Exploring the Impact of Cannabis on Bipolar Disorder

In the Room, A Girl Exhibiting Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Patients with bipolar disorder frequently use cannabis, but more research on the drug’s potential as a treatment for the condition has only recently been done. The state of Iowa has legalized the use of medical marijuana to treat a variety of illnesses. To include cannabis in your medical regimen, you must obtain an cannabis card, which will grant you legal access to the drug and shield you from any negative legal repercussions. 

Bipolar disorder is a well-researched mental health illness that many people who are not diagnosed with find difficult to comprehend. While psychotherapy and pharmaceutical drugs remain the main treatments for bipolar disorder, researchers are increasingly examining the impact of cannabis on various forms of the illness. 

What Exactly is Bipolar Disorder?

There are four forms of bipolar disorder, but they all share the same traits. The hallmark of this illness, also known as manic-depressive illness, is episodes of ecstasy and extraordinarily high energy, or mania. On the other hand, persistently low mood, exhaustion, and hopelessness indicate another symptom: depressive episodes. 

Four Varieties 

The following are the varieties: Some people mistakenly believe that there is only one type of bipolar disorder. This kind is distinguished by protracted manic episodes that extend beyond a week. Individuals with bipolar I disorder also go through depressive episodes, which cause significant mood swings from day to day. In certain situations, bipolar I disorder necessitates hospitalization and can be extremely disruptive to daily life.

The main characteristic of bipolar II is prolonged depressive episodes. Patients of this type may experience periodic manic episodes, but their condition is primarily characterized by persistently “low” moods, low energy, and diminished functioning.

The third category of bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, affects people in a less obvious way than the first two. Long-lasting episodes of hypomanic and depressive behaviors that don’t always escalate to full manic or depressive episodes are what define this type. All other known and unknown forms of bipolar disorder that have been identified by medical professionals fall into the fourth and final category. 

How Cannabis Comes into Play

Researchers and doctors should take into account the potential positive and negative interactions between cannabinoids and bipolar disorder as cannabis continues to be supported as a medically beneficial substance. Cannabis’ potential benefits and drawbacks for treating brain disorders have been debated in the scientific community. This is mostly because the drug is illegal and has a negative historical reputation for having no medicinal value. 

If you’re dealing with bipolar disorder and considering cannabis as a treatment in Iowa, obtaining a medical cannabis card is essential. This card grants legal permission to use marijuana, and you can conveniently apply for an online medical card to safeguard yourself from potential legal ramifications.

Exploring Initial Discoveries Across a Spectrum

Some early research on the effects of cannabis on bipolar disorder has been done, but the majority of the subjects were small. A recent study conducted at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom included twenty-four bipolar patients in its sample who smoked cannabis three or more times a week. In this study, which employed the experience sampling method (ESM), participants kept diaries for six days in which they recorded their observations. Everyone mentioned how cannabis affected their episodes of mania and/or depression.

Ultimately, the results of this study were not definitive. The results of the study showed that although cannabis use made some participants’ manic and depressive symptoms worse, most patients who used it benefited from its effects and were more likely to do so recreationally than as a medication. The small sample size and lack of a control group in this study are problematic as they make it difficult to assess more general trends involving a large number of patients.


The variations in cannabis consumption techniques must be taken into account when researching cannabis use for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Consistency errors across studies may distort scientific results related to the type of cannabis consumed. For instance, smoking cannabis concentrates with high THC content can cause more negative mood reactions in bipolar disorder patients than smoking cannabis flower strains with high CBD content.

This is because CBD successfully reduces the negative effects of psychotropic symptoms, whereas THC is known to make some users experience severe anxiety and paranoia. Determining the strain type being studied—a hybrid, Indica, or sativa—is also crucial. Each will have unique consequences that are both small- and large-scale. It is difficult to maintain consistency between samples because different cannabis methods have not been thoroughly scientifically included.

The Link Between Cannabis and Bipolar Disorder

While some psychiatric disorders have been found to temporarily resemble the symptoms of cannabis use, there is no proof that cannabis use leads to long-term brain disorders or mental illness. The effects of cannabis on bipolar patients vary depending on the type of illness, the patient’s height, weight, and other relevant factors, in addition to their cannabis smoking habits.

Scholars who contend that cannabis can help treat bipolar disorder concentrate on how cannabinoids affect the human endocannabinoid system. When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids like THC attach to CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors, which are located in various regions of the body and may promote effects that stabilize mood.

In 2010, 133 bipolar patients were tested at the University of Oslo, Norway, to determine how cannabis affected their neurocognitive abilities. The findings were positive, indicating that while the theory is supported by evidence, more research is necessary before it can be conclusively linked to it.

Cannabis Use in Managing Mania Vs. Depression

Compared to the general population, bipolar patients consume more cannabis, mainly because they need it to help them feel less depressed or recover from manic episodes. Some use it to feel euphoric and uplifted during depressive episodes, while some anecdotal research has tracked individuals whose mania was eliminated by the sedative effects of THC and CBD.

The Conclusion

There aren’t nearly enough credible studies to draw firm conclusions about how well cannabis treats bipolar patients, which is the lesson to be learned from the current cannabis research on bipolar patients. Cannabis has been demonstrated to exacerbate the symptoms of mania and anxiety, but many patients use it recreationally when they are not having an episode rather than as medicine. Cannabis has many potential medical applications, and shortly, it may prove to be a crucial component of natural mental healthcare.