Medical Cannabis Treatment for Schizophrenia | cannabisMD

Medical Cannabis Treatment for Schizophrenia

schizophrenia and medical cannabis

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Schizophrenia is a difficult mental illness to diagnose and treat. We’ll show you what doctors think about using Medical Cannabis for schizophrenia treatment.

Even if you are a true believer in the medical uses for cannabis, you probably have found yourself surprised by all the ways Medical Cannabis oil can help patients. From anxiety to arthritis, more benefits are discovered all the time, the most recent being Medical Cannabis for schizophrenia.

The first news that CBD might be an antipsychotic came in a 2006 report published in the US National Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health. Evidence has continued to compound since then from scientific sources as well as people who claim it has worked for them.

If you’re interested in understanding the science behind using Medical Cannabis for schizophrenia then keep reading for more information. Remember, always consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication routine.

A Brief Introduction to Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental illness and one of several psychotic disorders. It causes people to have serious distortions in the normal function of their brain. A person experiencing schizophrenic symptoms often complains of hearing voices or having hallucinations.

Other symptoms of this disorder include depression and a change in their level of activity. They may have trouble maintaining interest in activities and social situations that they used to enjoy.

Traditionally, schizophrenia is treated with a combination of medications and therapy. While the conventional options help, they also carry a host of unpleasant side effects.

Some of the most often prescribed medications are atypical antipsychotics. This is the latest class of drug used in treatment. It acts primarily by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain.

Common Side-Effects Include:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Blurred Vision
  • Flushing
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight Gain
  • Movement Disorders
  • Akathisia (Restlessness of the Legs)
  • Dystonia (Abnormal Movements of the Body)
  • Tardive Dyskinesia (A Movement Disorder)

The symptoms of typical antipsychotics are even more extreme. That is why they are generally used as the last line of defense in treatment.

Why Weren’t People Using Medical Cannabis for Schizophrenia Before?

There are a lot of stigmas that surround mental illness in general. Schizophrenia, in particular, is notoriously hard to treat. That means that not a lot of people would guess that it was an option to use CBD for schizophrenia.

In addition to that, cannabis as a plant has been shown to make psychotic symptoms worse in some patients. Nevertheless, pioneering minds have begun to investigate if removing the THC and using the CBD for schizophrenia treatment is an option.

The more you investigate, the more you will find a growing body of scientific evidence that this kind of oil could help sufferers of schizophrenia. The evidence falls into two classifications, anecdotal and reports from scientific research.

Hopefully, armed with this information you will have one more tool in your toolkit for the fight against this debilitating disorder.

Preliminary Research Findings

Interestingly, some of the negative effects of cannabis on schizophrenia were what helped researchers discover cannabidiol was a potential antipsychotic. Much of the research associated with this subject is still very controversial. This is due in large part to the atmosphere of negativity surrounding all drug research during the War on Drugs.

It is true that there are some links between psychotic episodes and the use of cannabis. But when investigators started to look into the link, they realized that high-CBD count strains seemed to reduce the artificially induced symptoms of the cannabis. This was noted in a 2011 study by Schizophrenia Research.

Scientists have also noted that CBD appeared to reduce the artificially induced symptoms of cannabis in animals and healthy volunteers according to a 2006 study.

Though the results of most studies are still preliminary in their findings, research into the link that might exist between taking CBD for schizophrenia has been mostly positive.

The previously mentioned study by Schizophrenia Research concluded that in their first small-scale clinical studies of treatment of psychotic symptoms that treatment with CBD was a, “…safe and well-tolerated antipsychotic compound, although large randomized clinical trials will be needed before this novel therapy can be introduced into clinical practice.”

If CBD is able to be used as an antipsychotic, it is probably because of the links between the body’s endocannabinoid system and mental health. The endocannabinoid system provides the body with naturally made cannabis-like chemicals.

This system is in charge of:

  • Moderates Emotions
  • Reward Processing
  • Sleep Regulation
  • Adrenal Gland Behavior
  • Processing Traumatic Memories

When CBD is examined in light of this, it is easy to see why it is a good idea to use CBD for schizophrenia.

As for any ties between cannabis use and psychosis, there is little evidence that using the whole-plant of raw cannabis is an actual cause of schizophrenia. It only has been shown to lead to an exacerbation of symptoms. That means that it is best if individuals who have a family history of psychotic disorders do not use cannabis.

Anecdotal Evidence for Medical Cannabis for Schizophrenia

If you go looking for personal accounts of the positive effects of Medical Cannabis for schizophrenia, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a lot of results. There are many discussions being had regarding the potential for CBD to, “make the voices stop.”

People are saying that after ten minutes they were free of symptoms using CBD. Another user of that forum said, “I have been using CBD oil for a few months now. It works well. For me, the symptoms of schizophrenia are still there, but lessened.”

Redditor too_real_4_TV added his perspective as well, “I’d say it helps with the anxiety and depression as well as the antipsychotic effect.”

Other parts of the discussion revolved around whether CBD could be used as a supplemental treatment to traditional medications and whether it works for all patients with schizophrenia.

Another concern of those in the forum was the potential for CBD oil for schizophrenia to get expensive it is used in very large doses. In fact, one user reported that they found that CBD oil helped relieve their psychotic symptoms in a variety of ways, but they couldn’t afford to keep up with the payments necessary to take it on a regular basis.

Empowering Your Decisions

As with other mental illnesses, there is no expectation for a miracle cure to schizophrenia. It is a lifelong disorder but it can be managed with the right treatment options and therapy. Many people with the disorder have been able to live happy and productive lives with their illness.

Modern pharmaceuticals have had a lot to do with the ability of many people to recover from the symptoms of their mental illness. But most patients diagnosed with the disorder want nothing more than to be off medication.

Many of them feel like they are loaded up with drugs and thrown to the wind. For someone to combat the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia they need much more help. With the support of trained physicians and the help of friends and family, stability is possible.

But beyond that, one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to continue to seek out new forms of treatment. You never know what will work for you. By using diverse treatments alongside traditional options, you can look forward to a very healthy life.

More Tips for Schizophrenia Sufferers

If you or a loved one are suffering from schizophrenia, it is important that you accept the illness and the difficulties that come along with it. But you should also never buy into the myth that you or your loved one can’t live a stable and full life.

Just do your best every day to feel better and enjoy life. Pay attention to your needs and make sure you are meeting your basic requirements. Get enough sleep every night and make sure that you eat balanced meals. If you give your body the right fuel, you will find it much easier to control the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Most of all, try to maintain your sense of humor and continue to remain hopeful. Increasing your stress levels by worrying about your condition can cause it to flare. You should have realistic expectations for yourself and set manageable goals.

Never stop feeling empowered. You’re capable of so much. Just be patient with your recovery pace and continue to strive for as much independence as possible.

Find more about treating schizophrenia with CBD here: What You Don’t Know About Schizophrenia and Cannabis

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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