How does CBD oil help with schizophrenia


According to the World Health Organization report, about 20 million people suffer from schizophrenia globally, with more than 69% not getting the needed care. This could be because some cannot take the antipsychotic medication offered to them, while others do not want them. The antipsychotic medication offered to schizophrenic people may have some positive impacts, but they do not come without negative side effects. As such, many wonder if CBD oil may help with schizophrenia. Some studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of CBD oil for schizophrenia, but most of them are limited in scale and focus on a few people. Besides, they do not offer enough scientific evidence to comfortably claim that CBD oil may help with schizophrenia. This blog does not recommend CBD oil for curing, healing, or treating schizophrenia, but only to explore what existing studies say about the CBD oil for schizophrenia and the limitations of such studies. Meanwhile, if one decides to use CBD oil for schizophrenia, he better consult a doctor before doing so.

The Backgrounds of Schizophrenia and CBD oil

CBD oil is a hemp derivative and one of the hundreds of active compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Since it does not have the ‘high’ effect linked to THC, it is largely marketed and can be found in many forms, including edibles, topicals, softgels, oils & tinctures, vapes, and more. One can have CBD oil in isolate-based, full- or broad-spectrum formulations, where the last two options guarantee a full entourage effect with and without the psychoactive THC.

Schizophrenia is a neurological condition that affects one's sense of reality. It may make a person lose thoughtful thinking and speaking and may experience delusions and hallucinations. Psychosis refers to the loss of sense of reality and is the major issue with schizophrenic people. Consequently, conventional treatments for this condition major in psychosis and come in the form of antipsychotic drugs such as Seroquel, Geodon, and Latuda.

What Studies Say About CBD Oil Helping With Schizophrenia

CBD oil studies are limited, partly because the cannabinoid only became legalized recently, and legal issues stood in the way of CBD research for a long time. However, one outstanding research by Kopelli, et al., (2020).was conducted on the help of CBD oil on schizophrenia, indicating that CBD oil may help with cognition and psychosis. Still, these studies are limited because they mostly focus on small populations whose results cannot form the basis for scientific claims and evidence for CBD oil helping with schizophrenia. Studies do not recommend using CBD oil or products infused with the cannabinoid for schizophrenia.

Can CBD Oil Help With Psychosis?

Psychosis is the loss of sense of reality and is the core of schizophrenia in people suffering from this condition. A schizophrenic person may start hallucinating or speaking or acting without forethought, all because of psychosis. One study conducted by Davies & Bhattacharyya,(2019). recorded that using CBD oil reduced some schizophrenia symptoms. However, the study was limited because it engaged 36- 88 people, a population too small to be used for scientific claims. Therefore, there is a need for more scientific studies with more convincing evidence on the effectiveness of CBD oil for schizophrenia.

Mixed Study Results of CBD Oil for Cognition

Schizophrenic people also lose their sense of cognition when the disease takes a toll on them. Consequently, they slow down on learning abilities and experience hallucinations and delusions more often than not. A study by Arkell, et al., (2019) established that CBD oil might help schizophrenic people with cognition. In the study, 42 people were treated with antipsychotic medications or CBD oil, and both seemed to fare well. However, both groups had side effects, with the CBD oil having fewer side effects. Nonetheless, this study used a small population of only 42 people, which is why the results cannot be taken to represent valid scientific claims. Until many clinical trials are conducted on large populations, CBD oil remains inappropriate for helping with schizophrenia.

A review run in 2021 examined what studies had found about cannabis and cannabinoids for schizophrenia. For a start, it noted that cannabis generally exacerbated schizophrenia, increasing the negative symptoms and resulting in unpleasant effects. Still, it acknowledged that cannabis has many derivatives, including the psychoactive THC. It also added that THC and CBD oil have negative and positive impacts on cognition, and concluded that none of them should be recommended for schizophrenia.

Should You Use CBD Oil for Schizophrenia?

In view of the above, there is no sufficient evidence to back CBD oil usage for schizophrenia. While some studies have explored the effectiveness of CBD oil for schizophrenia, they are limited since they involve small populations that cannot provide sufficient evidence for recommending CBD oil usage and some even recorded negative effects of CBD oil for the condition. CBD oil may interact with antipsychotic medication, limiting its effectiveness. For instance, Geodon, Seroquel, and Latuda seem to interact negatively with the cannabinoid. Consult a doctor before using any CBD oil product besides antipsychotic drugs. What's more, THC seems to worsen schizophrenia because of its psychoactive properties. As it expresses its 'high' effect, it may worsen schizophrenia symptoms, so focus on broad-spectrum or isolate-based CBD formulated oils if it's compulsory to use CBD oil for schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia is a condition that results in the loss of one’s sense of reality. Since not everyone wants to take the antipsychotic drugs prescribed for this condition, many wonder whether CBD oil may help with the condition. While some studies have been done on CBD oil for schizophrenia, they are limited in scale and feature small populations. Consequently, study cannot recommend CBD oil for schizophrenia.


Arkell, T. R., Lintzeris, N., Kevin, R. C., Ramaekers, J. G., Vandrey, R., Irwin, C., ... & Mcgregor, I. S. (2019). Cannabidiol (CBD) Content In Vaporized Cannabis Does Not Prevent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Induced Impairment Of Driving And Cognition. Psychopharmacology, 236(9), 2713-2724. Davies, C., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2019). Cannabidiol As A Potential Treatment For Psychosis. Therapeutic Advances In Psychopharmacology, 9, 2045125319881916. Kopelli, E., Samara, M., Siargkas, A., Goulas, A., Papazisis, G., & Chourdakis, M. (2020). The Role Of Cannabidiol Oil In Schizophrenia Treatment. A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis. Psychiatry Research, 291, 113246.

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