Psychiatric patients treated with a substance found in cannabis, cannabidiol, showed a significant reduction in psychotic symptoms and were also more likely to be rated as “improved” by their psychiatrist, our latest study shows.
Psychotic disorders affect two to three per cent of the population. They usually begin in early adulthood and the symptoms can be lifelong. Patients typically experience paranoia, hallucinations and a lack of motivation.
The main treatment for psychosis is antipsychotic drugs, which has been the first line of treatment since the 1950s. These drugs are usually partially effective, but in around a third of patients they don’t work at all. They can also have significant side effects.
A new class of treatment
Antipsychotic medications act by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. However, dopamine is not the only neurotransmitter whose function is altered during psychosis. And, in some patients, dopamine function can even be relatively normal. So there