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Cannabis Chemical May Help Schizophrenia


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A British and German study suggested an active ingredient in cannabis reduced symptoms in schizophrenia patients.

The study, by the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London and the University of Cologne in German, found that cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis, may reduce symptoms in schizophrenia patients, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Previous research found that another main ingredient in the drug, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has the opposite effect. Researchers believe THC worsens schizophrenia symptoms and can sometimes trigger the condition in some patients.

"One possibility is that there are good guys and bad guys within cannabis," said Markus Leweke, of the University of Cologne.

The research team compared the effects of cannabidiol and anti-psychotic drug Amisulpride on 42 schizophrenia patients. They found that both groups had improved after four weeks of treatment, but the cannabidiol group experienced fewer side effects from the treatment.

"Maybe the cannabidiol ameliorates some of the effects of the THC and maybe it actually might be good for you if you are psychotic," said Robin Murray, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: United Press International (Washington, DC)
Contact: consumerhealth@upi.com
Copyright: 2007 United Press International, Inc.
Website: United Press International
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