Currently, 35% of the world population is facing one or more of the forms of anxiety. Everyone with anxiety is in search of some conclusive way to take care of their condition. In the list of popular ways to take care of anxiety and its counterpart, one can find CBD (derived from the cannabis plant) on top of the list.
However, in order to understand how CBD can help with bipolar disorder, we need to first understand what Bipolar Disorder actually is.
Bipolar disorder: What does it mean?
This is a form of mental health disease where a person faces extreme kinds of mood swings. This comprises of both high, manic periods and low, depressive episodes. It is also referred to as manic depression where the mood swings are not only unpredictable but also extreme. From affecting a person’s work-life to ruining relationships, the severity of this problem is huge. Three different types of symptoms can be faced with bipolar disorder including depression or alcoholism, hypomania, and mania. Sometimes bipolar disorder patients display an array of psychosis-related symptoms. This includes hallucinations (hearing or seeing things which aren’t even there) and delusions (false fixed beliefs in things which aren’t true). The highs and lows that bipolar disorder brings with are massive.
Though therapy and prescription medications are often helpful, there is an entire grey area regarding the effectiveness of CBD on this problem. Does science prove CBD useful in treating such condition?
Should you consider CBD as a form of treatment?
The most commonly used form of cannabis is CBD oil. This natural, plant-based extract comprises of phytochemicals referred to as cannabinoids. The cannabinoids are the feel-good molecules which are naturally produced by the body. It brings about a secure and relaxed feeling with it while we engage in an array of activities. From keeping our body well-oiled and functioning to reducing inflammation, ensuring the proper functioning of our intestines and stomach, and modulation of pain – it does unbelievable things. This is the reason why researchers wanted to take a good hard look at how CBD can improve bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder and its several varieties are resistant to treatment which explains the rate of disability. Therefore, CBD has been investigated to see whether it is of benefit in treating such disorder.
The postmortem studies conducted on the human brain shows that when patients are diagnosed with different types of mental illnesses including Bipolar Disorder, abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system are found.
The role of CBD in Bipolar-associated psychosis
Scientists believe that the antipsychotic effects of CBD could be therapeutic in patients with bipolar-associated psychotic symptoms. Moreover, reports show that CBD has anticonvulsant properties and exhibits protective effects against glutamate toxicity and may have a mood-stabilizing action similar to some anticonvulsants of proven value in Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD).
Recently, some authors suggested that CBD has potential antipsychotic effects. This was confirmed by the observation that CBD acted in a similar way to haloperidol in animal tests predictive of antipsychotic activity. Moreover, a placebo-controlled case study of one patient with schizophrenia (intolerant to haloperidol) revealed antipsychotic effects of high-dose oral CBD. The patient experienced 60% to 69% improvement in his symptoms within 4 weeks of CBD therapy.
The impact of CBD on Bipolar disorder’s manic and hypomanic episodes
Unfortunately, the evidence regarding the use of CBD in bipolar disorder remains very limited. However, the effects of cannabis use on bipolar disorder symptoms have been investigated. More than 70% of people with bipolar affective disorder have reported trying cannabis, and around 30% of them use it regularly. Unsuccessfully, the authors of this study reported that the regular use of cannabis was associated with earlier onset of bipolar disorder. It also resulted in poorer outcomes and fluctuations in an individual’s cycling patterns and severity of manic or hypomanic episodes.
More research is warranted in order to see whether supplementing CBD might help alleviate some of the negative effects of cannabis use. Also, additional research is needed to determine whether CBD on its own might provide some beneficial effects on people with bipolar affective disorder.