Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder which causes an abnormal interpretation and perception of reality that may lead to hallucinations, delusions and highly distorted thinking and behavior that interfere with daily functioning.

  • What is Schizophrenia?
  • Schizophrenia & cannabinoids
  • Text references, literature discussion
    & clinical trials

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that causes an abnormal interpretation and perception of reality that may lead to hallucinations, delusions, and highly distorted thinking and behavior that interfere with daily functioning.1

People with schizophrenia may experience various problems including difficulties in cognition (thinking), behavior, and emotions. The severity and type of symptoms may differ over time.
Symptoms of schizophrenia may include:1

  • Delusions
    Example: False beliefs that are not based on reality e.g. the feeling that you are being followed or harassed, believing you have a unique ability/power/fame, or believing without reason that gestures/comments are directed to you
  • Hallucinations
    Example: Commonly involving seeing or hearing things that do not exist.
  • Disorganized thinking
    Example: Thinking and speech may be affected by the disorder. Answers to questions can be partially or completely unrelated. In rare situations, words may be put together in a nonsensical way (sometimes referred to as word salad).
  • Abnormal or disorganized motor behavior
    Example: Resistance towards instructions, inappropriate and strange posture, lack of response, excessive movements, etc.
  • Negative symptoms
    Example: Reduced/lack of ability to function and engage in everyday activities such as personal hygiene, social withdrawal, lack of emotions, etc.

Currently, the exact cause of schizophrenia is not yet known. However, researchers propose that the development of the disorder can be caused by a combination of brain chemistry, environmental factors, and genetics.
Studies have observed that there are differences in the brain structure and central nervous system among people suffering from schizophrenia, suggesting that schizophrenia is a brain disease.
Since there is uncertainty about the significance of these changes, other risk factors can play a role in the disorder development such as genetics, complications during pregnancy and birth (brain development can be affected due to toxin exposure, viruses, or malnutrition) or drug intake (psychoactive or psychotropic) during teen years or adulthood.1

  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Endocannabinoids
  • CBD
  • THC
  • THCV
  • 5-HT1A
  • CB1
  • PPARγ
  • 2AG
  • Anandamide
  • Terpenes
  • Strains
  • Enzymes
  • Metabolites



  • DAGL
  • MAGL
  • FAAH


The connection between Schizophrenia
& cannabinoids

Psychosis Schizophrenia

Preclinical and clinical data propose the cannabinoids CBD, THC, and THCV may be used in the therapeutic treatment of schizophrenia as the mechanisms of the disorder may be linked to the endocannabinoid system.2
CBD may have therapeutic potential due to its antipsychotic effects, suggesting possibly better tolerability than current antipsychotic treatments.3

*Note: If you have any further information relevant to the connection between Schizophrenia and cannabinoids, or find any of the information inaccurate, outdated or incomplete please contact us here.

Text references, literature discussion
& clinical trials

  • Text references
  • Literature discussion
  • Clinical trials

A connection between psychosis and cannabis use was believed to exist for a long time. However, it can be difficult to understand how cannabis use and psychosis are linked together due to some challenges such as disease complexity and limitation in scientific to study such a connection. It was suggested that psychosis can be caused by cannabis, but at the same time, it was also suggested that cannabis use can be caused by psychosis. Also, the link between cannabis use and psychosis could be bidirectional (Degenhardt et al., 2018).

It was shown that Schizophrenia patients who often used cannabis before the disease onset were more inclined to develop schizophrenia compared to people that did not use cannabis or used it less frequently (Aas et al., 2018).

Some markers and/or cognitive deficits related to schizophrenia could be counteracted with the help of cannabis (usually with high THC) (Rentzsch et al., 2017; Roser et al., 2018).

It was shown that there is a connection between impaired frontostriatal connectivity and schizophrenia. Improved connectivity of these areas was observed by oral administration of CBD (600 mg) (Grimm et al., 2018).

Some studies find that psychosis is connected to anandamide imbalance (Leweke, 2012).

Clinical trials

Some clinical trials found that CBD has antipsychotic, antidepressant, and antianxiety properties (Jiang, 2005; Leweke, 2012; Schwarcz, Karajgi, & McCarthy, 2009).

A recent review in humans found that CBD may have therapeutic effects in patients with psychosis (Iseger and Bossong, 2015). It is suggested that CBD increases Anandamide signaling (i.e. enhances the body’s own systems) in the body defense against the psychosis, in some cases even outperforming commercially available treatments (Leweke et al, 2012). Further highlighting the importance of better understanding the connection between the endocannabinoid system and psychosis is that THC has been used successfully to relieve psychotic symptoms for some patients not responding to conventional antipsychotics (Schwarcz et al., 2009).


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