LONDON, U.K. – Research sheds new insight into the effects of CBD or cannabidiol in the brain activity of people with psychosis.
King’s College London researchers have shown that CBD can significantly change the brain activity for those experiencing psychosis during particular activities like memory tasks, which shows similar activity to people doing the same tasks but without psychosis.
The research that was published in the Psychological Medicine publication used fMRI scans of 13 people to determine their brain activity after one dose of CBD or placebo, including 16 controls while they are doing memory tasks.
Based on the results of the effects of CBD in brain activity, it showed different activity patterns in both the mediotemporal and prefrontal brain areas for those with psychosis compared when doing the same task without psychosis. When people with psychosis took a single dose of CBD, their brain activity for both areas shows the same patterns seen in controls.
Professor Sagnik Bhattacharyya, the senior author of the study and professor in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience in King’s College London, said that their study shows a critical insight on which brain areas CBD targets. Further, he stated that despite the small sample they had in the research, there were compelling results that demonstrate the influence of CBD in certain areas of the brain.
CBD is among the over 100 chemical compounds found in cannabis or hemp plant. Recent interest in the compound has been around its potential benefits as an alternative to antipsychotic medicines available in the market right now. Claims suggest that CBD could be more tolerable and effective for people who don’t respond well with the current antipsychotic medicines. Further, CBD has been largely associated with decreasing symptoms related to psychosis.
The research results also showed that striatum activity, as well as in the hippocampus area of the brain, has better coordination in those with psychosis. The result suggests that there is an increase in functional connectivity in the two areas of the brain during psychosis compared to people without psychosis.
Moreover, based on the results, CBD produces an effect that moderates the altered pattern of prefrontal brain activity, as well as in striatal and mediotemporal areas in people with psychosis. It also showed that there is a decreasing trend for psychotic symptoms after a single dose of CBD. However, according to researchers, the result is not enough to have a definitive conclusion about the effects of CBD on psychotic symptoms.