CBD for Psychosis: A Potential Addition to Conventional Treatments

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The Key Points:

  • CBD is being researched as a potential alternative to conventional treatments for symptoms of psychosis, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Unlike antipsychotics, CBD could potentially reorient affected brain areas, alleviating symptoms without the typical side effects of traditional medication.
  • CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is believed to play a significant role in the development and evolution of psychosis.
  • Initial studies suggest that CBD may alleviate or even cure psychosis symptoms, with mild side effects such as dry mouth and drowsiness.
  • More scientific studies and professional medical advice are needed to determine accurate CBD dosage for psychosis treatment.

Are you struggling with the symptoms of psychosis and want to finally find a solution that helps you without side effects?

More and more scientific findings suggest that CBD could be more effective in combatting the symptoms of psychosis than conventional medication. According to these findings, CBD doesn't merely "interrupt" the symptoms (like conventional treatments), but it could potentially reorient affected brain areas.

Find out here exactly how CBD works on psychosis and which scientific insights suggest that CBD can alleviate the symptoms of psychosis.

What is Psychosis?

Psychosis isn't a separate disease but an umbrella term for a series of conditions where sufferers have disturbances of perception and reality. This includes hallucinations, perceptual disorders, and thought disorders. Known forms of psychosis are Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.

Individuals suffering from psychosis often experience auditory hallucinations, but olfactory, gustatory, or visual hallucinations are also possible. They may also experience delusions, such as paranoia.

Common accompanying symptoms of psychosis are often fears and depression, as well as attention and memory disorders.

Conventional Treatment

The stage of the disease plays a significant role in the treatment of psychosis. The sooner the symptoms are treated, the greater the chance of alleviating or even completely eliminating the symptoms. The treatment also depends on the primary illness. These two therapies are often applied:

  1. Treatment with antipsychotics
  2. Psychotherapeutic treatment

Antipsychotics can effectively alleviate or interrupt the disease symptoms of psychosis, but they do not constitute a cure. Moreover, high doses can lead to side effects in motor function, such as extrapyramidal syndrome, which leads to reduced mobility.

The cannabinoid CBD, on the other hand, which generally has very few side effects, can act on specific receptors in the brain. For this reason, scientists are currently investigating whether CBD could also be considered in the treatment and even prevention of psychosis.

How does CBD work and how can it help with Psychosis?

CBD is a component of the cannabis plant. It has more than a hundred of these compounds, called cannabinoids. The most common cannabinoid is THC, known for its psychoactive effect. It gives the user a state of euphoria and can even be a trigger for psychosis itself.

Another cannabinoid, CBD, found in the cannabis plant almost as frequently as THC, has a very different effect. CBD is not psychoactive and therefore does not create dependency. On the contrary, it even possesses many potential health benefits, which can be explained by its interaction with our endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System and Psychosis

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a nervous system that includes neuroreceptors (CB receptors) in the central and peripheral nervous system. It influences bodily processes such as mood, pain, sleep, memory, and appetite.

According to scientists, it plays a significant role in the development and evolution of psychosis, as its receptors are widely distributed in various limbic and cortical brain structures. Several studies have found that THC can trigger psychosis through its influence on the ECS.

Notably, for example, schizophrenia patients have increased endocannabinoid levels and more CB receptors in the brain.

The Effect of CBD on Psychosis

CBD also affects the ECS, but in a different, non-psychoactive way. A study [1] from 2018 suggests that CBD can reduce abnormal brain functions associated with psychosis by reorienting activity in three brain areas.

The study included a brain scan conducted after a one-time intake of CBD. Compared to the control group, the brain areas of the CBD group showed fewer anomalies. However, how CBD works in psychosis has not been precisely researched. Moreover, the study mentioned had a very small group of participants (33 participants).

Therefore, there is a significant need for further research. However, the results suggest that CBD can alleviate or even cure the symptoms of psychosis.

Side Effects

CBD has a pretty good safety profile, meaning that any side effects are usually mild. These might include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Because of this, and the fact that CBD won't make you "high" or dependent, the World Health Organization has declared CBD to be safe [2].

When you buy CBD products from a reputable manufacturer, they contain a maximum of 0.3 percent THC and are therefore legal in the United States. So, don't worry if you see a small amount of THC in your full-spectrum CBD product.

However, caution is advised during breastfeeding. It's unclear how CBD affects infants, so nursing mothers should avoid taking CBD. Also, CBD can interact with some medications, so if in doubt, consult your doctor beforehand.

Usage and Dosage for Psychoses

As CBD is still relatively new compared to other substances, there aren't any official dosage guidelines. The dosage is very individual and should be tailored to your body weight and the symptoms or ailments for which you're using CBD.

In studies in the field of psychosis, CBD was taken orally, that is, in capsule form. In several studies, CBD was able to significantly improve symptoms of psychosis at a dosage of 600 mg per day.

If you're considering using CBD for psychosis symptoms, it's advisable to speak with a doctor to determine your individual dosage and keep a record of your dosage. This can also help prevent potential interactions with medications you're already taking.

Beyond that, you should always opt for a high-quality product, as this is the only way to safely enjoy the many benefits of CBD.

Further Scientific Studies

The aforementioned study showed significant improvements with CBD. However, other studies have also looked into this topic and provided positive results:

  • CBD can be an effective treatment for schizophrenia as it promotes the endocannabinoid anandamide. [3]
  • CBD has the potential to effectively treat psychoses and addictions. [4]
  • CBD can significantly reduce psychotic symptoms after 6 weeks of use. [5]


Various study results show that CBD can be extremely effective in the treatment of psychoses. Moreover, CBD has minimal side effects, making it even more appealing.

While further studies are needed, it's already apparent that CBD opens up a new dimension of treatment for people affected by psychoses.

Have you had any experiences with CBD and psychosis? Feel free to share your experiences or opinions with other readers in the comments.


  • [1] Bhattacharyya S, et al. Effect of Cannabidiol on Medial Temporal, Midbrain, and Striatal Dysfunction in People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial., full text here, JAMA Psychiatry 2018
  • [2] WHO: CANNABIDIOL (CBD). Critical Review Report, 2018
  • [3] Leweke, F., et al. Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia., full text here, Transl Psychiatry 2012
  • [4] Batalla, A. et.al. The Potential of Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Psychosis and Addiction: Who Benefits Most? A Systematic Review, full text here, J Clin Med 2019
  • [5] McGuire, P., et. al. Cannabidiol (CBD) as an Adjunctive Therapy in Schizophrenia: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial, full text here, American Journal of Psychiatry 2018
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