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Bipolar Disorder and CBD

Updated on January 31, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Cannabidiol (CBD) medicine relieves some of bipolar disorder’s symptoms to assist with your everyday function. Learn about CBD and how it helps patients with this condition.

About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder causes episodes of elevated and depressed moods. While depression creates depressive episodes, bipolar disorder involves manic episodes. Some people who have this condition only experience manic episodes, while others deal with both types of mood changes.

Patients who experience any kind of bipolar disorder can have symptoms like:

  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Risky behaviors
  • Abnormal eating patterns
  • Increase or decrease in activity
  • Irritability
  • Too much or too little energy

Bipolar disorder can impact the social, financial and personal aspects of your life. If you need an alternative or supplement to traditional treatments, CBD can help. It can make your symptoms more manageable, so you can improve your daily functioning.

Bipolar Disorder and the Endocannabinoid System

Did you know our bodies have a system designed to create and use compounds like the ones in marijuana? The endocannabinoid system regulates many of our functions, including sleeping, thinking and feeling. It uses cannabinoids, a substance found in cannabis and the body, to perform its job. Our endocannabinoid systems can process endocannabinoids (cannabinoids made by our bodies) or phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from marijuana).

As part of the endocannabinoid system, CB1 receptors use cannabinoids to regulate brain function. When cannabinoids activate these receptors, they send signals to the brain that tell it to work in certain ways. Your CB1 receptors impact mood, memory, sleep, stress management and the reward response. Activating the CB1 receptor changes these brain functions.

Patients who have bipolar disorder may need more cannabinoids than average to regulate their mood. Research suggests that people who have bipolar disorder have genetics that affect their endocannabinoid systems. They may have genes that change their levels of FAAH, a fatty acid that breaks down endocannabinoids. CBD could make up for any deficiencies the patient has.

CBD’s Impact on the Endocannabinoid System in Patients With Bipolar Disorder

CBD has a different interaction with the endocannabinoid system compared to other cannabinoids. Cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) activate the CB1 receptor by attaching to it. Instead of binding to the receptors itself, CBD increases the presence of the endocannabinoid anandamide.

Taking CBD helps you maintain your anandamide levels because it blocks FAAH. With reduced FAAH activity, more of the anandamide your body creates can activate the CB1 receptor. The CB1 receptor then regulates your brain functions, including your mood. It helps you balance your feelings during a manic or depressive episode.

Regulating the CB1 receptor also addresses some of bipolar disorder’s secondary symptoms. It helps your brain manage stress, letting you feel less anxiety. The increased level of anandamide also helps you get to sleep.

Choosing the Right CBD Product for Your Symptoms

CBD and THC can benefit people who have bipolar disorder, making many kinds of cannabis medicine suitable for the condition. If you prefer not to have THC in your medication, you can use CBD on its own to get relief. Small amounts of THC, however, can cause some different effects when combined with CBD. We recommend patients who decide to take medication with THC remember to follow their state’s marijuana laws.

Your area’s selection of CBD items depends on local and state laws. Hemp-derived CBD has federal laws that give officials room to interpret it as legal or illegal. You can find it at natural health stores and online. If you decide to buy hemp-based CBD, remember to check the store and product’s reviews online. Many dispensaries also sell high-CBD marijuana medicine, but you need a card to obtain these products in states with medical laws.

The form of CBD medicine you use impacts how your body absorbs it. When you use CBD for bipolar disorder, you need it to reach the receptors in your brain. Inhaled and ingested medications, as well as patches, enter your bloodstream and circulate to your brain. Meanwhile, topical treatments like lotions absorb into your skin instead of your blood, making them less effective for mental health disorders.

So, what kind of medicine should you use for your bipolar disorder? The answer depends on your symptoms and circumstances. We recommend working with a marijuana-friendly doctor for CBD treatment, even when your medicine has no CBD. Visit our physician listings to find one near you.

More Resources From MarijuanaDoctors.com

At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we offer all the information you need to make an informed decision as a patient. Discover more and browse our library of qualifying ailments.

Learn More About Bipolar Disorder

Learn more about Bipolar Disorder and what makes medical marijuana an effective treatment for Bipolar Disorder’s symptoms.

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