Bipolar disorder sometimes referred to as manic-depression, is a brain hiccup that causes unusual changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. Symptoms associated with this condition include mood swings, risk-taking behaviors, disorganized thoughts and actions, restlessness, and self-harm. Approximately 4% of the population has this condition. A small percentage for sure but this condition can be totally debilitating. A process known as cycling, which depicts episodes of euphoria (mania) followed by hopelessness (depressive episodes), is a classic example of bipolar disorder.
Cannabis use has typically been reported to reduce anxiety and to improve mood and cause heightened feelings of euphoria. Pre-clinical research points to THC at low dosages and CBD in tandem to produce anti-depressant effects15. Individuals with bipolar disorder frequently struggle with substance abuse and dependence16. Postmortem studies of brains of patients who suffered from bipolar disorder show abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system.
An investigation of the endocannabinoid gene variants in 83 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 134 with bipolar affective disorder (BPAD), and 117 healthy control participants found two strategic differences. The CB1 receptors (CNR1) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) genes in diagnosed ill individuals were aberrant compared to the control group17.
In conclusion, an ECS deficiency may be responsible for the development of bipolar disorder in some individuals. Pre-clinical research has shown increased ECS signaling to produce both behavioral and biochemical results comparable to conventional antidepressant therapy, and that a majority of antidepressant medications alter the endogenous cannabinoid environment of the body18.
Maybe supplementing with a natural ingredient like CBD can do a body good and a brain even better. If improved mood, mental outlook, and a will to live are a byproduct, then bring on CBD to ignite the ECS receptors and excite endogenous chemicals to provide internal stability to one human at a time.
15. Parker. L. (2018, September 25). Cannabinoids and the Brain. MT Press, Cambridge, MA.
16. Strakowski, S. M. et al. (2007, January). Effects of co-occurring cannabis use on the course of bipolar disorder after a first hospitalization for mania. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(1): 57-654.