Psychotherapy and medications are usually recommended for the treatment of certain disorders, such as bipolar disorder. new research found that cannabis can have “unique beneficial effects” in affected people.
About 46 million people worldwide have symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is generally characterized by abnormal changes in mood, energy, activity, concentration, and ability to perform daily tasks. It is known to cause varying and sometimes erratic mood swings ranging from mania, an energetic “high” or “up” to more depressive periods.
There are three types of bipolar disorder. Each has similar changes, but Bipolar I disorder is characterized by periods of highs and lows lasting at least seven days, sometimes for weeks at a time. Bipolar II is characterized by episodes of lesser severity, and cyclothymic disorder refers to recurrent episodes of hypomania and depressive symptoms not strong enough to qualify as bipolar I or II episodes.
Cannabis use is already very prevalent among people with bipolar disorder, researchers mentioned in a study presented at the Neuroscience 2022 conference. The question was how cannabis could help alleviate symptoms.
To determine the effects of cannabis on people with bipolar disorder, researchers recruited people with and without the disorder, each group of cannabis users and non-users, and analyzed each combination. Participants were tested on a cognitive battery that measures risky decision-making, reward learning, and sustained attention.
Ultimately, researchers confirmed that cannabis may have some special benefits for people with bipolar disorder, especially in helping them reduce risky decision-making. The researchers also found that cannabis had moderate effects on punishment sensitivity and sustained attention, suggesting that cannabis reduces dopaminergic activity in the brain and helps control symptoms.
“Chronic cannabis use was associated with modest improvements in some cognitive functions,” the authors said. [bipolar disorder], not healthy participants.Therefore, chronic cannabis use may have unique beneficial effects in patients. [bipolar disorder]”
The researchers also cite previous research suggesting that some people with bipolar disorder have reduced expression of dopamine transporters, resulting in increased dopaminergic activity. Since chronic cannabis use has been shown to decrease dopamine release, chronic cannabis use may result in a “return to dopamine homeostasis,” which may lead to deficits in goal-directed behavior. They concluded that they were “engaging” additional research to explore this possibility.
This is because many people with bipolar disorder already treat their symptoms with cannabis, and many jurisdictions with legal medical cannabis use consider it a qualifying condition, so this is not the case for cannabis and bipolar disorder. It’s far from the first study to look at the disorder. Historically, other researchers have also found a positive correlation between cannabis and bipolar symptom management.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, and Tufts University have found a link between cannabis and improved symptoms of bipolar disorder. 2018 Clinical Trial DataIt also confirms that cannabis does not adversely affect cognitive performance. They also found that cannabis use reduced scores for depression, anger, and nervousness.
More generally, 2020 review A study conducted by researchers at the University of New Mexico found that cannabis effectively treated symptoms of depression. 2020 BMC Psychiatric Report We also found that whole plant cannabis and plant-based cannabinoids effectively improved mood and sleep, reduced anxiety, and promoted antipsychotic effects.
Of course, there is much to go and more to explore before botanical medicine becomes a go-to for mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, but studies like these are the ones that make us think we have the right idea. I am confirming that I have