Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder. The disease takes roots in the patients at the age of 16 to 25. It is a condition where the sufferer has lost his touch from reality and presents the symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, and other cognitive abnormalities.
Till now the exact cause of the mental disorder still hasn’t been zeroed in but around 3.5 million people are said to fall victim to the disorder in the US alone. Further, the mental disorder is highly expensive to treat means that about 50% of the sufferers do not get treatment. It is a severe form of mental disorder like psychosis, which is said to be a cumulative result of genetic, environmental and chemical factors.
By saying that it is genetic, we mean that if a family member suffered from schizophrenia, then it is highly likely that the disorder will also take root in other members of the same family. Scientists haven’t been able to pinpoint it to a single gene, but think it to be linked to a set of genes.
The separation from reality can also result from some depletion or change in the physiology of the brain brought about by drug abuse and stress. Further, abnormality in the functions of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin involved in the regulation of several functions of the brain have also been reported to lead to this severe mental disorder.
The cannabis studies that existed from earlier years have been re-evaluated by scientists like Dr. Katrina Green, Ashleigh Osborne, and Professor Nadia Solowij. This re-evaluation has brought to light some very promising uses of CBD for modern diseases.
As mentioned earlier it is proposed that almost 50% of the sufferers will not be able to afford treatment of schizophrenia because of it being highly expensive. This is another reason that scientists and patients are very much interested in using CBD for the treatment of schizophrenia. But it should be made clear from the beginning that CBD does not show any beneficial effects when psychosis or schizophrenia has reached the severe stage.
The Role of CBD in Schizophrenia treatment
CBD use in patients suffering from mental illness has shown positive outcomes. But CBD has been seen to have no effects in people who have normal brain functioning, suggesting it only corrects the abnormalities in the brain functioning and hence curing the problem. It has shown promising results in the treatment of Alzheimer’s’, Parkinson’s and neuro-inflammatory ailments like meningitis, hepatic encephalopathy, and cerebral malaria.
With impressive results of the re-evaluation of benefits of CBD on neurological disorders, scientists namely Professor Xu-Feng Huang and Ilijana Babic carried out their own CBD study on rats. The results of the study showed that CBD was able to reduce the social withdrawal and cognitive deficits. Further CBD also restored the normal functioning of memory, social behavior, and recognition of reality which the modern prescription medicines still haven’t been able to achieve. Moreover, no side effects such as alteration in the food habits and body weight were observed through CBD use which constitutes the side-effects of the prescribed medicines.
Recent studies have shown that CBD can protect the blocked dopamine which results due to pharmaceutical treatments. It has been observed that 6 weeks of CBD treatment when given along with the usual medicines for the treatment of schizophrenia showed a greater reduction in the symptoms of schizophrenia. Apart from a reduction in the severity of psychosis, a report from January 2017 of Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews disclosed that CBD can itself behave as an anti-psychotic drug.
Further studies and clinical trials are necessary to determine the wide role of CBD in the treatment of psychosis and schizophrenia which has still not been possible in full blast due to problems in marijuana regulations. But with the approval of marijuana in many states and recognition of its medical benefits by the administration, we can hope that soon scientists will be able to perform studies which will reveal the full role as well as the potential of CBD and other cannabinoids in the treatment of mental diseases like schizophrenia.
Conclusions on CBD use for schizophrenia
The sad thing is that till date researchers are not able to identify the culprit genes leading to the development of schizophrenia and till that the complete cure of the disorder is also not possible. Till scientists are able to find out its reliable treatment CBD provides a promising solution to reduce the symptoms and psychotic episodes suffered by the patient.
The treatment plan is extremely expensive for schizophrenia and as such was out of bounds for many patients. This caused them to suffer from the symptoms of the mental illness in silence. But CBD which is natural and comparatively affordable can be used by these people to control their symptoms and lead a better life. Further, CBD now being easily available is good news for the patients who had no option earlier but to suffer through life with the mental disorder.