Although research has shown promise on the benefits of CBD for relieving anxiety, we are only just beginning to understand the relationship between cannabis and mental health. Psychotherapy and pharmaceutical drugs are generally recommended to treat bipolar disorder, a new study has found that cannabidiol may have beneficial effects for those affected.
What is bipolar disorder?
Around 21 million people in Europe suffer from depression, 5 million from bipolar disorder and 1.5 million have symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is typically characterized by atypical changes in mood, energy, activity, concentration, and ability to perform daily tasks.
this syndrome is known to cause varied, sometimes erratically changing moods, ranging from an over-the-top, energetic high to more depressed periods, often leaving people feeling sad, listless, or unmotivated.
Symptoms of Bipolarity Disorder
Several types of bipolar disorder exist. They can include mania or hypomania and depression. Symptoms can cause unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, leading to significant distress and difficulty in life.
Here are the different types of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar I Disorder . You have had a manic episode which may be preceded or followed by major hypomanic or depressive episodes. In some cases, the obsession can lead to a disconnection from reality (psychosis).
Bipolar II Disorder . You have had at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but never a manic episode.
Cyclothymic disorder . You have at least two years or one year in children and adolescents of multiple periods of hypomanic symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms (although less severe than major depression).
Other kinds. These include, for example, bipolar and related disorders caused by certain drugs or alcohol , or due to a medical condition such as Cushing's disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke.
Bipolar II disorder is not a lesser type of disorder than bipolar I disorder, but has a separate diagnosis. Manic episodes in bipolar I disorder can be significant and dangerous, people with bipolar II disorder can be depressed for longer periods of time, which can lead to significant disability.
What is the role of CBD in the treatment of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a severe and complex neurological disorder that manifests with episodes of depression and mania. CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabis product that has recently begun to be studied by researchers and doctors for its therapeutic benefits. Studies conducted so far suggest that CBD may be a potentially beneficial tool to help treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder by reducing stress and anxiety, two of the major symptoms of bipolar disorder.
How Can CBD Help Bipolar Disorder?
CBD is an organic compound found in cannabis and hemp that is non-psychoactive and does not cause mind-altering side effects. Cannabinoid compounds are natural substances that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system and have the potential to positively affect mood, cognition, and even sleep.
CBD may help reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder by influencing how the brain responds to certain neurobiological chemical and neurotransmitter systems. Research also suggests that CBD can help improve moods, reduce the risk of seizures or manic episodes, and increase energy levels.
Research on the effects of CBD on bipolar disorder
The researchers mentioned in the study, presented at the Neuroscience 2022 conference, that cannabis use is already widespread among people with bipolar disorder.
The question was, how useful is CBD for symptom relief?
To pin down the effects of cannabis on bipolar people, the researchers recruited people with and without the disorder, as well as cannabis users and non-users into each group, analyzing each combination.
Participants were tested on a cognitive battery measuring risky decision-making, reward-based learning, and sustained attention.
Ultimately, the researchers confirmed that cannabis may indeed have particular benefits for bipolar people , particularly by helping to reduce risky decision-making. Researchers also suggested that cannabis reduced dopaminergic activity in the brain, which helps suppress symptoms , and found that cannabis had moderate effects on sensitivity to punishment and sustained attention.
The researchers also cited previous studies, which suggest that some people with bipolar disorder have increased dopamine activity due to reduced expression of the dopamine transporter. Because chronic cannabis use has been shown to reduce dopamine release , chronic cannabis use could result in a "return to dopamine homeostasis", which in turn could help normalize their deficits in goal-oriented behaviors. They concluded that they were "engaged" in further studies to explore this potential.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital and Tufts University have found a link between cannabis and improved symptoms of bipolar disorder in clinical trial data from 2018 , also confirming that cannabis does not has no negative impact on cognitive performance. They also found that cannabis use led to reductions in depression, anger and tension scores.
More generally, a 2020 study by researchers at the University of New Mexico found that cannabis was effective in treating symptoms of depression. A 2020 report from BMC Psychiatry also found that whole plant cannabis and plant-based cannabinoids effectively improve mood and sleep, reduce anxiety , and promote antipsychotic action.
Of course, we still have a long way to go and much more to explore before plant medicine becomes the gold standard for mental health issues like bipolar, but studies like these claim we have the right idea. .
The Side Effects of CBD for Bipolar People
The side effects of CBD for people with bipolar may be different from those for others. Although CBD is generally considered a treatment with few or no side effects, some people with bipolar may experience different effects than people without bipolar disorder.
Potential side effects associated with the use of CBD by bipolar people may include:
- Decreased motivation
- changing state of mind
- Increased anxiety
Some of the physiological effects that may be associated with regular use of CBD by people with bipolar include reduced blood pressure and heart rate, as well as lower potassium, glucose and cholesterol levels.
Some people may also notice an increased risk of psychotic episodes when taking CBD. It is important to consult a doctor before changing your current treatment and to check for drug interactions .
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be managed with medications and related therapies, but many patients seek other treatment methods. In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has been touted as a promising option for managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
If you decide to test CBD, we advise you to choose a trusted website, offering products from safe procedures, from organic or ethical raw materials and able to present laboratory reports for your safety.