A new study indicates that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in marijuana, is much more efficient at treating schizophrenia than regular antipsychotics, and does so with fewer side-effects. A preliminary clinical trial confirmed the discovery.
The trial included 39 schizophrenia patients who had been committed to mental facilities following a psychotic episode. The work was led by investigator Markus Leweke, from the University of Cologne, in Germany, PsychCentral
He used CBD because this is the chemical thought to be responsible for the mellowing effects of marijuana, as well as for reducing anxiety. THC, the main active ingredient in pot, has the opposite effect, boosting anxiety and worsening schizophrenia.
The study is not meant to suggest that schizophrenics should start smoking marijuana in order to experience some relief. What it does is highlight a new potential avenue of research for developing novel antipsychotic medication.