Enhancing recovery in early schizophrenia – a controlled clinical trial investigating cannabidiol CR vs. placebo as an add-on to antipsychotic treatment

Presentation First Author: 
F. Markus Leweke

Current antipsychotic treatments of schizophrenia are only partially effective, and their use is often associated with serious side effects. Cannabidiol is a natural counterpart of the psychoactive component of marijuana, delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol and has no psychotomimetic or addictive properties. In a controlled clinical trial of cannabidiol versus amisulpride in acute paranoid schizophrenia we showed a statistically significant clinical improvement in all symptoms clusters of schizophrenia compared to baseline with either treatment. Cannabidiol displayed a signifi- cantly superior side-effect profile in particular regarding prolactin elevation, extrapyramidal symptoms and weight gain. The favorable side-effect profile and potentially novel mechanism of action identify this molecule as a potential antipsychotic. However, long-term safety and efficacy data is still lacking. This study in 180 remitted schizophrenia patients is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the novel compound cannabidiol in the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in comparison to placebo as an add-on to an established treatment with either olanzapine or amisulpride, in a 12-months, double-blind, parallel-group, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Thereby, relevant data on cannabidiols antipsychotic potential will be gained.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
Additional Authors: 
Cathrin Rohleder - Peter Falkai - Andreas Heinz - Joachim Klosterkötter - Frank Schneider - Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg
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