There is a growing body of preclinical and anecdotal evidence supporting the antipsychotic potential of CBD, which is great news because the side effects of antipsychotic pharmaceuticals are often severe and unpleasant. It also means that CBD might be useful in treating other psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder.
Though results are still preliminary and mostly at the preclinical level, research looking at schizophrenia and CBD has been largely positive. In 2015, a systematic review of all CBD and schizophrenia studies concluded:
“The first small-scale clinical studies with CBD treatment of patients with psychotic symptoms further confirm the potential of CBD as an effective, safe, and well-tolerated antipsychotic compound, although large randomized clinical trials will be needed before this novel therapy can be introduced into clinical practice.”1
A study that looked at CBD and conventional pharmaceutical therapies showed that CBD was an effective antipsychotic, with significantly fewer side effects.2 As of this writing, there were five recently completed and five active clinical studies, meaning we will be gaining an even clearer picture of CBD’s ability to treat schizophrenia soon.
- Tabitha A. Iseger and Matthijs G. Bossong, “A Systematic Review of the Antipsychotic Properties of Cannabidiol in Humans,” Schizophrenia Research 162, no. 1–3 (2015): 153–61, doi:10.1016/j.schres.2015.01.033.
- A.W. Zuardi et al., “Cannabidiol, a Cannabis Sativa Constituent, as an Antipsychotic Drug,” Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 39, no. 4 (2006): 421–29, doi:10.1590/s0100-879×2006000400001.