Could a cannabis extract be used as an antipsychotic?
Scientists have unravelled how a non-intoxicating component of cannabis acts in key brain areas to reduce abnormal activity in patients at risk of psychosis.
The finding suggests the ingredient could become a novel antipsychotic medicine.
While regular use of potent forms of cannabis can increase the chances of developing psychosis, the chemical cannabidiol appears to have the opposite effect.
Cannabidiol is the same cannabis compound that has also shown benefits in epilepsy, which is currently being trialled in children under a scheme funded by the NSW Government.
Previous research at King's College London, UK has shown that cannabidiol may counter the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the substance in cannabis that makes people high.
But how this happened had been a mystery until now.
Scanning the brains of 33 young people who