CYBERSPACE—Researchers in Australia have reported their findings after a comprehensive review of twenty-seven extant studies on cannabidiol (CBD) and its potential therapeutic effects. According to MedicalNewsToday.com, researchers concluded CBD could help to improve “schizophrenia-specific cognitive impairment, with none of the side effects that current medication has.”
The report was published in the journal Nature in June; PhD candidate Ashleigh Osborne commented in a release, “We found that CBD was able to restore recognition and working memory, as well as social behavior, to normal levels.”
“These findings are interesting because they suggest that CBD may be able to treat some of the symptoms of schizophrenia that are seemingly resistant to existing medications. In addition, CBD treatment did not alter body weight or food intake, which are common side effects of anti-psychotic drug treatment,” Osborne added.
Study supervisor Dr. Katrina Green, Osborne, and Professor Nadia Solowij conducted the review at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, at The University of Wollongong, in New South Wales, Australia.
The Australian researchers said their study was the first to show the potential for CBD to be used as a therapy for schizophrenia in humans; the studies the group analyzed were carried out on rats. They said more research is needed, and hoped the findings would lead to future development of medicine to treat symptoms of schizophrenia that are not treatable with conventional, non-psychotic medications.
In related news, the University of Toronto also conducted a small study on the effects of CBD on subjects with Tourette syndrome, in association with the Tourette Association of America.
Titled “Preliminary Evidence on Cannabis Effectiveness and Tolerability for Adults With Tourette Syndrome,” the study abstract said: “The authors retrospectively evaluated effectiveness and tolerability of cannabis in nineteen adults with Tourette syndrome. Tics scores decreased by sixty percent, and eighteen of the nineteen participants were at least ‘much improved.’ Cannabis was generally well tolerated, although most participants reported side effects.”
Canadian researchers also found that study participants who took an oral dose of CBD did show improvement, but participants that inhaled cannabis showed “greater overall improvement.”
Writer Janet Burns, said in a post for Forbes.com, “… Since research and experts have consistently suggested that the potential benefits of cannabis would far outweigh the risks and side-effects involved—enough to warrant further study, in the very least–hopefully our elected officials and appointed administrators will realign their sense of the plant with science’s definition soon.”
Burns also is the host of cannabis news podcast, “The Toke.”