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Schizotypy but not Cannabis Use Modestly Predicts Psychotogenic Experiences: A Cross-Sectional Study Using the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE)

Airey, Nicola D.; Hammersley, Richard; Reid, Marie


Nicola D. Airey

Richard Hammersley

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Professor Marie Reid
Professor of Clinical & Health Psychology/ Consultant Clinical Psychologist


Ildiko Racz


Objective. Cannabis use predicts psychosis in longitudinal studies, but it is difficult to infer causation. Some precursor variables predict both, including childhood trauma and adversity. Additionally, some of the desired effects of cannabis use resemble the symptoms of psychosis. It would be preferable to assess psychotomimetic or “unusual” experiences that include psychotic symptoms but without assuming pathology. Finally, it is possible that similar people are prone to psychosis and drawn to cannabis use, perhaps, because they are sensitive or attracted to unusual experiences. Schizotypy provides a trait measure of proneness to unusual experiences. The study aimed to examine cross-sectionally relationships between cannabis use, schizotypy, and unusual experiences whilst controlling for current trauma symptoms. Method. A volunteer online sample (n = 129, 64% women, predominantly students) who had used cannabis at least once was recruited. People who reported active effects of past trauma were excluded with a brief primary care posttraumatic stress disorder screen. Participants completed the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experience, the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, and measures of substance use and sociodemographics. Results. The majority of respondents recounted unusual experiences after cannabis use, and many of these might have been considered symptoms of psychosis if they had received medical attention. In regression analysis, the only predictor of the unusual experiences scale of O-LIFE was schizotypy (measured by the remaining subscales; 4% of variance). There were no correlations between cannabis use frequency and schizotypy or unusual experiences. Conclusions. These findings suggest that, after controlling for schizotypy and excluding people who are actively experiencing the effects of past trauma, frequency of cannabis use does not predict unusual experiences. However, individuals with schizotypal personality traits may have more unusual experiences when using cannabis.


Airey, N. D., Hammersley, R., & Reid, M. (2020). Schizotypy but not Cannabis Use Modestly Predicts Psychotogenic Experiences: A Cross-Sectional Study Using the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE). Journal of Addiction, 2020, Article 5961275.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 26, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Journal of Addiction
Print ISSN 2090-7834
Electronic ISSN 2090-7834
Publisher Hindawi
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2020
Article Number 5961275
Public URL
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Published article (1.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2020 Nicola D. Airey et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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