Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects approximately one percent of the world’s population. The disorder can cause unpredictable behavior and even scare people at times. Sadly, this mental disease still carries a lot of stigmas attached to it.
Schizophrenia can cause many different symptoms and those symptoms can vary considerably in severity. Although the disorder cannot be cured, it can be managed with antipsychotic medication.
While great advances have been made with antipsychotic drugs, they are not always 100% effective and they can cause very unpleasant side effects. Because of this, there are a lot of people interested in the possibility of using CBD oil to treat the disorder.
Many people are reluctant to use CBD oil because of its association with marijuana. However, CBD is not psychoactive and it does not cause a high.
If you want to learn more about the use of CBD oil for schizophrenia, read on. In this article, we have the full truth about how CBD might just be the next best treatment for schizophrenia.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness. It is one of the most severe mental health conditions that a person could suffer with. It’s a lifelong condition and there is no known cure for, but it can be managed with medication.
Schizophrenia is not a split personality, as many people mistakenly believe. It is a condition that causes a person to become confused about what is real and what is not. To a person with schizophrenia, the world can seem a very confusing place and the illness can cause behavior that may be frightening or confusing to other people. At times, a person with schizophrenia may lose touch with reality altogether, which is called a psychotic episode. When this happens, the individual’s behavior and personality can suddenly change. This is what leads to the condition being thought of as a split personality.
The severity of schizophrenia varies from one individual to another. Some people will only ever suffer one serious psychotic episode in their life, while others may have frequent episodes. The condition can also vary in severity over time in cycles that are described as remissions and relapses.
Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia used to be categorized based on the symptoms. Terms such as disorganized schizophrenia, catatonic schizophrenia, and paranoid schizophrenia were used to describe the condition. In recent years, however, scientists have concluded that such categories are inaccurate, so each individual patient’s symptoms are now looked as symptoms of the one condition.
The symptoms of schizophrenia are broken down into three categories; positive symptoms, cognitive symptoms and negative symptoms.
Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia
In terms of schizophrenia, a positive symptom is not a good symptom. It is one that relates to the exaggerated forms of thinking that lead to irrational thoughts and behavior.
The positive symptoms of schizophrenia can include delusions, hallucinations, and catatonia. A patient may also talk in sentences that don’t make sense, be unable to make any decisions, switch swiftly from one thought to the next, make repeated gestures with their hands, or pace and walk around in circles.
Cognitive Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Cognitive symptoms relate to the inability to take in information and act upon it. A person may have difficulty focussing and paying attention to what is going on around them. They may also display difficulties with short-term memory.
Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The negative symptoms of schizophrenia are those that are related to the loss of some types of behaviors that would be considered as normal. These symptoms can include reduced speech, lack of emotion, lack of interest in life and not paying adequate attention to personal hygiene and grooming.
What Causes Schizophrenia?
The causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood, but it is known that it is a biological disorder. There are, however, several things that have been identified as potential contributory factors in the development of the disorder. These factors include genetics, physical abnormalities in the brain, brain chemistry and environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins and drugs. Hormonal changes and extreme stress are also believed to be potential causes of schizophrenia.
Who Is Affected by Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia can affect absolutely anyone, and it has nothing to do with upbringing, lack of intelligence or social factors. The disorder occurs all around the world in people of all of the ages. Schizophrenia is more common in teenagers and young adults than it is in very young children and older people. The disorder is found equally in both men and in women and it affects approximately one percent of the population.
How Does CBD Work with Mental Illnesses?
While the use of cannabis as a recreational drug has been linked to paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis, it is the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that causes both the high and the side effects of cannabis. The other main cannabinoid found in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause a high and it is believed that it can counter the effects of THC, because of the way that it works to stimulate both CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the body.
Research has shown that CBD has a very similar chemical profile to the profiles of some antipsychotic drugs. Studies have also shown that CBD can have an antipsychotic effect on patients. It has also been discovered that CBD has an anxiolytic effect like that provided by medications prescribed for anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety. It may also be an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Can CBD Help with Schizophrenia?
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the antipsychotic properties of CBD could make it an effective treatment for patients suffering from schizophrenia. This evidence has come from both the research that has been carried out into the antipsychotic effects of CBD and the growing anecdotal evidence of people who have used CBD oil to treat their own Schizophrenia.
If you do suffer from any type of mental illness, it is not recommended that you make any changes to the treatments and medications that you have been prescribed by your doctors. However, the results of some research into CBD certainly has brought some hope to sufferers of schizophrenia and to their family and loved ones.
Most scientists agree that much more research is needed into the potential use of CBD oil for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, but the early results have been very encouraging indeed.
In a study that was published in Schizophrenia Research, the scientists M.G. Bossong and T.A. Iseger concluded from their small-scale clinical study that there is great potential for using CBD as an antipsychotic treatment.
A separate study conducted by Doctor Steven Laviolette at the Western University’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, it was found that, while THC can induce psychosis, CBD has the opposite effect, leading to the conclusion that CBD oil for schizophrenia will reduce psychosis.
The early research that has been conducted into CBD oil for schizophrenia does indicate that CBD has the potential to be a safe antipsychotic compound. Also that it does not have the same unpleasant side effects that many of the currently prescribed antipsychotic drugs have.
However, it is important for schizophrenia patients to understand that this refers to CBD oil for schizophrenia, not cannabis. Cannabis, or marijuana, contains the THC that can bring on psychotic episodes in those who have schizophrenia.
What Are the Side Effects of Using CBD?
CBD oil is well tolerated by the body and it is widely known to be safe. Like any compound that has any type of active ingredients, ingesting large amounts of CBD oil for schizophrenia or any other illness would not be recommended until you are sure how your body will react to high doses of the CBD.
There have been no negative side effects of CBD oil reported and it does not give you the high like marijuana does. With larger doses, some minor side-effects have been reported. These side effects include a slight feeling of drowsiness and light headiness, lowered blood pressure and a dry mouth.
CBD oil is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, because not enough research has been done on the potential effects of CBD on unborn or breastfed babies. It has also been suggested that high doses of CBD might increase tremors in people who have Parkinson’s disease.
What Is the Correct Dosage of CBD for Schizophrenia?
One of the reasons that many physicians are still hesitant to recommend the use of CBD oil for schizophrenia is that not enough research has been into the dosages that should be taken. It is known that different people react to CBD in slightly different ways. A person’s weight and height, for example, can affect how CBD reacts in the body. The severity of schizophrenia can also vary considerably between different people. Therefore it’s advisable to begin taking CBD for schizophrenia at a very low dosage and then gradually increase it while monitoring the effects.
CBD oil can be purchased in different concentrations, so users need to be aware of the amount of CBD that will be in each “serving”. To help schizophrenia, a dosage of between 40mg and 1,280mg daily is usually suggested. It is recommended that you start off at the lower of the two levels and increase the dosage every few weeks until you feel an improvement in the symptoms. It must also be stressed that CBD oil must not be taken as an alternative to the medication prescribed by your doctor unless you have discussed this with your doctor beforehand.
Other CBD Products for Schizophrenia
Research & Studies - CBD For Schizophrenia
Below is a compiled list of scientific research and studies on Cannabidiol (CBD) and it’s potential use for treating Schizophrenia.
- Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug
- Cannabis drug shows promise in treating schizophrenia
- Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for psychosis.
- Medical use of cannabis. Cannabidiol: a new light for schizophrenia?
- Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia.
- A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol
- Cannabinoids and schizophrenia: therapeutic prospects.
- Peripheral endocannabinoid system dysregulation in first-episode psychosis.
- Antipsychotic-like effects of cannabidiol and rimonabant: systematic review of animal and human studies.
- Cannabidiol monotherapy for treatment-resistant schizophrenia.
- Cannabis with high cannabidiol content is associated with fewer psychotic experiences.
- Marijuana Compound Treats Schizophrenia with Few Side Effects: Clinical Trial
- Clearing the smoke: What do we know about adolescent cannabis use and schizophrenia?
- Neuronal and molecular effects of cannabidiol on the mesolimbic dopamine system: Implications for novel schizophrenia treatments.
- Improved Social Interaction, Recognition and Working Memory with Cannabidiol Treatment in a Prenatal Infection (poly I:C) Rat Model.