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A review from the Netherlands of existing research on Cannabidiol (CBD), the cannabinoid found in marijuana has determined CBD is more effective at reducing psychotic episodes than currently prescribed pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.

The studies reviewed by forensic psychologist Lilian Kloft and published November 2017 in the Maastricht Student Journal of Psychology & Neuroscience offer pragmatic support for the antipsychotic effects of the CBD cannabinoid.

For the review, Kloft examined the accumulated research from “experimental” and “non-clinical studies,” which examined the effectiveness of CBD on schizophrenia. The reviewed studies were primarily based on “animal models of psychosis, human experimental studies, neuroimaging studies, epidemiological studies, and clinical studies.”

After first noting the CBD warrants “long-term, large-scale, randomized clinical trials,” Kloft's review of the existing research concluded, “The preclinical and clinical studies discussed in this review provide promising initial support for CBD as an effective and safe antipsychotic compound. Preliminary evidence points to high tolerability, superior cost-effectiveness, and a promising side effect profile, suggesting an attractive alternative to current antipsychotic treatment.”

Schizophrenia affects approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. and typically begins in early childhood, usually afflicting those between the ages of 15 and 25. Males historically suffer from schizophrenia at a slightly earlier age than females. While symptoms of schizophrenia are first detectable in men between the age of 16 and 25, the average female afflicted with schizophrenia realize their symptoms several years later, with an elevated incidence in women older than 30.