It looks like the future of schizophrenia management and treatment could be in cannabis. Or at least that’s what a University of New Mexico study suggests.
The new study has found that cannabis could be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia.
The study, published in the journal Medicines, reviewed previous existing data on the impact of auto-immune activity and of environment factors in the expression of schizophrenic profiles. The researchers explored the role of marijuana therapy in the regulation of immunological function.
Results of this study found that cannabis, whether by itself or in conjuction with other medications, can be an effective treatment for this particular psychological condition.
The study’s authors wrote that a review of literature shows that the consumption of phytocannabinoid may be an effective, as well as safe, treatment option for schizophrenia as adjunctive or primary therapy. They concluded that the use of the drug can be part of a treatment plan for mental health patients.
According to the study, emerging research suggests that marijuana can be applied as a treatment for schizophrenia within a wider etiological perspective focusing on the disorder’s autoimmune, environmental, and neuroinflammatory causes, thus offering a newfound hope and a fresh start for people who are suffering from this poorly understood and debilitating mental disorder.
What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is characterized by a failure to understand reality and abnormal social behavior. The disease has no known cure and is often a lifelong struggle.
The most common symptoms of the disease include unclear or confused thinking, delusions or false beliefs, hearing voices that other people do not hear, hallucinations, lack of motivation, and reduced emotional expression and social engagement.
The exact causes of the diseases is unknown, but research suggested that it could be a combination of genetic, psychological, physical, and environmental factors. Some individuals may be prone to schizophrenia, with psychotic episodes triggered by stress or emotions.
Conventional treatment for schizophrenia
The researchers had noted that about one in every 200 people is affected by this mental disorder.
Schizophrenia is treated or managed with the use of anti-psychotic drugs, psychological counseling, and self-help resources.
While the primary treatment is medication, compliance of the medication regiment often becomes a major problem. This is because patients often come off their prescription drugs for long periods of time.
CBD is promising
Some data suggest that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive or high-causing chemical ingredient found in cannabis, may exacerbate symptoms of the disease in some people. THC is even believed to cause schizophrenia relapses, or it can trigger the first psychotic episode for those who have a predisposition to the disorder.
However, the new research pointed to new evidence showing that cannabidiol (CBD) might have the opposite effect and might be especially safe and effective as treatment. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not give users a high.
Researchers cited an older study that showed that CBD can contribute to the effectiveness of other drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia.