“Cannabidiol reduces the brain activity linked to hallucinations, delusions and other forms of psychosis, research has found” (Sample, 2018)
Isn’t it sublime when natural medicine merges with conventional medicine, synthesizing into a plan that could benefit so many people in a more pure way? The idea that Mother Nature gives us what we need to heal as part of a holistic way of living has to be a positive one. We know how antipsychotics get such a bad press, with their red listing and side effects, some of them dangerous, so, when I read the research into how cannabis oil is being potentially developed into an antipsychotic medication, I got a little excited. Cannabis oil, or more specifically CBD oil, not to be confused with recreational cannabis which is a totallly different beast, has known antipsychotic effects and is an example of nature providing, nature speaking with us so that we might extract the molecules that we need from her bounty to create a symbiotic living experience. Nature plus natural medicine equals a happy natural human.
Evidence that CBD oil (cannabidiol) works to combat psychotic symptoms is very promising. Isolating the correct compound from plant to oil and using it for positive good is so hopeful for those on antipsychotic medication today, as knowing that tomorrow could bring a more natural based medicine gives us all hope that maybe one day there will be an available drug that doesn’t have all the side effects related to the typical and atypical antipsychotics on the market today.
The Guardian published an article in August 2018 entitled Brain scans show how cannabis extract may help people with psychosis which is based on a study led by Sagnik Bhattacharyya at King’s College, London. The article explained how CBD works on brain activity by reducing “unusual patterns of neural behaviours linked to hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms of psychosis” (Sample, 2018). The research suggests that cannabidiol fascilitates the affected regions of the brain to bring them back into a normal range of activity. Among test subjects “those who had cannabidiol, the abnormal brain activity was less severe than for those who received a placebo, suggesting cannabidiol can help re-adjust brain activity to normal levels” (Kcl.ac.uk, 2019). The results from the trial showed that “a single dose of the cannabis extract cannabidiol can help reduce brain function abnormalities seen in people with psychosis” (Kcl.ac.uk, 2019). As cannabidiol is very safe and easily tolerated and absorbed by the body this research is very interesting as regards the intention to formulate a new era of antipsychotic medication from plant source. There is no psychoactive ingredient in medicinal CBD oil, remember the THC is negligible or entirely absent from the strain of cannabis used to extract the CBD oil from, so it is perfectly safe and acceptable to use. Also, “Cannabis plants produce more than 100 active compounds known as cannabinoids…while high strength cannabis is suspected of raising the risk of mental health problems… cannabidiol (or CBD) appears to have opposite antipsychotic properties”. (Sample, 2018). Many people are living with psychosis or psychotic like symptoms and “some estimates suggest that in England alone, over 15,000 people present with early symptoms of psychosis every year” (Kcl.ac.uk, 2019). So, a natural way to treat psychosis will be very welcome.
Alongside the common sense of eating a healthy diet and living a balanced life for brain health, the natural health market has a lot to offer people who struggle with mental health issues. Supplementary medicines can help to support us when we need a little extra help, so, to conclude, here is a list of other popular natural remedies that aid with mental wellbeing:
5-HTP (derived from the plant Griffonia simplicifolia, this little miracle works by naturally increasing the neurotransmitter seratonin to aid with normal brain function so can help treat depression)
Evening Primrose Oil (a mood/hormone stabiliser)
Gingko Biloba (can help to strengthen memory lapses in depression and aids cognitive function)
Ginseng (an energy giving mood uplifter, ginseng is a good all round power booster)
Lavender (good for calming nerves and fears)
Omega 3 Fish oil, high strength EPA (for brain support and essential fatty acids, treats depression and ADD)
Passiflora or Passionflower (for the treatment of anxiety and irritability)
St. John’s Wort (can help with mild depression)
Valerian (to help with sleeplessness)
Remember, if you are taking prescription medication always discuss alternative therapies with your doctor and never stop taking prescription medication without medical supervision. Natural remedies can have contraindications with prescribed drugs so always seek advice.
Bhattacharyya, S., Wilson, R., Appiah-Kusi, E., et al (2018) Effect of Cannabidiol on Medial Temporal, Midbrain, and Striatal Dysfunction in People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis A Randomized Clinical Trial [online] Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2697762
[Accessed 29 March, 2019]
Kcl.ac.uk. (2019). King’s College London – Cannabis extract helps reset brain function in psychosis. [online] Available at: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/news/records/2018/august/cannabis-extract-helps-reset-brain-function-in-psychosis [Accessed 29 Mar. 2019].
Sample, I. (2019). Brain scans show how cannabis extract may help people with psychosis. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/aug/29/brain-scans-show-how-cannabis-extract-may-help-people-with-psychosis [Accessed 29 Mar. 2019].
All the natural remedies mentioned in the above can be reliably sourced here: