Medical Marijuana for Bipolar Disorder: What Science Says?

Medical Marijuana for Bipolar Disorder: What Science Says?

Marijuana is gaining popularity as a promising therapeutic treatment for an array of health conditions. It is establishing its ground simultaneously along with other available prescribed medications. This herbal plant has to offer its leaves, stems, and seeds for use. People can use it for recreational or medicinal purposes depending on their respective state laws. States that have allowed medical use of marijuana are witnessing medical professionals prescribing it for treating chronic pain, inflammation, even for certain types of cancer. Its multipurpose use for treating several physical ailments, including mental health conditions, has given it recognition of magical green flower.

What is Bipolar Disease?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that includes extreme mood swings in the patient. It was earlier known as manic depression wherein the person goes through switching from lows to depression to highs to mania or hypomania. The pace of these mood swings from one stage to another is unpredictable.

The onset of depression can instill the feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and disinterest in performing any activity. Different types of Bipolar disorder are

  • Bipolar I Disorder
  • Bipolar II Disorder
  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Mixed Features
  • Rapid-Cycling

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance report, the disorder affects 5.7 million of the U.S adults every year. Changes in sleep, daily activities, energy, extreme emotion, and strange behaviors are some common symptoms of the disorder. The traditional treatment of it is usually some medications to balance the mood swing. But that comes along with certain side effects like nausea, weight gain, tremors, dry mouth, anxiety, hair loss, and so on.   

Bipolar disorder may lead some patients to alcohol or drug abuse. A thorough substance abuse treatment is necessary in such cases. Other treatments available for it may include counseling sessions as a day treatment program. For severe patients, doctors suggest hospitalization. They receive psychiatric treatment to stabilize mood until they are out of that stage.

Medical Marijuana for Bipolar Disorder

The reason why medical marijuana is a viable option for treating Bipolar Disorder is because of its proven effects in treating mental health concerns. One of the most common benefits of marijuana is it relaxes the body, relieving stress, and anxiety. People consume it in different forms to improve mood disorders.

A study claims that bipolar disorder patients who were using marijuana didn’t witness major mental impairment, in comparison to others who were not using. Another study found that marijuana helped enhance mood, which consequently developed a positive outlook in bipolar disorder patients.

There is other contradictory research that showed that use of marijuana increases both manic and depressive symptoms. Furthermore, yet another study came forward with the data that people with bipolar disorder who used marijuana made more suicide attempts than those who didn’t use it.

The disorder is all about imbalances arising in the brain due to the fault of chemical transmission between the cells. Hormonal imbalance and other environmental factors might as well lead to the condition. Hence, the way marijuana affects people will depend upon genetics.

Marijuana Strains for Treating Bipolar Disorder

Marijuana contains over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Two of the most prominent and highly available ones are tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and cannabidiol or CBD. Both THC and CBD might have effects on bipolar disorder patient. These can work as an antidepressant, sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, etc. There are some marijuana strains that can help treat the condition. Here are a few:

Blue Dream– It is a Sativa dominant hybrid and contains up to 24% THC. It provides relaxation to the body and also boosts cognitive ability. Bipolar disorder patients going through a severe down spell can attain pleasurable experience through it.

Headband– This marijuana strain contains up to 27% of THC and is helpful to ward off pain and troubles.

Death Bubba– This is an indica dominant hybrid strain high in THC. It provides relaxation and works as a sleep aid. Bipolar disorder patients do go through sleeping problems. This strain can be of some relief for the situation. You can get it in the form of shatter or buds.

Lamb’s Bread– In terms of medicinal marijuana, Lamb’s Bread is a good mood lifter. Depression is one major symptom of bipolar disorder. With 25% of THC, this marijuana strain can help boost energy and motivation.

There are several other strains that could have the possibility of relieving symptoms caused by the disorder to some extent. If you are looking for reducing anxiety and having a calm effect, indica strains will work for you. For mood elevation, Sativa strains are the best.

For now, more experiments on medical marijuana are necessary to confirm its effects on the disorder. It is advisable to understand the negative effects prior to any indulgence. Make sure you talk to your doctor before self-administering. 


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Kathy Cooley

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