Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Lisa Baker

Second Advisor

Victor 'Trey' Ximenez


Recent changes in cannabis legalization will have broad societal impacts for decades to come, not the least of which are the unknown consequences to neuropsychiatric health, particularly for adolescents and young adults. Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder (CIPD) is a controversial and poorly understood neuropsychiatric condition characterized by a psychotic experience brought on by excessive cannabis intoxication and/or withdrawal. Although CIPD is currently an uncommon diagnosis, the overlapping symptomology and comorbidity with schizophrenia indicates CIPD may be underdiagnosed. Some authors suggest the under diagnosis of CIPD may be correlated to physician diagnostic practices. This honors thesis constitutes a scholarly literature review and preliminary research proposal. The objective of the literature review is to explore the medical scientific literature on the diagnostic criteria, overlapping symptomology, as well as contributing genetic and epigenetic factors to CIPD and schizophrenia. The aim of the research proposal is to survey practicing psychiatrists to examine their perspectives on the diagnostic process with reference to their patients’ demographics, the prevalence of cannabis-induced psychotic disorder and schizophrenia, the clinician’s medical training, and diagnostic instruments they utilize in their practice. Physician demographics will also be addressed within the study, requesting the history of the clinician’s medical training such as time spent in the field and which diagnostic manual they were originally taught in medical school. The length of time spent with a patient before providing a proper diagnosis, the medications most frequently prescribed to patients with schizophrenia and/or cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, and the efficacy and adverse effects of those medications, will also be considered, as well as whether insurance coverage may influence a clinician’s use of diagnostic codes. The purpose of this proposed research is to assess the diagnostic practices of various clinicians who treat patients at in-patient psychiatric hospitals in order to determine the efficacy of their diagnoses and compare the process that each of the clinicians uses when diagnosing schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychotic disorder.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Presentation.pdf (1422 kB)
Defense Presentation

Included in

Psychology Commons