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  • by Nicola Boulton August 29, 2022 5 min read


    Schizophrenia is a chronic mental condition with long-lasting effects; it affects almost one percent of the population globally. World Health Organization research has shown that more than two hundred and sixty-three million people suffer from the disease, and one hundred and sixty -seven million people have been disabled; hence, it contributes to many deaths.

    Incidents of psychosis indicate schizophrenia during times of limited emotional reactivity and near-unconscious state. The signs that appear during this incident of psychosis are referred to as positive symptoms, including dementia that consists of false misconceptions, impaired mental activity, hallucinations, and paranoia, frequently in the form of tripping. These signs accompany depression, anxiety, and excessive activity like anxiety and constant movement.

    Negative indicators of schizophrenia comprise confined emotions, a reduction in the ability to plan, start or continue any activity, a reduction in the frequency of speech, and a depletion in the perception of interest and positive emotions. These signs can result in severe problems in daily life and social relations.

    The last group of cognitive signs of schizophrenia encompasses slow and disorganized thinking, absentmindedness, difficulty in understanding, lack of concentration, difficulty in speaking one’s mind, and difficulty incorporating feelings, thoughts, and behavior.


    Schizophrenia and CBD

    According to Lawrence et al.  (2013), heavy use of cannabis Sativa in early adolescence is connected with an increased threat of the latest psychotic signs and schizophrenia-spectrum infections. The prescription response has been contemplated, with the excessive occurrence of schizophrenia found in heavy cannabis users compared to light or non-addicts.

    Additionally, for individuals with a prevailing schizophrenia spectrum dysfunction, Patel et al.  (2020) showed that the use of cannabis for self-amusement and cannabis consumption dysfunction exacerbate the schizophrenia symptoms.

    Cannabis is a species of plant comprising over one hundred varieties of cannabinoids. The breeding of species is carried out to come up with different levels of cannabinoids which have other effects. In comparison, THC has been seen to have stimulating effects on individuals and is responsible for the occurrence of CUD in around ten percent of users. However, CBD does not cause stimulating effects.

    Formulation of CBD Oil

    Full spectrum

    This is a formulation that contains all compounds of hemp and cannabis. It has 0.03% of THC, and it is preferable to people that want to benefit from all the compounds.

    Broad spectrum

     This formulation is the same as the full spectrum but it does not contain 0.03% of THC.  It is ideal for individuals that want to avoid the ‘’high’’ from THC.

    Isolate CBD

    Isolate is a formulation that contains CBD that is up to 99.9%. Most CBD edibles are made from pure CBD. This compound is used exclusively for its medicinal benefits.

    Antipsychotic Properties of CBD

    According to Manseau& Goff (2015), the connection between THC and CBD by healthy volunteers confirmed that CBD may comprise antipsychotic characteristics. It was issued collectively with a concentrated dose of THC to examine if CBD could decrease the anxiety caused by THC. It also lowered the psychotic signs caused by THC.

     Sarris et al.  (2020) confirmed that THC is issued through a vein injection after an advance oral administration with a placebo or CBD. Besides hindering the psychotic signs brought about by THC, CBD and THC showed contrary results regarding placebo regarding arousal of the striatum in the course of verbal remembrance, as analyzed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Effects of CBD on Schizophrenia

    McGuire et al.  (2018) assessed the health-giving results of CBD in patients with schizophrenia. This study used ordinary antipsychotic amisulpride and CBD for four weeks. The drugs resulted in an indistinguishable reduction of negative and positive psychotic signs; CBD patients showed adverse effects.

    Additionally, Hurd et al.  (2019) reported that CBD was prescribed as a complementary therapy for six weeks with the control of a placebo; the outcome was the opposite. CBD therapy was meant to lower the positive signs from the start and to the end compared to placebo.

     Anxiolytic Effects Of CBD

    According to Mechoulam& Parker2013), CBD had anxiolytic properties that bind to the receptors in the brain, making the user relaxed and less anxious. Research proposes that it can be used in microdoses by schizophrenia patients to lower psychotic signs without altering consciousness. This section discusses several randomized studies that show that CBD has anxiolytic properties:

    Linares et al. (2018) explained that CBD gave rise to an anxiolytic-like result only at in-between doses. This dose-reaction curve was also perceived in volunteers who were in good health and were put into apprehension, which was brought about by the mock-up of the public speaking test and general talking. The participants were requested to talk for a few minutes before a video camera; secondly, the individuals had to speak before a group of researchers. According to Bergamaschi et al.  (2011),  in both incidents, therapy with CBD was related to notable decreases in anxiety symptoms, although the results were not noticed with higher or lower doses.


    Studies have been carried out to show the effects of CBD on neuropsychiatric conditions, including its possible utilization in epilepsy, depression, PTSD, dystonia, Huntington's disorders, and other infections, including other systems and organs like immune response, inflammation, ischemia, cancer, diabetes, and many others. Most of these symptoms are at preclinical study levels in laboratory animals.

    Epidiolex is the only formulation of CBD recommended and approved by the FDA for the therapy of rare forms of epilepsy in adolescents and children and not in treating schizophrenia.

    There are expected dangerous long-term results of THC on the maturing brain, cognitive connected with cannabis, and intensifying of psychotic signs and antipsychotic reactions, specifically in youth patients. For that reason, well-planned RCTs with huge samples making use of reliable and high-quality CBD are required to find out the safety and effectiveness of CBD as an antipsychotic prescription and for it to be approved by FDA for its use in schizophrenia.


    Bergamaschi, M. M., Queiroz, R. H. C., Chagas, M. H. N., De Oliveira, D. C. G., De Martinis, B. S., Kapczinski, F., ... & Crippa, J. A. S. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naive social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology, 36(6), 1219-1226.


    Hurd, Y. L., Spriggs, S., Alishayev, J., Winkel, G., Gurgov, K., Kudrich, C., ... & Salsitz, E. (2019). Cannabidiol for the reduction of cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent individuals with heroin use disorder: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(11), 911-922.


    Linares, I. M., Zuardi, A. W., Pereira, L. C., Queiroz, R. H., Mechoulam, R., Guimarães, F. S., & Crippa, J. A. (2018). Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 41, 9-14.


    McGuire, P., Robson, P., Cubala, W. J., Vasile, D., Morrison, P. D., Barron, R., ... & Wright, S. (2018). Cannabidiol (CBD) as an adjunctive therapy in schizophrenia: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(3), 225-231.

    Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2013). The endocannabinoid system and the brain. Annu rev psychol, 64(1), 21-47.

    Manseau, M. W., & Goff, D. C. (2015). Cannabinoids and schizophrenia: risks and therapeutic potential. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 816-824.

    Lawrence, R. E., Stroup, T. S., & Lieberman, J. A. (2013). Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. Textbook of Psychiatry.

    Patel, S., Khan, S., Saipavankumar, M., & Hamid, P. (2020). The association between cannabis use and schizophrenia: causative or curative? A systematic review. Cureus, 12(7).

    Sarris, J., Sinclair, J., Karamacoska, D., Davidson, M., & Firth, J. (2020). Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review. BMC psychiatry, 20(1), 1-14.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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