Review: The Efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) as Potential Antipsychotic Medication

  • Lilian Kloft Maastricht University
Keywords: Schizophrenia, treatment, cannabidiol, antipsychotics


Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are widespread and severely disabling; however, current pharmacological treatments are unsatisfactory due to major side effects. The current review discusses the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, as an antipsychotic drug. Research lines including studies based on animal models of psychosis, human experimental studies, neuroimaging studies, epidemiological studies, and clinical studies are reviewed. The studies described provide empirical support for the antipsychotic effects of CBD and indicate reduced side effects, high tolerability, and superior cost-effectiveness compared to regular antipsychotic medication. It is concluded that CBD may prove a safe and attractive alternative treatment for psychotic conditions. However, current evidence largely stems from experimental, non-clinical studies. Large-scale randomized clinical trials are needed before this can be implemented in practice.