The potential myriad health benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) have recently developed peoples’ and researchers’ interest in it. Among the many cannabinoids found in Cannabis, THC and CBD are the two most popular. These two have opposing actions. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is psychoactive and responsible for causing the ‘high’ that cannabis users experience. Long-term THC use leads to psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment among users. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and has antipsychotic properties. Due to the antipsychotic properties of CBD oil, it is helpful in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia, which has affected around 1% of the world’s population, is a mental disorder in which the patients associate abnormally with reality.
Symptoms and Treatment of Schizophrenia
The symptoms of Schizophrenia are complex and heterogeneous. There are three dimensions to the symptoms of Schizophrenia: positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms. Schizophrenia patients documented positive symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and behavior, and negative symptoms like anhedonia, affective flattening, and a-motivation. Cognitive impairments were attention, memory, and executive functioning, and social withdrawal was also observed in this psychotic disorder.
The treatment is mainly based on dopamine blockade with the help of antipsychotic drugs. The dopamine neurotransmission is partially blocked, which helps in reducing psychotic symptoms. The result of this treatment based on antipsychotic drugs is usually limited to positive symptoms.
Antipsychotic Properties of CBD Oil
The non-psychoactive properties of Cannabidiol are a promising tool in treating psychotic disorders. Preclinical studies suggest that CBD Oil has antipsychotic and anxiolytic effects. CBD also proved therapeutic on a behavioral level in patients with Schizophrenia.
Studies also show that Cannabidiol effectively alleviates negative and positive symptoms in patients, especially in the early stages of the disorder.
Different from Conventional Antipsychotics
Many traditional antipsychotics used in treating psychotic disorders act as dopamine receptor antagonists. As these dopamine-acting antipsychotics modulate the dopamine system, they have many severe to mild side effects, such as extrapyramidal symptoms and increased prolactin. Sometimes these side effects are severe and can also lead to nonadherence. Nonadherence, in turn, means worse outcomes. Therefore, a novel class of treatment that does not have a dopamine antagonist mechanism is needed to avoid the side effects.
Moreover, the response to the dopaminergic treatment is not altogether optimal. Patients have suboptimal experiences, and there is a lack of complete or adequate reversal of the symptoms.
Interestingly, Cannabidiol displays an atypical antipsychotic profile with a different action mechanism than conventional antipsychotics. CBD avoids dopamine antagonist action. By avoiding the dopamine system, CBD also avoids the adverse effects that current antipsychotics have. Thus, CBD Oil can be used as monotherapy or as an add-on treatment with regular antipsychotic medication to improve efficacy potentially.
Why Should Schizophrenic Patients Take CBD Oil?
Most antipsychotics have little to no target action on negative and cognitive symptoms of the disorder. They primarily act on positive symptoms like hallucinations and delusions, whereas CBD Oil has various effects on all models of symptoms.
There is much evidence that CBD also rescues memory function and alleviates anxiety and cognitive effects at behavioral and neuropsychological levels. CBD, in some studies, is found to reduce Hyperlocomotion, a positive psychotic symptom without any side effects. It has also been shown to reduce social withdrawal with social behavior, cognition, and expression changes.
CBD displays similar effects compared to current antipsychotics with no side effects. This novel behavior of CBD translates into better adherence. The possibility of better tolerability and similar therapeutic neuroprotective properties made CBD a safer option than other antipsychotics. Thus, Schizophrenia patients should take CBD oil to avoid side effects and improve results.
As already mentioned above, THC is the psychoactive compound of cannabis. While you can use and consume CBD Oil in different ways to reap benefits and many other therapeutic properties, many epidemiological studies suggest a relation between THC use and increased risks of psychotic disorders among users. Studies show THC induces cognitive deficits among patients and symptoms similar to positive and negative symptoms of the psychotic disorder. The prolonged use of street cannabis, which has high THC and low concentration of CBD, increases the risk of developing Schizophrenia. So, it is vital to avoid cannabis products with traces or any concentration of THC.
Schizophrenia patients must avoid any THC-containing cannabis product. There are three types of cannabidiol extracts available on the market, among which broad-spectrum CBD is one of the types of Cannabidiol available. The difference between them is mainly about the presence and absence of various naturally occurring compounds of cannabis. For schizophrenia patients, a high CBD dose with no trace of THC is ideal. Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains multiple other beneficial cannabis plant compounds and CBD, but there are no traces of THC in broad-spectrum CBD.
Full-spectrum and isolated Cannabidiol are the other two. Full-spectrum CBD contains low traces of THC and can be potentially risky for the use of psychotic disorder patients. Isolate CBD is the pure form of Cannabidiol with no other cannabis plant compounds, but it is a crystal form of CBD.
How Should You Consume CBD Oil?
There are various forms in which CBD is available in the market. Patients can consume Cannabinoids in the forms of CBD gummies, tinctures, capsules, oil, and topicals. All of them are helpful, but they have varying bioavailability. Bioavailability is the efficiency of a compound in getting absorbed into the body. Therefore different forms are effective for different conditions.
The CBD gummies benefit you but they usually take time to get absorbed as they are metabolized first. They can be helpful in anxiety and insomnia and typically take more time to show the effects than oil. CBD Oil can enter the bloodstream directly by taking it sublingually. You can experience fast relief and effects by placing a drop of CBD oil under the tongue.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder with no particular antidote and requires lifelong treatment and administration. Two compounds from the same plant can have countering effects. THC induced psychosis, and CBD counters it. Compared to current antipsychotics, it shows better tolerability and no side effects. And the safe profile of CBD with no significant difference between the outcomes of CBD treatment and current antipsychotics makes it a potential cure for Schizophrenia.