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CBD for bipolar disorder: Is cannabidiol a good mood stabilizer

A study published in the National Library of Medicine claims that, quote, “CBD is considered a promising new agent in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.” The non-psychoactive constituent of hemp and cannabis plants is considered safe for consumption by the WHO (World Health Organization) in its purest form and offers antipsychotic, antidepressant and anxiolytic properties. 

Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes symptoms including mood swings, anger, anxiety, euphoria, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, self-harm, and related symptoms. Do you have an undiagnosed mental illness? How can you tell? and can CBD help? Below is everything you need to know. 

Quick take: CBD for mood regulation.

  • CBD in not a cure for bipolar disorder but it can aid management.
  • CBD treatment for mental health issues should begin early, according to medical studies. 
  • Consult with a physician or mental health expert before consuming CBD or other supplements.
  • CBD is not psychoactive (will not cause a high). 
  • CBD is legal in all states if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
  • Cannabidiol may help manage mood swings, anxiety, and depression through interactions with the endocannabinoid system. 

What is bipolar disorder, and can CBD help? 

Due to cannabis’s long-held classification as a schedule 1 substance, there is limited research on the effects of CBD on bipolar disorder and other mental issues. The studies that exist overwhelmingly claim that CBD has antipsychotic benefits if treatment begins early, consumption may aid in the treatment of drug abuse and drug-seeking behavior, it has anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is a steroid/opioid-free pain killer. 

CBD for bipolar disorder: what medical research says

  • Cannabidiol can help reduce or prevent mental health symptoms, including anxiety and schizophrenia. 
  • Some studies claim that cannabis use (THC) may exacerbate bipolar disorder. Recommend avoiding high-potency weed if you have a mental health issue or crisis. 

How does CBD help prevent or treat mental health problems?

Made up of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids, the human endocannabinoid system’s function includes mood regulation, metabolism, and pain management. Current research suggests that when consumed or applied topically, CBD interacts with the system to create “balance.”

The exact mechanism through which CBD interacts with the ECS remains unknown, but what we do know is CBD can impact mood. 

In mood regulation, you may use a combination of THC and CBD or use full spectrum CBD.  When combined, the chemicals cause the “entourage effect,” in other words, CBD can modulate the psychoactive effects of THC. 

THC is psychoactive, meaning consumption will cause a high.

Should I use CBD if I have bipolar disorder?

According to the World Health Organization, CBD is safe to use.

Note that the FDA and CDC have not approved CBD as a medicine for mental illness. According to them, CBD is a supplement. However, a synthetic version of CBD is currently in use as a treatment for epilepsy, cancer and chemotherapy, and chronic pain. 

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a disruptive condition that affects over 10 million Americans. You may have it and not know it, or you may confuse it with anxiety or depression. The best way to find out if you have it is to consult with a mental health specialist. 

Signs of bipolar disorder 

There are at least four types of bipolar disorders. It could be triggered by alcohol or drug abuse, depression, hypomania, or a combination of hypomanic and depressive episodes. If you develop bipolar disorder, you may experience symptoms including:

“highs” and “lows” (elevated mood)- you may experience episodes of happiness and sadness in quick succession or over months or years. Symptoms include:

  • Living in denial of things going wrong.
  • Failure to maintain thoughts/ jumping from one topic to another.
  • Euphoria and exhilaration.
  • Increased libido and engaging in risky behavior.
  • Hopelessness
  • Underperformance in school or work.
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating. 
  • Problems distinguishing fantasy from reality. 

How to use CBD to treat bipolar disorder

CBD is not a cure for bipolar disorder. But it can aid treatment by helping relieve symptoms. Treatment for bipolar disorder involves the use of medicine, lifestyle changes, and building a mental health support system. 

CBD to regulate mood changes caused by bipolar disorder

To reduce the severity of mood-related symptoms, caregivers recommend medicines, including anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and anxiety and sleep medicines. 

At high doses, CBD is a sedative, and medical studies show that the chemical can improve the sleep quality of users. THC may worsen insomnia, consequently, if you have trouble sleeping, it is safer to stick to pure CBD products. For mood, CBD has been shown to reduce risky and drug-seeking behavior. 

CBD also offers users anxiolytic and antidepressant benefits, meaning you may use it to manage anxiety and depression.

To reduce the risk of interactions between CBD and bipolar medicines you may be on, it is recommended that you first consult with your caregiver before consumption.

Note that we are not telling you to stop taking bipolar medication, what we are saying is you may use CBD as a complementary or alternative treatment for mood-related symptoms. 

Identify the triggers and build a support system.

Managing mental health conditions on your own may lead to escalation. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is an approach designed to help bipolar patients maintain healthy relationships at home, school, or work.

The treatment focuses on helping the patient learn to identify current feelings and how they react to a particular situation. 

For it to work, you will have to work with doctor or a CBT specialist. 

CBD and lifestyle changes for bipolar disorder

Mood changes can be triggered by environmental and lifestyle factors. To help manage bipolar disorder, changes you may need to make include:

  • Get more exercise. At low doses, CBD is a stimulant, meaning that it may give you the energy and motivation you need to exercise. Post-exercise, topical application of CBD can aid recovery, pain management, and relaxation.
  • Better appetite. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause munchies, meaning consumption is unlikely to trigger overindulgence in food. There is evidence that CBD can help users lose weight.
  • Improved sleep quality. By helping manage sleep and triggering a deep state of relaxation, CBD can help you get better sleep.

What is the best CBD product for bipolar disorder?

The CBD market is full of products that promise miracles. But as mentioned, the FDA has not approved over-the-counter CBD as a treatment for conditions or illnesses. Consequently, you want to avoid contaminated products or products that lack quality testing.

We recommend sourcing from reliable sources. You may use:

  • CBD gummies 
  • Full-spectrum CBD products (may contain THC and other cannabinoids).
  • CBD Pills 
  • CBD Tinctures 
  • CBD Consumables of your choosing. 

Can bipolar disorder be fully cured?

Currently, there is no cure for bipolar disorder, but a combination of traditional treatment and CBD consumption or application can help improve the afflicted person’s quality of life.

However, it is recommended that you consult with a physician before using CBD or any other supplement if you have a medical condition.