British scientists have found that CBD could help treat psychosis, a debilitating mental condition that includes hallucinations.
“One of the main advantages of cannabidiol is that it is safe and seems to be very well tolerated, making it in some ways an ideal treatment,” says Sanik Bhattacharyya, the study’s first author.
According to Merry Jane:
“Researchers found that the patients with psychotic symptoms had abnormal brain activity in three parts of the brain — the striatum, the medial temporal cortex, and the midbrain. The CHR patients who received CBD, however, evinced lower levels of activity in these regions. The level of abnormal brain activation in these patients was in between the level of the healthy patients and the CHR patients who did not take CBD. ‘These results suggest that cannabidiol may normalize dysfunction in these brain regions, which are critically implicated in psychosis, and this may underlie its therapeutic effects in psychosis.’
Bhattacharyya tells The Independent that his study should bring hope in a field in which medications, often decades old, can have nasty side effects.
“There is an urgent need for a safe treatment for young people at risk of psychosis,” Bhattacharyya says. “The mainstay of current treatment for people with psychosis are drugs that were first discovered in the 1950s and unfortunately do not work for everyone.”
Still, he and other researchers aren’t ready to declare victory just yet. They still have work to do before CBD is proven to be an effective treatment.
The next step is to perform clinical trials to test CBD’s efficacy as a treatment for psychosis. Scientists have already secured funding for that research, based on the strengths of their findings in their current test, according to Inverse.
“If successful, the new trial will provide definitive proof of cannabidiol’s efficacy as an antipsychotic treatment and pave the way for its use in the clinic,” Bhattacharyya says.