More research needed to determine CBD’s role in psychiatry

More research needed to determine CBD’s role in psychiatry

Andrew Penn SAN DIEGO — With cannabidiol, or CBD, becoming increasingly popular, a presenter here at Psych Congress discussed what that can mean for psychiatrists. CBD is a nonintoxicating, but psychoactive cannabinoid with multiple mechanisms of action that has the potential to lend well to multiple medications in psychiatry, Andrew Penn, MS, NP, associate clinical professor of nursing at University of California, San Francisco, said in his presentation. CBD is only legal if from industrial hemp or from FDA-approved medicine, according to the presentation. Epidiolex, an oral solution of CBD, is FDA-approved for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The limited research has also shown that CBD may be a complement to some existing psychiatric medicine, may improve sleep, anxiety and PTSD, and possibly have antipsychotic effect. However, it remains unknown how CBD will be used in psychiatric research and practice now that there’s a prescription form of the drug on the market, according to the presentation. Penn discussed how CBD’s mechanism of action differs from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Actually, one of the things that CBD is known for is countering the effects of THC. Penn also highlighted that there are more than 550 phytochemical compounds identified in cannabis and CBD is just one of them. “The way that it’s been drawn up until this point is that THC is the ‘bad guy’ — THC is the thing that makes you psychotic, develop a dependency problem, become anxious, disrupts your intellectually development (and some of those things are partially true); CBD is kind of portrayed as the ‘ good guy,’” he said. “But really the difference is not black and white. THC isn’t the ‘bad guy’ and CBD isn’t the ‘good guy.’ It’s way more complicated than that — they both are just compounds at this point. So, we have to […]

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