Psychopathology and Pattern of Remission of Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2023 Apr 18;25(2):22m03350. doi: 10.4088/PCC.22m03350.


Objective: To analyze the psychopathology and pattern of remission in cannabis-induced psychotic disorder with treatment.

Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of a group of patients admitted with new-onset psychosis, cannabis use, and no evidence of other drug abuse from January 1 to June 31, 2019, to the psychiatry inpatient department of a multispecialty tertiary care hospital in Kerala, India. Patients were evaluated at admission and after 1 week in the hospital and 1 month after discharge using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of illness scale.

Results: Fifty-six male subjects were recruited for the study. The mean age of the subjects was 22.2 years, and the majority were active smokers of nicotine and cannabis. Total duration of abuse and family history of substance use in first-degree relatives correlated with severity of psychosis. Hostility, excitement, and grandiosity were the predominant positive symptoms, and these symptoms showed a steady reduction toward the end of the study. The most frequent negative symptoms were emotional withdrawal, passive or apathetic social withdrawal, and difficulty in abstract thinking, and these symptoms also showed significant improvement (P < .001 for all). For symptoms such as somatic concern and guilt feelings, significant treatment response was noted only in the initial week (P < .001).

Conclusions: Cannabis-induced psychosis in the Indian setting presents with predominant positive symptoms and minimal affective symptoms. The steady improvement noted with complete cessation of cannabis indicates a possible contributory role for cannabis in precipitating psychosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cannabis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse* / complications
  • Marijuana Abuse* / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced* / etiology
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced* / therapy
  • Psychotic Disorders* / therapy
  • Young Adult