Reasons for cannabis use in psychosis

David Schofield*, Chris Tennant, Louise Nash, Louise Degenhardt, Alison Cornish, Coletta Hobbs, Gail Brennan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the reasons for cannabis use among individuals with psychotic disorders. Method: Forty-nine people with psychotic disorders in treatment with community health centres in Northern Sydney were interviewed to collect information about their experience of antipsychotic side-effects and their influence on cannabis use. Other information collected on cannabis use included: amount and frequency, effects of use and other general reasons given for use. Results: It was found that boredom, social motives, improving sleep, anxiety and agitation and symptoms associated with negative psychotic symptoms or depression were the most important motivators of cannabis use. Positive symptoms of psychosis and antipsychotic side-effects that were not associated with anxiety, were not important motivators of cannabis use. Conclusions: As cannabis use may precipitate relapse in this population, it is important to reduce these motivators of use. Clinician's must assess and treat these problems, thus reducing the need for patients to self-medicate with cannabis, and therefore reducing the risk of relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-574
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotic side-effects
  • Cannabis
  • Psychosis
  • Self-medication

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