Catatonia Related to Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids: A Review

J Dual Diagn. 2021 Apr-Jun;17(2):159-171. doi: 10.1080/15504263.2021.1904163. Epub 2021 Apr 26.


Cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids (SC) are related to several neuropsychiatric symptoms and disorders, especially psychotic symptoms and disorders. Interestingly, catatonia-like symptoms associated with cannabis and SC have been generally neglected in research and scarcely described despite the clinical repercussions. Hence, this review aims to analyze current clinical publications on catatonia induced by cannabis or SC in a systematized way. Methods: A search using PRISMA guidelines was performed on three databases based on a specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: 11 publications describing 14 patients (10 males; mean age 22.50 ± 6.67 years old) with catatonia apparently precipitated by the use of cannabis (n = 6) or SC (n = 8) were found. Clinical features and treatment are described and discussed. Conclusion: From a clinical perspective, cannabis and SC use may be related to catatonia-like symptoms and catatonia syndrome in the same way these substances (cannabis and SC) are related to induced-psychotic episodes. However, further research will be required to understand the exact nature of that relationship. Additionally, investigations focused on the clinical significance (i.e., prognosis, evolution, and outcomes) of catatonia-like symptoms induced by cannabis and SC use in patients are also needed.

Keywords: Catatonia; cannabis; cannabis-induced disorder; psychosis; synthetic cannabinoids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cannabinoids* / adverse effects
  • Cannabis*
  • Catatonia* / chemically induced
  • Catatonia* / complications
  • Humans
  • Psychotic Disorders*
  • Young Adult


  • Cannabinoids