Friday, 30 August 2013

Can The Cannabis Component Cannabidiol (CBD) Cure Schizophrenia?


A component of the cannabis plant known as cannabidiol (CBD) is receiving much attention after Dr. Sanjay Gupta aired his special “Weed” on CNN highlighting the advantages of treating a form of childhood epilepsy with the cannabinoid. The documentary was groundbreaking news for sufferers and their families in that it that it revealed a highly effective alternative to treatment that was not previously known to a majority of the public. Now it appears that schizophrenia may be yet another disorder that could benefit from cannabidiol.

Dr. F. Markus Leweke of the University of Cologne in Germany has conducted clinical research showing that CBD was just as effective as the antipsychotic medication amisulpride with little or no side effects. While research is continuing, these initial results are a precursor of what could be a natural treatment for various forms of psychosis.

The Wikipedia description of schizophrenia is “a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of the thought processes and by a deficit of typical emotional responses. Common symptoms include auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social and occupational dysfunction.” (Citation 1)

Schizophrenia, like other types on mental disorders, varies and often manifests into personality changes and bizarre behaviors that impede social activity and acceptance. The disorder also carries a negative stigma in society as many associate psychotic behaviors to those prone to violent criminal activity. And yes, schizophrenia can lead to violence and other harmful behaviors.

Sufferers need new treatments that allow them to remain or become productive members of society without having to take powerful medications, many of which can have negative side effects. This is why researching and finding efficacy in natural compounds like CBD are so important.

Maia Szalavitz reported in her article on Time.com that “[r]esearchers led by Markus Leweke of the University of Cologne in Germany studied 39 people with schizophrenia who were hospitalized for a psychotic episode. Nineteen patients were treated with amisulpride, an antipsychotic medication that is not approved in the U.S., but is comparable to other medications that are.

The rest of the patients were given cannabidiol (CBD), a substance found in marijuana that is thought to be responsible for some of its mellowing or anxiety-reducing effects. Unlike the main ingredient in marijuana, THC, which can produce psychotic reactions and may worsen schizophrenia, CBD has antipsychotic effects, according to previous research in both animals and humans.”

“The results were amazing,” says Daniele Piomelli, professor of pharmacology at the University of California-Irvine and a co-author of the study. “Not only was [CBD] as effective as standard antipsychotics, but it was also essentially free of the typical side effects seen with antipsychotic drugs.”

Antipsychotic medications can potentially cause devastating and sometimes permanent movement disorders.” (Citation 2)



It’s difficult to fathom how such a promising treatment could have been overlooked for so long due to the stereotypes surrounding the cannabis plant. What many don’t know is that CBD is legal in all 50 of the United States and can be obtained from Medical Marijuana, Inc’s (MJNA.PK), PhytoSPHERE Systems and its intellectual property holder, CannaVest Corp. (OTC: CANV). I recently wrote about the compounds availability in the previous article “Medical Marijuana, Inc. and Subsidiary Partners Offer Legal CBD Now!” One of the more appealing attributes of CBD is that it appears to be highly effective without having any of the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. The MJNA companies and subsidiary partners produce high quality CBD which is made from the hemp plants seed and stalk.

Treatments using CBD allows for powerful medications with unwanted side effects to be avoided. Antipsychotic medications are associated with reduced pleasure and motivation, and more serious effects such as loss of mobility and higher risks of diabetes.

While traditional research is the only way to validate medical efficacy, CBD as a natural constituent of the cannabis plant is available to be consumed as a dietary supplement. The MJNA companies and partners have actually anticipated the market and currently produce CBD that is delivered in advanced packaging systems that come with a Certificate of Analysis.

Some prominent CBD products that and available today are Dew Drop Hemp Oil Supplements, CanChew gum and Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO). The product descriptions are listed below:

Dew Drop Hemp Oil Supplement – Dew Drops sublingual tincture from Dixie Botanicals offers hemp oil support to promote overall wellness and offer relief from the effects of everyday stress and anxiety. This unique Dixie Botanicals hemp oil product is available in both refreshing cinnamon and natural flavors and is offered at two different concentrations. Our 2 fl oz tincture is 2.5 times more concentrated than our 1 fl oz tincture. (Citation 3) Lab Results

CanChew Gum – CanChew is a delicious, all-natural gum infused with CBD from hemp oil. It’s a first-of-its-kind CBD product—a patented chewing gum containing naturally-occurring cannabidiol (CBD) from the hemp plant. Each piece of CanChew contains 50mg of CBD-rich hemp oil and approximately 10mg of CBD. (Citation 4) Certificate of Analysis

Real Scientific Hemp Oil – Real Scientific Hemp OilTM (RSHOTM) contains the highest quality hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) in the industry. Our 98%+/- CBD-rich hemp oil is currently available in the BLUE Decarbox Pack. Additional varieties of non-decarboxylated and filtered decarboxylated RSHO will be available soon. (Citation 5)

The RSHO™ and CanChew™ gum come in high-quality packaging that outlines specific amounts of CBD for those looking for certain concentrations. The convenient, measured delivery of CBD offered by Medical Marijuana Inc. and subsidiaries is available to both researchers and the general public. In fact, CBD can be ordered direct from the companies or on online through their websites, respectively.

Information about the benefits of CBD is spreading at a faster pace since Dr Gupta’s documentary “Weed” aired. I believe many government leaders were listening to the doctor and may be very close to removing many barriers to research and industrial hemp farming. US Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy just announce that there will be a Congressional hearing on the conflicts between federal and state marijuana laws on the upcoming September 10th.

While CBD is currently legal to buy, opening the door to more research through legalization will be the true catalyst to tremendous growth for early adopters of this industry such as MJNA and its subsidiaries.

Disclosure: I am an investor in MJNA and (OTC: CANV) and this article was written on behalf of Medical Marijuana, Inc.

Citations

Citation 1 - Website link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia