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Understanding and Managing Cannabis Use in First Episode Psychosis

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 2/1/2020

Expiration Date: 2/1/2023

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 1
  • Participation: 1



Cannabis use and misuse is common in persons recovering from a first episode of psychosis, and its management presents special challenges to clinicians working with this population. This session will provide clinicians with critical information and skills about the nature of cannabis use disorder (CUD) in young people who have developed a psychosis, and strategies for reducing its negative impact on the course of psychosis. First, the epidemiology of CUD in the FEP population will be reviewed, including prevalence, demographic and clinical correlates, and course. Second, theories addressing the high prevalence of CUD in this population will be considered, and the implications of those theories for treatment will be discussed. Third, strategies for reducing CUD and its effects on treatment engagement and outcomes will be covered.

* This presentation was recorded at The Second National Conference on Advancing Early Psychosis Care, October 2, 2019


FREE - $0

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by Grant No. 1H79SM080818-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. 

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the prevalence of cannabis use disorder (CUD) in first episode of psychosis and identify at two demographic and two clinical correlates of CUD in this population.
  • Identify at least three different motives for cannabis use in persons recovering from an FEP.
  • Summarize three different strategies for reducing CUD and its effects in persons with FEP.

Target Audience

Psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, nurses/nurse practitioners, peer support specialists

Estimated Duration

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour 
Program Start Date: February 1, 2020
Program End Date: February 1, 2023

Instructional Level


How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course, including the evaluation. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned.

Continuing Education Credit


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring event for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


  • Alcover KC, Oluwoye O, Kriegel L, McPherson S, McDonell MG. Impact of first episode psychosis treatment on heavy cannabis use: Secondary analysis on RAISE-ETP study. Schizophrenia research. 2019 Sep;211:86.
  • Cather, C., Brunette, M. F., Mueser, K. T., Babbin, S. F., Rosenheck, R., Correll, C. U., & Meyer-Kalos, P. (2018). Impact of comprehensive treatment for first episode psychosis on substance use outcomes: A randomized controlled trial. Psychiatry Research, 268, 303-11.
  • Lobbana, F., Barrowclough, C., Jeffery, S., Bucci, S., Taylor, K., Mallinson, S., Fitzsimmons, M., & Marshall, M. (2010). Understanding factors influencing substance use in people with recent onset psychosis: A qualitative study. Social Science and Medicine, 70, 1141-47.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Kim T. Mueser, PhD. Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.


  • Erik Messamore, MD, PhD, Northeast Ohio Medical University. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Susan Gingerich, MSW, NAVIGATE. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Melanie Bennett, PhD. University of Maryland School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.


  • Tristan Gorrindo, MD, American Psychiatric Association.  Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This website requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+
  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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