Yo, what’s good, it’s your boy Dan and today we’re talking about cannabis, CBD, and psychosis. So, peep this – research shows that there’s a connection between the psychotropic effects of weed and psychosis. But where does the non-psychotropic cannabinoid CBD fit into the picture? Let’s break it down.
First things first, what even is psychosis? Basically, it’s when you lose grip on reality. This can be a temporary thing, maybe after a traumatic experience or from taking some crazy drugs. Or it can be a long-term condition that seriously affects your life and those around you. Psychosis can take on all sorts of forms, like schizophrenia, paranoid delusions, megalomania, and acute bipolar disorders. It can involve hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing things), elaborate delusions (like thinking you’re the target of a grand conspiracy), changes in behavior and perception, and disrupted thought patterns.
Even deep depression can be considered a mild form of psychosis. And some antidepressants are also antipsychotics (and vice versa). Basically, mental health is complicated as hell.
Now, let’s talk about how weed fits in. For years, people have been saying that cannabis triggers the onset of psychosis and even schizophrenia. And there are a couple of reasons why that seems logical. For one thing, new smokers can get overwhelmed by the effects of weed – like increased heart rate and panic attacks – which can actually turn into a benign psychotic episode. And for another thing, there are a lot of weed users in psychiatric wards compared to the general population.
But here’s the thing – it might just be a statistical relief bias. When they study institutionalized mental patients inside out, they find that three things are usually present: alcohol, tobacco, and to a lesser extent, cannabis. Now obviously alcohol and tobacco are way more prevalent in society than weed is (even though we all know plenty of stoners). But what if cannabis is actually helping some people deal with their mental health issues? Maybe patients learn to relieve their symptoms by getting high and soothing the mind.
Now, let’s get into some real science stuff – there was a study done at King’s College London that shed some major light on this whole debate. Professor Philip McGuire headed up the research team for a paper called “Cannabidiol (CBD) as an Adjunctive Therapy in Schizophrenia: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial”. They gave 88 randomized schizophrenia patients either a placebo or CBD alongside their usual medication for six weeks. Half got a neutral substance while half got daily doses of 1000mg of CBD – but no one knew which group they were in.
Here’s the kicker – they found that CBD seems to help patients who don’t respond to other treatments for psychosis. It targets different neurotransmitter systems than traditional antipsychotic drugs do (which act by blocking dopamine receptors).
So does this mean we should all start smoking weed to avoid psychosis? Nah man, not necessarily. THC – the psychoactive compound in weed – has been known to cause anxiety and paranoia in inexperienced smokers. And there are studies that suggest teenage cannabis consumption is correlated with early onset schizophrenia – but correlation doesn’t imply causation. So we can’t say with certainty that cannabis causes mental disorders or cures them.
But here’s what we do know – THC gets you high and there’s still a lot of social stigma around it. On the other hand, CBD is non-intoxicating so it escapes some of that stigma. But THC has been effective for people with PTSD and other psychological conditions too.
At the end of the day, we still have a lot to learn about how different cannabinoids affect mental health conditions like psychosis. There are over 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis besides THC and CBD – so who knows how those could come into play? And what about different proportions of each cannabinoid for different people suffering from different conditions?
The bottom line is this – traditional pharmacological solutions for psychosis come with a lot of unwanted side effects. Patients often end up taking more medications just to combat those side effects. And there’s no one set treatment for psychosis – psychiatrists literally experiment with different drugs on patients to see what works best. So could just the right proportion of cannabinoids eventually replace these side effect-plagued medications?
Only time will tell as more studies are done on this wonderful plant. The evidence so far is overwhelming though – almost all fields of medicine are curious about how cannabis could help treat different conditions or diseases. It’s high time we put more research into this amazing plant all over the world.
Disclaimer: Yo I’m just spitting facts I found from research gathered from external sources – this ain’t no medical advice so don’t come at me if you start tripping balls after trying to self-medicate with weed or anything else for that matter. Stay safe out there my dudes!