January 2, 2018

An Exciting New Study on An Important CBD Benefit

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that cannabidiol (or CBD) reduces psychotic symptoms in patients with psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.

CBD is a compound known as a cannabinoid that’s found in the cannabis (or marijuana) plant. It is known to have many therapeutic benefits, including anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and anti-seizure properties. Considerable current research is focused on CBD.

The study was led by Philip McGuire, a Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London (U.K.), and included other researchers from the U.K., as well as Poland and Romania. It involved an eight-week randomized, placebo-controlled trial at 15 hospital sites in those countries. It is the first placebo-controlled clinical trial of CBD as a treatment for psychotic patients.

CBD also shows little evidence of side effects -- unlike traditional anti-psychotic medications.

Psychosis is a symptom of an underlying disorder, not a disease itself. It usually occurs in patients with mental illnesses like schizophrenia, but sometimes occurs in those suffering from other brain diseases. Psychosis usually manifests itself in hallucinations or delusions.

McGuire and his team found that the patients treated with the best CBD oil experienced a significant reduction is symptoms. The doctors monitoring them in the hospitals noticed the improvement too (without knowing which patients were receiving CBD).

“While it is still unclear exactly how CBD works, we know that it acts in a different way to antipsychotic medication, so it could represent a new class of treatment,” McGuire wrote in an article about the study.

CBD also shows little evidence of side effects — unlike traditional anti-psychotic medications. “The absence of side effects is also potentially important, as a key problem in caring for patients with psychosis is that they are often reluctant to take antipsychotic drugs because of concerns about side effects,” writes McGuire.

And traditional treatments don’t work at all for about a third of patients. That could make CBD extremely valuable, even if only a second-line psychosis treatment.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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Good to see Western scientists catching up.

Cannabis has been used to treat psychosis in India for hundreds of years.

Perhaps scientists will now announce that hybrid cannabis, with elevated THC, but not CBD, levels is the cause of “cannabis psychosis”. Noting that the landraces grown globally for thousands of years have no such effect.

Jim McDonald

But India, like virtually all countries, doesn’t formally recognize cannabis as a medical treatment, and cannabis remains illegal there.


I’m not sure what difference the lack of formal recognition makes to my point that what Western science is now ‘discovering’ has been known elsewhere for hundreds of years. Perhaps you’d elucidate.

Jim McDonald

I guess my point was simply that the Indian medical establishment — and legal authorities — are complicit in the demonization. Agree that it has been used as a treatment for many conditions for centuries. In fact, before it became illegal in the U.S., cannabis was used in both prescription and patent medicines here too.


Ah, I see. When you started your comment with “But…”, I assumed you were dissenting. I guess you really meant “And yet…”.

Jim McDonald

Yes, right. I was really separating the current political/medical opposition to cannabis from the traditional knowledge of its benefits. I think we agree.

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