There is huge news for the cannabis community; it has been announced that a new experiment involving CBD and its ability to treat and possibly prevent psychosis. This study has been named the Stratification and Treatment in Early Psychosis (STEP), and is being spearheaded by Professor Philip McGuire. Philip McGuire is Professor of Psychiatry and Cognitive Neuroscience at King’s College London. He is a leading clinician-scientist investigating the issue of brain abnormalities preceding, leading to and soon after the onset of schizophrenia. The STEP study will be conducted in 38 cities, 11 countries, featuring 1,000 participants. The study is being funded by a 16.3 million grant by the charitable foundation Wellcome Trust. Wellcome Trust provides capital for research that it thinks “improves health for everyone by funding research, leading policy and advocacy campaigns, and building global partnerships.”
The study is trying to link the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD), and the treatment of psychosis. CBD has certainly seen a prominent rise in recent years. Being called by some a “cure-all” for almost any condition or alignment. But there is surmountable amounts of evidence showing that CBD can be beneficial for those with psychosis and psychotic symptoms by regulating the dopamine system, much like traditional antipsychotic drugs. Prof McGuire said, “Cannabidiol is one of the most promising new treatments for people with psychosis. Many people with psychosis are open to trying cannabidiol and previous smaller-scale studies have indicated that it has beneficial effects.” All of this information is in relation to our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS was only just discovered in 1984, and its function and purpose are not quite fully understood yet. But the ECS is believed to regulate the immune and central nervous systems, and perform other tasks such as the balance of neurotransmitters, metabolism and inflammation.
This worldwide study is not only exceptional news for the scientific community. It is also incredible for the cannabis community. A 16 million dollar study revolving around CBD is a symbol of how far the fight for marijuana has come. From legalization at the state level to an Oxford lead study with a world renowned leading expert Philip McGuire. It is very gratifying to take a second and appreciate how cannabis is now affecting the world wide community. The work is not done, but it is nice to stop and smell the roses (or bud) from time to time.