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New Study in UK says Cannabis Constituent May Treat Psychosis

A Cannabis Dispensary in St. Paul’s, Minnesota

LONDON, UK –A new study has found that cannabis is, after all, a substance with some potential for good.  According to the study, an ingredient in cannabis called cannabidiol or CBD has revealed a capacity in a clinical trial as a probable new therapy for psychosis, scientists said Friday.

In exploration containing 88 people with psychosis, a severe mental disorder pigeon-holed by anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, scientists established that patients treated with CBD had lesser levels of psychotic symptoms than those who received a placebo.

The study also found that those treated with CBD were also tended to be rated as improved by their psychiatrist, and had signs of better cognitive performance and functioning those who did not.

The key psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It has the potential to induce paranoia and anxiety and other unpleasant psychotic symptoms.

CBD, which has a second major constituent, has the opposite effects to THC, a fact that is leading scientists to believe the substance might one day be beneficial as a treatment in mental health.

The placebo-controlled trial of CBD in patients with psychosis research was conducted by top scientists at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

Their findings have been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Philip McGuire, who co-led the trial, said: “The study indicated that CBD may be effective in psychosis: patients treated with CBD showed a significant reduction in symptoms, and their treating psychiatrists rated them as having improved overall.”

He added: “Although it is still unclear exactly how CBD works, it acts in a different way to antipsychotic medication, and … could represent a new class of treatment.”

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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