Some epidemiological studies from the late 2000’s have shown a greater understanding of how the brain can benefit from cannabinoids. The association between cannabinoids and the brain have long been recognised, but this study caused some revived interest, and further studies into how cannabis can help with, or possibly harm patients who suffer with psychosis.
There was some compelling evidence that showed a connection between cannabinoids and psychosis, results that came from controlled laboratory studies in humans.
Studies were split between placebos and cannabinoid agonists, including phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids. These tests produced a combination of positive and negative results, as well as cognitive symptoms and psychophysiologic deficits in healthy human subjects, some of these results had similarities to schizophrenia. The effects were carried out in a time and dose controlled environment. The effects also hardly ever needed any kind of intervention. It would seem that reports of the effects were similar to that of ketamine but without the nasty side effects, and very different to other psychotomimetic drugs, including amphetamine and salvinorin A.
Cannabinoid agonists have been shown to make the symptoms of schizophrenia worse in some patients, these were shown under laboratory conditions. Schizophrenia can make patients more vulnerable than those without, especially those who take antipsychotic medications.
There would seem to be no evidence from any laboratory studies that have proven any beneficial effects in patients who suffer with any form of psychosis, unfortunately, this does challenge the self medicating hypothesis.
Cannabinoid agonists seem to create a release of dopamine, even though the majority would appear to not cause any acute psychotomimetic effects.