Cannabis extract could eventually be used to treat psychosis – if a clinical trial proves it works

A new study has suggested cannabis extract could be used to treat psychosis, despite long-held views that recreational use of cannabis itself could be linked to developing psychosis.

Researchers from King’s College London found cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major chemical components of the marijuana plant, works separately to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which the part that gives users a ‘high’.

CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis. A study from the university last year found it had anti-psychotic properties.

Promising results

The study involved 33 young people who had not yet been diagnosed with psychosis, but who were experiencing upsetting psychotic symptoms, along with 19 healthy control subjects. Seventeen people received a placebo and 16 recieved a single dose of cannabidiol.

The participants were analysed in an MRI scanner while completing a memory task which is known to engage three regions of the brain that are involved with psychosis.

Brain activity in those with a risk of

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