Stephanie spoke to Kira London-Nadeau about the Cannabis and Psychosis initiative supported by the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. Together, they discussed Stephanie’s academic career, her research projects as well as the interventions available to help young people with psychosis who use cannabis. As these young people are not very interested in stopping their cannabis consumption, Stephanie focuses on the development of interventions aimed at harm reduction (e.g. intoxication, dependence, driving under the influence), in particular thanks to her smartphone application CHAMPS (Cannabis Harm-reduction Approach for Managing Practices Safely) which teaches consumers the use of protective behavioral strategies. These strategies include, but are not limited to, not using before driving, not mixing cannabis with other drugs, and using limited amounts. To view her interview, visit this website.
This spring was full of successes for our students who stood out in the funding agency scholarship contests. First, Stéphanie won the prestigious Vanier Canada graduate scholarship of $50,000/year over three years for her doctoral project on the CHAMPS smartphone application, which aims to reduce the harms associated with cannabis consumption in young psychotic adults. Furthermore, Ovidiu received the Canada Graduate Scholarship Frédérick-Banting and Charles Best of $35,000/year over 3 years for his doctoral project on the iCanChange smartphone application aimed at reducing problematic cannabis use in young psychotic adults. Finally, Gabriel received the Canada graduate scholarship at the masters level of $ 17,500 for one year. You can read this article that mentions it all.
In this health crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public health department reminds us of the importance of hand-washing, social distancing and preventive isolation. This is why our team continues to work remotely when some of our research activities (recruitment, beginning of new studies) deemed nonessential are suspended until further notice. We would like to wish all of our participants and partners the health and courage to face this difficult period. To understand the impact of the crisis on the health of some of our participants, we invite you to listen to the report by Marie Lambert-Chan, editor in chief of Québec Science. She spoke with Didier Jutras-Aswad to discuss the reality of drug addicts in this dark period during which access to resources is restricted.
This month, our team led by Maykel and Stéphanie published a systematic review summarizing all international scientific studies evaluating the efficacy of cannabidiol as an antipsychotic in people with psychotic disorders. Among the eight studies identified, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the treatment was effective. In addition, the number of powerful and high-quality randomized studies is lacking. This is important since the antipsychotic virtues of cannabidiol have been widely disseminated in the media since the legalization of cannabis in Canada and the United States, and sometimes without proofs. This study therefore warns healthcare professionals and patients that the evidence is neither final nor rigorous enough to promote the use of this treatment, which is still experimental in the clinic, in psychotic patients. You can read the article published in Psychiatry Research here.