The brain undergoes critical periods of development during childhood and adolescence. Exposure to THC during this formative time is an environmental risk factor for schizophrenia.
Some researchers claim that THC-heavy cannabis use plays a causal role in the development of schizophrenia, but this does not take into account those who develop the disease may also be more likely to consume it anyway.
CBD also promises improvement in severe negative symptoms and cognitive impairment in patients with schizophrenia.
As part of the legalization of cannabis, the link between cannabis and schizophrenia sometimes gets into discussions. Many fear that cannabis increases the risk of developing schizophrenia, while others claim its value is to help alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
What does research say about the role of cannabis in the development and treatment of schizophrenia?
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a group of conditions in which brain function becomes severely impaired that patients lose contact with reality. In the US, it affects more than 7.5 million adults, usually after the age of 20 in men and slightly later in women's lives.
Psychosis is not the only characteristic that defines schizophrenia. This syndrome is a complex condition characterized by a series of symptoms that fall into the positive, negative, and cognitive categories. Positive Psychosis traits include delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech that characterize psychosis and are associated with a loss of contact with reality.
Pharmaceutical treatments for schizophrenia, called antipsychotics, target these positive symptoms.
However, traditional pharmaceutical treatments struggle with negative symptoms, such as a flat emotional state, low satisfaction, and a lack of motivation to participate socially. Cognitive deficits also do not improve, often leaving patients with attention, memory, and problem-solving problems.
What Causes Schizophrenia?
The causes of schizophrenia are unknown, but scientists believe the combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and the environment contributes to the development of the disease.
Chemical imbalances within the brain, including the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, may contribute to schizophrenia. Neuroimaging studies show differences in the structure of the brain and the central nervous system of people who have schizophrenia. Researchers are uncertain of the significance of these changes but suggest that schizophrenia is a brain disease.
Treatment Options for Schizophrenia
People with schizophrenia often do not have the awareness that their difficulties stem from a mental disorder that requires medical attention.
As a result, family members or friends usually endeavor to help them. If you want to the best treatment option, consider talking to a doctor.
While CBD is not a cure for any disease, it has been shown to help with symptoms you may be experiencing. If you want relief and think CBD may be a solution for you, be sure to check out Mana Artisan Botanics™
Drugs are the cornerstone of schizophrenia treatment, and antipsychotics are the most commonly prescribed medication. They are thought to control the symptoms by affecting the brain neurotransmitter dopamine.
Antipsychotic treatment seeks to effectively control the signs and symptoms with the lowest possible dose. A psychiatrist may try different medications over time to achieve the desired result. Other drugs, such as anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants, may also help. It may take several weeks for the symptoms to improve.
Because medicines for schizophrenia can cause serious side effects, people with schizophrenia may be reluctant to take them. Willingness to cooperate with treatment may influence the choice of drug. For example, a person who consistently resists taking medication may need injections instead of taking a pill.
Ask your doctor about the benefits and side effects of any prescription drug.
After psychosis has receded, in addition to continuing treatment, psychological and social (psychosocial) interventions are also important. These may include:
- Individual therapy: Psychotherapy can help normalize thought patterns. Also, learning how to deal with stress and identifying the first signs of alertness can help people with schizophrenia manage their illness.
- Social Skills Training: This focus is on improving communication and social interactions and improving the ability to participate in daily activities.
- Family therapy: It provides support and education to families with schizophrenia.
- Vocational rehabilitation and supported employment: It's about helping people with schizophrenia prepare for, find, and keep a job.
CBD also has a positive effect on the cognitive impairment and cognitive impairment caused by schizophrenia. Animal studies have shown that CBD ameliorates some negative symptoms, as well as a deficit in social interaction and working memory.
CBD has a significant advantage as an effective antipsychotic, because it well-tolerated, and has fewer side effects when compared to conventional antipsychotics. For example, CBD does not affect food intake or weight gain, which is a common side effect of antipsychotic medications. More work is needed to achieve these effects on humans, but in the meantime, consider the potential risks of THC if you are concerned about the impact of cannabis on schizophrenia.
How CBD Can Treat Schizophrenia Symptoms
The symptoms fall into four categories:
- Positive Psychosis Traits: Also called psychotic symptoms. For example, illusions and hallucinations.
- Negative Psychosis Traits: Refers to actions taken by an individual — for example, lack of facial expression or lack of motivation.
- Cognitive Psychosis Traits: Affect a person's thought processes. They can be positive or negative symptoms; for example, low concentration is a negative symptom.
- Emotional symptoms: These are usually negative symptoms, such as blunted emotions.
Below is a list of the main symptoms:
- Delusions: The patient presents false beliefs, which can come in many forms, such as delusions of persecution or delusions of grandeur. They may feel that others are trying to control them remotely. Or maybe they think they have extraordinary powers and abilities.
- Hallucinations: Hearing voices is much more common than seeing, feeling, tasting, or feeling things that don't exist. However, people with schizophrenia can have many hallucinations.
- Thought problems: a person can move from one subject to another for no logical reason.
CBD is thought to have antipsychotic effects, but the most significant evidence of its antipsychotic ability is how it blocks THC-induced psychosis. Since the disease presents psychosis as one of its main symptoms, CBD is considered a treatment for schizophrenia.
Even so, CBD's impact on schizophrenia symptoms, according to one report, did not show any improvements in psychotic symptoms for patients who also responded poorly to traditional antipsychotic therapy.
On the other hand, a more extensive study found that CBD does effectively reduce psychotic symptoms.
There will need to be further studies into CBD as an effective treatment for schizophrenia before it becomes a staple.
What's the CBD Dosage for Schizophrenia?
Based on widespread anecdotal evidence only, the standard CBD dosage recommendation may depend on your body weight. Start with 1 to 6 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.
We've built a calculator for you so that you can find the lowest starting dose for your body weight below:
The above dosage recommendation is general and merely a suggestion. Your case may differ in that you may need a lot more, while others may need a lot less. Please consult with your physician before supplementing your treatment with CBD.
CBD has real potential to help people with psychiatric disorders, even severe and chronic ones such as schizophrenia. We'll have to wait for science to tackle all the hype before we can be 100% sure.
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