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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 Jul;235(7):1923-1932. doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-4885-9. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

The effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on cognition and symptoms in outpatients with chronic schizophrenia a randomized placebo controlled trial.

Author information

1
Schizophrenia and Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
3
Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, CT, USA.
4
Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
5
GW Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK.
6
Schizophrenia and Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA. Mohini.Ranganathan@yale.edu.
7
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Mohini.Ranganathan@yale.edu.
8
Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, CT, USA. Mohini.Ranganathan@yale.edu.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Preliminary evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may be effective in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders; however, CBD has never been evaluated for the treatment of cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia (CIAS).

OBJECTIVE:

This study compared the cognitive, symptomatic, and side effects of CBD versus placebo in a clinical trial.

METHODS:

This study was a 6-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group, fixed-dose study of oral CBD (600 mg/day) or placebo augmentation in 36 stable antipsychotic-treated patients diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. All subjects completed the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) at baseline and at end of 6 weeks of treatment. Psychotic symptoms were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and biweekly.

RESULTS:

There was no main effect of time or drug on MCCB Composite score, but a significant drug × time effect was observed (p = 0.02). Post hoc analyses revealed that only placebo-treated subjects improved over time (p = 0.03). There was a significant decrease in PANSS Total scores over time (p < 0. 0001) but there was no significant drug × time interaction (p = 0.18). Side effects were similar between CBD and placebo, with the one exception being sedation, which was more prevalent in the CBD group.

CONCLUSIONS:

At the dose studied, CBD augmentation was not associated with an improvement in MCCB or PANSS scores in stable antipsychotic-treated outpatients with schizophrenia. Overall, CBD was well tolerated with no worsening of mood, suicidality, or movement side effects.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00588731.

KEYWORDS:

Attention; CBD; Cannabidiol; Cannabinoids; Cognition; Memory; Psychosis; Schizophrenia

PMID:
29619533
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-018-4885-9

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