People with schizophrenia might show abnormal control of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain associated with certain pathways or “circuits” of nerve cells that influence thinking and behavior. Separate brain circuits form networks for communication across the brain. Scientists think that issues with how these circuits work may arise from trouble with specific receptors on nerve cells for major neurotransmitters (such as glutamate, GABA, or dopamine), or with various cells in the nervous system (termed “glia”) that offer support to nerve cells inside the brain circuits.
This mental illness is not supposed to be just a deficiency or “imbalance” of brain chemicals, as was once believed. Fortunately, CBD can help in managing these symptoms associated with schizophrenia by working through the neurotransmitters of the brain and regulating the imbalances of the brain chemicals.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a major disorder which impacts the way a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone having schizophrenia may experience difficulty in separating the real from the imaginary may be unresponsive or withdrawn, and may witness difficulty displaying normal emotions in social situations.
In fact, schizophrenia does not include a split personality or multiple personalities. The extensive majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent and do not present a danger to others. Schizophrenia is not related to childhood experiences, bad parenting or absence of willpower, nor are the symptoms the same for every person.
What Causes Schizophrenia?
The cause of schizophrenia is still uncertain. Some theories concerning the cause of this disease comprise:
- genetics (heredity)
- biology (abnormalities in the brain’s chemistry or structure)
- probable viral infections and immune disorders. For example, babies whose mothers receive the flu while they are pregnant are at higher risk of contracting schizophrenia later in life.
- People who are hospitalized for severe infections are also at increased risk.
Symptoms Related With Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can present extremely different symptoms in several people. The manner the disease presents itself and advances in a person rests on the time of onset, severity, and duration of symptoms, which are grouped as positive, negative and cognitive. All three types of symptoms display issues with brain function. Relapse and remission cycles often happen; a person can improve, worsen, and improve again constantly with time.
Positive symptoms, which may be serious or mild, comprise delusions, hallucinations, and thought disorders. Some psychiatrists also hint at psychomotor problems that impact movement in this segment. Delusions, hallucinations and hearing inner voices are collectively termed psychosis, which also may be a hallmark of various serious mental illnesses like bipolar disorder. Delusions drive people to believe others are guiding or threatening them, or reading their thoughts.
Hallucinations make a patient to hear, see, experience or smell something that is not there. Thought disorders may include difficulty putting cohesive thoughts together or making sense of speech. Psychomotor problems may seem as clumsiness, unusual mannerisms or repeated actions, and in extreme cases, motionless rigidity kept for long periods of time.
Some other symptoms typical of schizophrenia include:
- Disorganized speech with the problem of concentration and retaining a train of thought
- Blank facial expression and absence of emotional expression
- Lack of self-care, interest and motivational problems
- Social withdrawal
- Speech problems and unable to continue a conversation with disconnected answers to questions
How CBD Is Useful For Schizophrenia
The abnormal communication patterns present in schizophrenia manifest in different ways, but the most common are dysfunction in two kinds of brain chemical systems: glutamate and dopamine. These chemicals, also termed neurotransmitters, are used by brain cells to interact with one another by stimulating receptors on different brain cells.
Glutamate is among the most common neurotransmitters in the brain, stimulating a variety of receptors, including NMDA receptors. Activating NMDA receptors is a major step in brain cells forming connections with each other, and they play a crucial role in brain development, learning, and memory. Many persons with schizophrenia have unusually low NMDA receptor activity, which can restrict brain development and cognitive performance. In few cases, it’s this little NMDA receptor activity that causes schizophrenia symptoms later in life.
At times, glutamate turns into an excitotoxin and results in cellular damage. CBD can efficiently block glutamate and reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons. Therefore, the antioxidant properties of CBD help to curb glutamate toxicity which is a likely factor in various neurodegenerative ailments of the CNS (Central Nervous System).
How Does CBD Consumption Influence The Brain
The neurotransmitter commonly indicated in schizophrenia is dopamine. Schizophrenic brains usually display unusually high levels of activity in D2 dopamine receptors, which are located across the brain’s limbic system – the system that controls our emotions and motivational states. Unusually high D2 receptor activity can cause a host of schizophrenia symptoms like the restricted grasp of reality, emotional dysregulation, and weakened cognitive capacities. Antipsychotic medications function by obstructing the activity of D2 receptors. However, Dopamine, the chemical which produces a sense of rewards also communicates with CBD which augments dopamine within the reward pathway.
CBD Promotes Neurogenesis
The administration of phytocannabinoids like CBD improves hippocampal neurogenesis which furthers new cell development in the part of the brain linked with memory and learning and also anxiety, stress, and depression.
CBD is also believed to stimulate the growth of neurons in the hippocampus. Enlarging the hippocampus, memory and anxiety management are improved.
Conclusion On CBD For Schizophrenia
CBD is a powerful antipsychotic and can improve the negative symptoms and cognitive damage resulting from schizophrenia. Animal studies have revealed that CBD improved a few of the negative symptoms like social interaction deficits and working memory deficits that are manifestations of schizophrenia. One major benefit of CBD which makes it an effective antipsychotic medication is that doesn’t affect food intake or weight acquisition which is a common side effect of antipsychotic medications.