CBD for Bipolar Disorder

About CBD, Conditions

“It’s like two lost souls fighting over one body,” says Chino G on how his bipolar disorder makes him feel. Unfortunately, many of the other descriptions of this condition are similar. The focus of today’s article is the utilization of CBD for bipolar disorder.

CBD for bipolar disorder at a glance:

Claims:  In certain doses, CBD for bipolar disorder has a calming effect that can help curtail manic episodes. CBD can help with depression, which is often associated with or known to coexist with bipolar disorder. CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety, which is a known symptom of bipolar. CBD can help curb manic rages. CBD can act as an overall mood stabilizer.

What the studies show: While there aren’t any completed, large-scale clinical trials on the use of CBD for bipolar, preliminary studies show varying results. One small recent study with two subjects concluded that Cannabidiol might be ineffective for manic episodes of bipolar affective disorder when used on its own. Another recent study shows that CBD can ease the symptoms of psychosis with just a single dose.

All the facts: While studies show that results are a bit of a mixed bag to this point, anecdotal evidence is strong. Luckily, clinical trials are in progress, and due to be completed in February of 2020. Hopefully, at that time we’ll be better able to gauge the efficacy of using CBD for bipolar disorder.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that affects 2.6% of the US population. It often doesn’t present until a person reaches their late teens to mid-twenties. Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings that range from mania or hypomania (extreme highs) to depression, often very quickly and sometimes without warning.

We don’t yet know exactly what causes this condition, but people suffering from it appear to have biological changes in their brain once onset occurs. Genetics also seem to play a role, as bipolar disorder is more common in people who have an immediate family member diagnosed with the condition. Certain risk factors like trauma and drug or alcohol abuse may also increase the chances of developing bipolar disorder or act as a trigger for an initial episode.

Left untreated, bipolar disorder can lead to other complications such as drug and alcohol dependency, suicide or suicide attempts, damaged relationships, and poor work and/or school performance. At this time, there is no known cure. That said, there are many medications and treatments that can be used to help people manage their symptoms.

How CBD can be used to help with bipolar disorder?

In order to untangle the reasons CBD might be a great tool to help with symptoms of bipolar disorder, we need to delve a little deeper into what CBD is and how it affects us in the first place. Our bodies already have their own endocannabinoid systems in place. These systems are involved in regulating various cognitive and physiological functions, including mood and pain sensation.

Because CBD (cannabidiol) is known to interact with our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors, it makes sense that CBD oil would have an effect on our mood. And, given that bipolar disorder can often cause extreme mood swings, the potential benefit of mitigating those extremes can’t be overstated.

Bipolar disorder can often cause other complications like depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, restlessness, and more, all of which CBD is thought to help with as well. Many people who are adopting a CBD for bipolar disorder regimen are finding themselves feeling calmer, less anxious, and in better control of their emotions.

Medical Studies

As mentioned, further studies are required to determine the potential benefits of using CBD for bipolar disorder as results have been varied. We’re encouraged by the number of people posting their positive results on social media and in forums. As we wait for more conclusive research, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is worth a mention to your doctor as a potential weapon in your arsenal against bipolar disorder symptoms. Meanwhile, there is significant evidence that CBD can help with depression and anxiety, both symptoms of bipolar disorder, and some evidence that it can be used to curb manic rages.

What are the risks of using CBD for bipolar disorder?

Actually, the known risks seem pretty minimal at this time. CBD for bipolar is generally well-tolerated by most adults. Minor possible side effects can include dry mouth, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. When compared to the potential side effects of medications currently used to treat bipolar patients which can include vomiting, diarrhea, and hand tremors, CBD for bipolar disorder might be worth a try.

One potential downside is that, like most healthcare options, CBD for bipolar disorder isn’t a panacea and might not work for everyone. While we’ve seen some miraculous anecdotes from people finding relief from their bipolar symptoms, we’ve also seen some underwhelming results. We always recommend that you check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your healthcare routine and to help determine if CBD for bipolar disorder is the right option for you.

It’s important to note that CBD is not considered to have addictive properties and, while CBD is a compound derived from the cannabis plant, it won’t get you “high.”

Should I give CBD for bipolar disorder a try?

While there isn’t a plethora of conclusive evidence to support the claims we’ve seen online about the benefits of CBD for bipolar disorder, we haven’t seen many potential downsides, either. Talk to your health care professional to see if adopting a CBD regimen to help with your symptoms might be the right path for you.

Last modified: January 8, 2019