Medical marijuana and CBD products have been making headlines because of their potential benefits to a wide range of health conditions. If you have been dealing with bipolar disorder and you’re looking for ways to prevent psychosis and manage depression, you’re probably tempted to give them a try.
Now, before you do that, make sure that you are completely aware of the good and bad sides of marijuana use for your condition. Below, we are sharing with you everything we know about medical marijuana, CBD oil, and bipolar disorder.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder isn’t a simple mental health condition. A person diagnosed with it experiences extreme mood swings that can range from mania to depression.
In a depressed state, you may experience extreme sadness or even hopelessness. You lose interest in doing most activities, even those activities you used to enjoy.
You may lose or gain significant weight even without intentionally changing your diet. At times, you may feel too sleepy or you may find it hard to sleep.
Feelings of worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, and indecisiveness are common during this state as well.
Once you shift into a manic or hypomanic state, you feel energetic. You may feel euphoric or you may feel unusually irritable.
You may find yourself unusually talkative, agitated, and jumpy. Racing thoughts and increased energy are common symptoms during manic state, too.
These changes in your mood can affect your behavior towards others as well as your judgment. Your activities, energy, and sleep may suffer, too.
Some people experience those episodes of mood swings a couple of times per year while others experience them rarely.
Bipolar disorder is considered a lifelong condition. Although there’s really no cure for it, the symptoms are highly treatable and manageable.
Apart from that, the existing treatment options for bipolar disorders come with side effects and noncompliance with treatment is so common.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with the condition, you might have heard about marijuana and how people are using it to potentially help manage bipolar disorder. Before you do the same and add it to your existing treatment plan, make sure that you fully understand the pros and cons of using marijuana for your condition.
Here’s what we know so far:
Can Marijuana Use Help Improve Bipolar Disorder?
To be honest, research has conflicting answers to that question.
Let’s start with the positive ones first.
Marijuana has potentially anxiety-relieving effects which cause people to think that consuming it can help make them feel better.
Just consider this 2016 study. It found out that people diagnosed with bipolar disorder did not experience extreme mental impairment while using marijuana.
Apart from that, the participants of the study also reported experiencing improved moods.
This 2015 study mirrored those findings. It showed that marijuana use in patients with bipolar disorder resulted in better moods and a more positive outlook.
The issue with that research is the timing of use.
The researchers discovered that people were more inclined to use marijuana when they are already having a really great day and not when they are going through their worst symptoms.
On the other hand, there is also a lot of studies with negative findings.
One of them is this review which was published in 2015. It revealed that marijuana use can actually make a person’s manic symptoms a lot worse. Plus, the researchers also found out that it can start a manic episode.
A separate study published in the same year showed that the rate of suicide attempts in people with bipolar disorder was higher than those who didn’t use marijuana.
After reading those findings, you’re probably thinking twice about using marijuana for bipolar disorder.
Now, medical marijuana isn’t that scary. It’s just that its effects on bipolar disorder aren’t proven yet.
Further research is definitely needed before we can determine if marijuana use is bad for people with bipolar disorder.
However, there’s one thing you can be sure of.
As of today, marijuana isn’t considered to be as effective as the medications and therapies doctors recommend for bipolar disorder. Considering that, it’s important that you stick to the treatment plan your doctor made for you.
And if you really want to add medical marijuana to your existing treatment plan, make sure to talk to your doctor about it. Know the pros and cons and be aware of what you are getting yourself into.
Do not attempt to self-medicate. It will just make your condition a lot worse.
Marijuana and other CBD products might look promising, particularly to lifelong conditions like bipolar disorder. However, just like with everything you take for your health, you shouldn’t just add them to your treatment plan without thinking about it carefully or consulting your doctor.
The results of the studies involving marijuana and bipolar are conflicting. Some of them say that marijuana use can help while others suggest it can worsen symptoms.
If you decide to give it a try, talk to your doctor first. Also, consider starting with the products on this list as they are known for purity, safety, and potency.