Psychosis and Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects around 1% of the worldwide population. It causes psychotic behaviors, social and emotional disruptions and different cognitive impairments.

The causes of the disease are still not clear but studies show that both genetic and environmental factors have an effect on it.

The link between cannabis/cannabinoids and psychosis is contentious to say the least; for decades the ruling opinion was that psychoactive cannabinoids, such as THC, can push a user into psychosis (especially if one is prone to develop a psychosis or Schizophrenia). While this risk cannot be excluded, more and more reports are suggesting that psychotic patients or people likely to develop a psychosis might actually self-medicate with cannabis/cannabinoids to keep psychotic symptoms at bay. In reality, probably both are true; depending on the type or cocktail of cannabinoids one can be pushed both ways.

There are cannabinoids, such as THC, which can precipitate psychotic experiences or anxiety attacks and those, such as CBD or THCV, which actually suppress them.

The endocannabinoid system has been shown to be related to the mechanisms of Schizophrenia. Understanding the role of the endocannabinoid system can lead to pharmacology approaches based on cannabinoids to treat Schizophrenia symptoms.

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