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CBD for Bipolar Disorder

Can you use CBD for bipolar disorder? Studies are showing the use of CBD oil for bipolar disorder symptoms. We look at the latest studies to see whether CBD is a viable treatment option for bipolar disorders.

The cannabidiol compound from hemp contains a wide array of health benefits such as reduced pain, improved sleep, and weight loss. 

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental health condition which causes depression and unusual mood changes or elevations.

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If the mood changes are too intense and are related to psychosis, this is referred to as mania. If it is less intense, it is known as hypomania.

During the changes, the person may experience high energy levels, irritation or happiness, or they may experience depressive states. Bipolar disorder can also cause an inability to concentrate. 

Associated symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations: A person sees or hears things that are not real or do not exist.
  • Delusions: A person believes things that aren’t true or do not exist.

There is no cure for it, but there are several treatments including therapy and prescription medications.

Depending on the type of bipolar disorder, the episodes can last from at least two weeks to two years. The average is one year in children or adolescents. Most occurrences of bipolar disorder in women happen during pregnancy or after childbirth. A well-prescribed treatment plan can help to reduce the symptoms.

It can be caused either by biological differences or genetics. Risk factors include alcohol or drug abuse, traumatic or high-stress periods, and having a close relative with bipolar disorder. 

Other health conditions related to bipolar disorder are anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Common symptoms of bipolar disorder are irregular changes in sleep patterns, uncharacteristic or unusual behavior, and changes in activity levels. When an episode occurs, the symptoms may last for the entire day. An episode can last for a day or a couple of weeks.

If a person is going through the elevated or manic phase, they may experience symptoms such as elation, irritation, high energy levels, “jumpy” feeling, reduced sleep time or sleep quality, feeling of overt self-importance, talent or power, feelings of thoughts moving at a very fast pace, speaking at a fast and unrecognizable rate, carrying out of reckless activities such as excessive eating and drinking, and an exhibition of poor judgment.

bipolar disorder diagnosis

During depressive episodes, the person experiences symptoms such as feeling unable to carry out any tasks, low energy levels, hopelessness or depression, having trouble with sleep (either sleeping too much, having less sleep, or waking too early), feelings of restlessness, increased appetite, and weight gain, having difficulty in thinking or concentrating on anything, talking very slowly and feeling worthless or suicidal.

In children or teens, doctors have difficulty diagnosing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. They often have major depressive or manic episodes which can signal another mental health condition. 

One major distinguishing symptom is extreme mood swings either ends of the spectrum.

Current Treatments

The approved methods of treating bipolar disorder are the use of prescription drugs and therapies. A highly effective method of using a treatment plan is the combination of prescription medication and psychotherapy. They call it “talk therapy.”

The downside is that bipolar disorder is an illness that lasts for life. This means that treatment must be for as long as the person is alive. In-between the episodes, most people have reported having little to no symptoms while others have symptoms that remain. 

With continual, long-term treatments, you can reduce and manage the effects.

The Use of Prescription Medication

Doctors prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to treat people with bipolar disorders. Those commonly used are mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics. The attending medical doctor can create a plan that includes medications used for sleep issues and insomnia. 

prescription drugs

Some health care providers give out anti-depressants combined with mood stabilizers to reduce the occurrence and severity of manic episodes.

Before a person begins medication, they must consult a doctor to ensure they understand the risks and health benefits of the specific medication, that there are no drug interactions if they are currently on any other medications, know to report all side effects and remember to take all medication.

Therapy

This is a variety of techniques to improve the emotions, behaviors, and thoughts of a patient suffering from bipolar disorder. It can help to provide support, guidance, and make them feel loved.

It can include cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoeducation. The therapist may also include interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) and family-focused therapy. It can be applied at the onset of bipolar disorder or after symptoms have materialized.

How Does CBD Oil Affect Bipolar Disorder?

CBD is a chemical substance in the cannabis plant that does not give any psychoactive or “high” effect after ingestion.

Patients using CBD oil for Bipolar Disorder stand to gain several health benefits such as:

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  • Stability of mood levels
  • Neurotransmitter and hormonal balances
  • Relieve stress and anxiety which can lead to more mood swings
  • Improvement of sleep quality and the ability to sleep
  • Antipsychotic properties which help reduce the risk factors

The use of CBD has minimal side effects than prescription medications

Types of CBD Products to Use for Bipolar Disorder

There are several CBD-infused products available in the market. The most typical form of CBD is CBD oil. CBD oil tinctures lead to faster absorption. 

CBD oil is best consumed sublingually (that is, placed beneath the tongue). There are other products such as topicals, balms, CBD edibles, gel capsules, and topicals.

Summary

CBD oil is a natural form of treatment for a number of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. 

We need more research to find conclusive data as to whether CBD can be safely administered to people with bipolar disorders.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level but are still illegal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved.

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