CBD and schizophrenia

by Formula Swiss May 09, 2019 4 min read

CBD and schizophrenia

As CBD nowadays, has been proven with a number of benefits in dealing with medical conditions, recent developments show that CBD may also be effective in relieving schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Schizophrenia is a type of mental illness that is often related to hearing voices, visualizing hallucinations and social and mental impairment. Schizophrenia patients also find it difficult to make decisions and choices as well as witness lack of concentration and assessing information. Though schizophrenia patients are given antipsychotic medications, with these medications come a great number of side effects including weight gain, drowsiness, restlessness and even diabetes and high cholesterol.

Considering the above problems related to antipsychotic medications, scientists are finding interest in dealing with schizophrenia by the consumption of CBD. After investigating the use of CBD, we have found a growing body of research regarding CBD and schizophrenia while a number of anecdotal reports by the daily consumers of CBD.

Research study on CBD and schizophrenia

In order to look at the relation between CBD and schizophrenia, one must look into the researches done in this regard. A team of scientists, McGuire and his colleagues from the King’s College of London did a thorough research on the effects of CBD on schizophrenia. They concluded that both the human and animal researches revealed that CBD has antipsychotic properties.

In order to conduct the research, they divided the patients of schizophrenia into 1:1 ratio and provided 1000 mg of CBD per day to one group and placebo N=45 to another, in addition of their regular antipsychotic medications. They were assessed using various different scales including the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), BACS, GAF, CGI-H and CGI-S. The assessments were done after as well as before the procedure. After a course of 6 weeks, the CBD group showed better results from the placebo group and revealed a decreased level of positive psychotic symptoms.

All the assessments based on the various scales concluded improved results and the symptoms were also not described as unwell as before by the patient’s clinicians. The patients provided with CBD showed better cognitive performance and overall functioning. Since CBD does not depend on antagonism of dopamine receptor, it was concluded that CBD was well-tolerated and can be a better alternative for dealing with schizophrenia. Though the research was limited to a small number of patients, scientists demanded an investigation in larger trials.

UK’s pharmaceutical and cannabis drug

Moreover, a pharmaceutical based in the UK known as GW Pharmaceuticals Plc developed a cannabis drug which showed better results than placebo in the case of schizophrenia. This experimental drug CBD was given to 88 patients who did not show promising results with their antipsychotic medications. While being on the medications, they were also provided with either CBD or placebo, and the CBD group of patients was met with decreased symptoms of schizophrenia. The company now is engaged in testing CBD for a number of medical conditions including cancer and epilepsy.

CBD and cognitive symptoms

A review of 27 studies conducted by Dr Katrina Green of the University of Wollongong and discovered the therapeutic potential of CBD and revealed that CBD is not able to improve memory and learning in healthy brains but have a potential to improve memory and learning in brains with mental impairment and patients with neurological disorders.

Effects of CBD on schizophrenic rats

Based on the above-mentioned review, Dr Green in correspondence of Dr Ashleigh Osborne conducted research based on prenatal infection model to learn the effects of CBD on social and cognitive interaction. They first infected pregnant rats with a compound that generates disorders like schizophrenia in rats. Then the offspring were given 10mg of CBD every day for 3 weeks. They examined the food, weight and water intake of the offsprings. The memory, cognition and sociability of the rats were tested with various tests including T-maze test, social interaction test and novel object recognition test, and concluded that all the three tests showed positive results, the recognition, memory and sociability of the rats were restored to normal levels. The research revealed that the courses of CBD can reduce some of the symptoms of schizophrenia while keeping the weight and food intake unaltered, which is the better way to deal with schizophrenia due to the absence of these side effects.

THC and schizophrenia

Though CBD is effective in reducing schizophrenic symptoms, patients using cannabis with THC may find it difficult to find results because THC has been related to providing psychotic symptoms. A study conducted on rats with a history of schizophrenia revealed that the genetically susceptible rats developed schizophrenia symptoms after being given cannabis. Dr Ran Brazilay of TAU’s Sackler school of medicine confirms the conclusion of the study and said that their study demonstrates that individuals that have a family history of schizophrenia and are susceptible to this order are likely to develop long-term psychiatric effects by the use of cannabis.

Anecdotal evidence

A Redditor named theflexorcist wrote that CBD made the voices in her head stop. She said after 10 minutes of having CBD, she had no psychotic symptoms. She said that she has been using CBD oil for a few months and her symptoms of schizophrenia have been reduced. Another Redditor pineconeperson1 also shared his experience of getting help from CBD for reducing schizophrenic symptoms but it was expensive to take on a regular basis.


CBD and schizophrenia have been linked in many ways and CBD has been proven to be a good alternative to other antipsychotic medications in the cases of schizophrenia. Various evidence is provided in proving CBD to be an effective source in getting rid of psychosis symptoms. However, much research is intended to be done to thoroughly revise the effects of CBD on patients. Moreover, the reasons for which CBD effects on the cognitive ability of patients should be deeply looked in. other than that, patients should always take prescribed doses and monitor themselves in order to reveal any side effects.



This article was written by an independent and third-party author specialising in CBD, hemp and cannabis research. Any opinion, advice or recommendation expressed in the article does not reflect the opinion of Formula Swiss AG or any of our employees. We do not make any claims about any of our products and refer to our disclaimer for more information.

Formula Swiss
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