individuals who lack access to therapy worldwide.
Many people who require help cannot afford costly medications or high-dosage antipsychotics. CBD is effective and a good, natural alternative that is more accessible than ever before.