Schizophrenia

Evidence

Clinical Trial 1:

A double-blind, randomized  clinical trial of cannabidiol vs amisulpride, (a potent antipsychotic) was conducted in patients with acute schizophrenia. Either treatment was safe and led to significant clinical improvement, but cannabidiol displayed a markedly superior side-effect profile. Moreover, cannabidiol treatment was accompanied by a significant increase in serum anandamide levels, which was significantly associated with clinical improvement. The results suggest that inhibition of anandamide deactivation may contribute to the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol potentially representing a completely new mechanism in the treatment of schizophrenia.

(Leweke et al., 2012)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22832859

Clinical Trial 2:

In an exploratory double-blind parallel-group trial, patients with schizophrenia were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive CBD (1000 mg/day; N=43) or placebo (N=45) alongside their existing antipsychoticmedication. Participants were assessed before and after treatment using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF),andtheimprovementandseverity scales of the Clinical Global Impressions Scale (CGI-I and CGI-S).

Results: After 6 weeks of treatment, compared with the placebo group, the CBD group had lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms and were more likely to have been rated as improved  and as not severely unwell by the treating clinician. Patients who received CBD also showed greater improvements that fell short of statistical significance in cognitive performance and in overall functioning CBD was well tolerated, and rates of adverse events were similar between the CBD and placebo groups.

 

Conclusions: These findings suggest that CBD has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia. As CBD’s effects do not appear to depend on dopamine receptor antagonism, this agent may represent a new class of treatment for the disorder.  

(McGuire et al. 2018)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29241357

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