We’re always excited when the scientific community looks at new applications of CBD to treat various health conditions.
Most recently, the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry is leading a significant global trial investigating whether cannabidiol (CBD) can treat people with psychosis or psychotic symptoms.
A typical response to the treatment of psychosis is the use of antipsychotics. However, antipsychotics can have significant side effects, which may result in patients stopping taking them. Also, antipsychotics don’t work for everyone. Therefore, exploring alternative therapies where traditional approaches have failed makes sense.
CBD is currently only prescribed in the UK for a few medical conditions, including severe epilepsy and vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy. However, while research into the potential benefits of CBD on mental health is in its early stages, some studies have shown promising results.
For example, a study published in 20201 found that CBD may effectively reduce symptoms of social anxiety disorder, while another study2 found that it may have antipsychotic effects in people with schizophrenia.
The University of Oxford’s international study, with a £16.5m donation from the charitable foundation Wellcome, will involve 35 centres across Europe and North America. The trial, named Stratification and Treatment in Early Psychosis (STEP), will involve 1,000 people. This group will include people at high risk of psychosis, those who have experienced their first episode, and patients presenting psychotic symptoms who have not responded to conventional treatment. The research will also investigate whether CBD can prevent the onset of psychosis.
We’ll be following this research with much interest!
1 Journal of Clinical Psychology (2020). Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2020). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.
2 The American Journal of Psychiatry (2018). Boggs, D.L., Surti, T., Gupta, A., Gupta, S., Niciu, M.J., Pittman, B., … & Ranganathan, M. The effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on cognition and symptoms in outpatients with chronic schizophrenia: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.
Disclaimer: We do our best to research and fact-check all the content presented in this article. However, it is provided only for information and guidance; it is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Therefore, you should always contact your GP or other healthcare professionals if you have concerns about any medical condition.