The adjunctive use of CBD is associated with a reduction in patients’ use of antipsychotic medicines, according to placebo-controlled trial data published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry

An international team of researchers from Canada, Switzerland, and Germany assessed the use of CBD cigarettes versus placebo in a cohort of acutely psychotic patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. Patients received either CBD or a placebo daily for 28 days in addition to their standard treatments.

Investigators reported that both CBD and placebo were associated with similar reductions in psychotic symptoms and depression, but that those participants who consumed CBD cigarettes used fewer antipsychotic medication during treatment. Conversely, those in the placebo group increased their use of prescription medications. 

They concluded: “The main group effects in the discontinuous multilevel model were higher subjective well-being and less overall antipsychotic medication use throughout the acute therapy for the CBD-group. These results may suggest an antipsychotic medication sparing effect of CBD-cigarettes as adjunctive therapy in acutely psychotic patients. … However, future studies with more rigorous study designs and larger samples are needed.”

CBD administration is established to have anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects in human subjects, and its use is associated with changes in brain activity that may lower some people’s risk of a psychotic episode. Previously published clinical trial data indicates that the daily administration of high doses of CBD (1,000mg) reduces psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia in a manner that is superior to the prescription antipsychotic agent amisulpride. 

Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol cigarettes as adjunctive treatment for psychotic disorders – A randomized, open-label pilot study,” appears in Frontiers in Psychiatry..

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