Cannabis and schizophrenia

Jonathan A. Pushpa-Rajah*, Benjamin C. McLoughlin, Donna Gillies, John Rathbone, Hannele Variend, Eliana Kalakouti, Katerina Kyprianou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many people with schizophrenia smoke cannabis, and it is unclear why a large proportion do so and if the effects are harmful or beneficial. It is also unclear what the best method is to allow people with schizophrenia to alter their cannabis intake. 

Objectives: To assess the effects of specific psychological treatments for cannabis reduction in people with schizophrenia. To assess the effects of antipsychotics for cannabis reduction in people with schizophrenia. To assess the effects of cannabinoids (cannabis-related chemical compounds derived from cannabis or manufactured) for symptom reduction in people with schizophrenia. Search 

Methods: We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Trials Register (August 2013) and all references of articles selected for further relevant trials. We contacted the first author of included studies for unpublished trials or data. 

Selection Criteria: We included all randomized controlled trials involving cannabinoids and schizophrenia/schizophrenia-like illnesses, which assessed: (1) treatments to reduce cannabis use in people with schizophrenia and (2) the effects of cannabinoids on people with schizophrenia. 

Conclusions: Results are limited and inconclusive due to the small number and size of randomized controlled trials available and quality of data reporting within these trials. Currently, there is no evidence to demonstrate that one type of adjunct psychological therapy or one type of drug therapy is more effective than another. There is also insufficient evidence to show that cannabidiol has an antipsychotic effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-337
Number of pages2
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


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