Schizophrenia and Medicinal Cannabis

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What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that dramatically alters the perception of reality and thought. People with the disorder suffer from hallucinations, delusions, paranoid beliefs and disorganized thinking and language.

This mental disease is a disabling disorder causing psychiatric symptoms. The cause is related to disturbances in the developing central nervous system (CNS ) . Early symptoms often occur during puberty and may lead to the further development of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia (Rapport et al, 2005)

Pure Cannabidiol, without traces of THC, has been shown to have pharmacotherapeutic efficacy in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Cannabinoids compatible with schizophrenia

Cannabidiol significantly reduces psychopathological disorders due to its antipsychotic effects and has fewer adverse side effects than traditional medicine. Many patients with schizophrenia experience adverse side effects from their neuroleptic medications that are similar to Parkinsonian symptoms; therefore, they turn to CBD to help them with managing these side effects. 

The Universities of both Hamburg and Cologne in Germany have conducted research using patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who have gone through cannabinoid treatment. In the study, they investigated the cerebral gray matter of the brain in patients using cannabis and patients not using cannabis. The research showed that patients using CBD had a higher density of cerebral gray matter and experienced less severe cognitive impairment, concluding that “results may support the hypothesis of a lower biological vulnerability at least in a subgroup of schizophrenic patients and cannabinoid consumers.[1]

Pure Cannabidiol, with no traces of THC, has been shown to have pharmacotherapeutic efficacy in the treatment of schizophrenia. CBD is a mesolimbic dopamine attenuator, which is having good results, but is still at the research stage.

An essential neurotransmitter that plays a role in the development of schizophrenia is dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter present in various areas of the brain and the antagonists of these dopamine neurotransmitters are cannabinoids

Dopamine-producing cells are located in the reticulated part of the substantia nigra of the midbrain. This area also contains groups of cannabinoid receptors and therefore, cannabidiol (CBD) is attributed to the beneficial medicinal effects for treating psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. (Muller-Vahl Kirsten, 1999). 

Al cannabidiol se le atribuyen efectos antipsicóticos y, a diferencia de la medicina convencional, tiene menos efectos adversos. Por ello, muchos pacientes con esquizofrenia utilizan CBD puro para paliar los efectos secundarios de la terapia común.

Jiang W (2005) considers cannabinoids to be the only illicit drug capable of promoting neurogenesis in the hippocampus after chronic administration. This increase in neurogenesis appears to be associated with anxiolytic-antidepressant effects similar to those produced by high-dose HU210 (synthetic cannabinoid) treatment

Research on medicinal cannabis and schizophrenia

The Universities of both Hamburg and Cologne in Germany have conducted research using patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who have gone through cannabinoid treatment. In the study, they investigated the cerebral gray matter of the brain in patients using cannabis and patients not using cannabis.

The research showed that patients using CBD had a higher density of cerebral gray matter and experienced less severe cognitive impairment, concluding that “results may support the hypothesis of a lower biological vulnerability at least in a subgroup of schizophrenic patients and cannabinoid consumers.[1]

Moreover, the Department of Psychiatry, Socio-Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Medical School of Hannover Germany, clinical analysis on Cannabinoids and schizophrenia: Where is the link ?, concluded after a trial that “the CBD can be an effective treatment for acute schizophrenia “and marked the endocannabinoid system” as a new treatment for this disease.” [2]

Another study on CBD and schizophrenia showed that cannabidiol could be a valuable treatment for patients with this disease. They showed that CBD works in a very similar way to other antipsychotic substances, without having to confront the side effects that lead to other treatments. [3]

In the cannabis plant there are more than 100 different cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the most widely used in the therapeutic field. In the case of schizophrenia, the benefits of medicinal cannabis fall exclusively in CBD as THC could have negative effects on the evolution of the disease.

In the case of schizophrenia, the benefits of medical cannabis lie exclusively in the pure form of CBD, since even small traces of THC could have negative effects on the progression of the disease. Even an oil with 0.2% THC would be harmful in these cases.

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Do you want to know more about the use of cannabis and schizophrenia?

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