Anybody who ever bothered checking official agency websites about cannabis may have noticed that the biggest stick to beat the plant with is the risk of it causing psychosis. While we here have our own opinion about said “risk”, statistics are a game of presentation and times change as we have entered the era of litigation and class-A suits since a while already, it is the
FUD factor main deterrent we have found on several national health orgazitions’ websites when researching the legal status of (M)MJ in countries.
More often than not it is presented in a generalized form simply stating that “marijuana can lead to psychosis”, without much more information or many details. Sometimes a mention is made about THC but generally details don’t sell that well when it comes to stigmatizing a plant and upholding its illegal status quo.
Yet, a new study may change things and force the hand of official naysaying agencies when it comes to the topic of psychosis. And the study originates from an unexpected source given their official position against actual implementation of its medical use laws: the UK.
Researchers at the King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience analyses the effects of CBD on patients who had been treated with it and compared the results against psychosis patients who were treated with a placebo. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry — probably the leading outlet — found that CBD may actually treat psychosis.
Patients who had received CBD treatment showed greater level of cognitive functioning and were mostly rated as improved by their treating psychiatrists. Additionally, no significant side effects were discovered during the period of treatment either. Side effects which are often the reason why patients avoid specific traditional Big Pharma antipsychotic medication.
Philip McGuire, the lead study author was expectedly positive about the outcome of the study, although also referred to the still rather small understanding of the marijuana plant and all its specifics.
“Although it is still unclear exactly how CBD works.”
“It acts in a different way to antipsychotic medication, and thus could represent a new class of treatment.”
Obviously the study was a small scale project but that is how things begin. Mere publication of the positive results in the AJP is bound to lead to more studies, at least where legally allowed.
This is not the first time that the UK leads in research on cannabis and its impact on psychiatric conditions. In 2015 GW Pharmaceuticals — who are provided with marijuana from the UK — published a study which had found that CBD reduced the symptoms of schizophrenia, both negative and positive.