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Synthetic $-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Dronabinol) Can Improve the Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Synthetic $-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Dronabinol) Can Improve the Symptoms of Schizophrenia

  1. babymakesbeats
    Abstract: We are reporting improvement of symptoms of schizophre-
    nia in a small group of patients who received the cannabinoid agonist
    dronabinol (synthetic $-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Before this report,
    cannabinoids had usually been associated with worsening of psychotic
    symptoms. In a heuristic, compassionate use study, we found that 4 of
    6 treatment-refractory patients with severe chronic schizophrenia but
    who had a self-reported history of improving with marijuana abuse
    improved with dronabinol. This improvement seems to have been a
    reduction of core psychotic symptoms in 3 of the 4 responders and not
    just nonspecific calming. There were no clinically significant adverse
    effects. These results complement the recent finding that the cannabinoid
    blocker rimonabant does not improve schizophrenic symptoms and
    suggest that the role of cannabinoids in psychosis may be more complex
    than previously thought. They open a possible new role for cannabinoids
    in the treatment of schizophrenia.
    used as an antiemetic in chemotherapy patients. Dronabinol
    stimulates primarily the major brain endocannabinoid receptor,
    cannabinoid type 1 (CB1),1 although it may have some effect on
    the other endocannabinoid receptor, CB2, found mostly in the
    periphery. Although naturally occurring $-9-THC seems to be
    the main active ingredient of marijuana, it is nevertheless only
    one of many components of marijuana, and its synthetic version,
    dronabinol, does not seem to have significant addictive potential
    or withdrawal in clinical practice.2,3