Do patients think cannabis causes schizophrenia? - A qualitative study on the causal beliefs of cannabis using patients with schizophrenia

Harm Reduction Journal
Anna BuadzeMichael Liebrenz


There has been a considerable amount of debate among the research community whether cannabis use may cause schizophrenia and whether cannabis use of patients with schizophrenia is associated with earlier and more frequent relapses. Considering that studies exploring patients' view on controversial topics have contributed to our understanding of important clinical issues, it is surprising how little these views have been explored to add to our understanding of the link between cannabis and psychosis. The present study was designed to elucidate whether patients with schizophrenia who use cannabis believe that its use has caused their schizophrenia and to explore these patients other beliefs and perceptions about the effects of the drug. We recruited ten consecutive patients fulfilling criteria for paranoid schizophrenia and for a harmful use of/dependence from cannabis (ICD-10 F20.0 + F12.1 or F12.2) from the in- and outpatient clinic of the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich. They were interviewed using qualitative methodology. Furthermore, information on amount, frequency, and effects of use was obtained. A grounded theory approach to data analysis was taken to evaluate findings. None of the patients described a causal link...Continue Reading


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