CBD: A Treatment For Schizophrenia?
Medical cannabis research is taking another step forward today, as new cannabis based drugs enter human trials as a treatment for schizophrenia.
Not long ago, cannabis was presented in the media as a dangerous drug that causes mental problems like schizophrenia. Now it’s going the other way around; research is turning to cannabis to treat exactly such problems.
Within recent years, both THC and CBD (cannabinoids found within cannabis) have been in the focus of much scientific research. Finding after finding has suggested that they both have huge medical potential. The most recent news in this field is that CBD could be used to treat schizophrenia.
Earlier this month, GW Pharmaceuticals announced that they were moving into stage 2 clinical trials for a new cannabis/CBD based drug currently known as GWP42003. The current trial will involve 80 human participants and will study the effects it has as an addition to current prescribed medicine. The early hypothesis is that GWP42003 will both improve the symptoms of schizophrenia and reduce the side effects from current prescribed medicine.
To date, there has only been one other clinical trial investigating the anti-psychotic effects of CBD. Published in the journal Translational Psychiatry (2012), the study compared CBD with traditional prescription medicine. It was found to be equally effective as prescription medicine, but cause less side effects.
GWP42003 is not the only cannabis related drug GW Pharmaceuticals are developing, and this is a double edged sword. Although it is great progress, and sheds more light on the possibilities of cannabis as a medicine, it also currently gives GW a monopoly on the market - as they are sure to be patenting the treatments.
Currently GW is the only licensed marijuana grower in the UK, and also produces Sativex, a cannabis based medicine being trialled for cancer related pain; and Epidiolex, which is being trialled for treating children with epilepsy. They also have other, unknown cannabis based drugs in the works that are hoped to help treat brain cancer, Type 2 diabetes, adult epilepsy and ulcerative colitis.
However worrying their possible monopoly on cannabis based drugs is, what is important is that they are discovering the potential of CBD and THC. It helps cannabis become more recognised as a treatment. Once it is, you could always obtain cannabis, and easily turn it into an extract yourself.