CBD could help curb certain symptoms of schizophrenia, according to a new study.
Researchers from Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) found that the active compound in cannabis, once isolated, could be used to treat negative cognitive symptoms of the severe mental illness – including social withdrawal and blunted emotional expression.
These findings are particularly intriguing given past research suggesting a link between cannabis use and a heightened risk of developing psychoses like schizophrenia.
"We wanted to see if Cannabidiol could alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia that aren't addressed by current antipsychotic drugs," said University of Wollongong PhD candidate Ashleigh Osborne.
"This is really important because current antipsychotic drugs don't address the cognitive deficits, which approximately 80 per cent of patients with schizophrenia experience."
Using a rodent model of schizophrenia – comparing treated rats to untreated rats – researchers found that CBD successfully restored cognition, working memory and social behaviour.
"This is the first study to prove Cannabidiol can be used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia that aren't addressed by current medications," she said.
"These findings are really promising but further research is needed to see if these findings translate to people suffering from schizophrenia...Ultimately, we hope that these findings lead to new improved medications."
The study was published in Nature journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
h/t ABC News