How CBD helps those Suffering From Manic Depression | cannabisMD

How CBD Can Help People Suffering From Manic Depression

People suffering from manic depression can be helped with CBD

Manic depression can be difficult to treat and finding alternative treatments seem to be hard to find! However, one solution is CBD oil from cannabis. Image Credit: By Marie Maerz on Shutterstock

Are you looking for a natural way to help balance a manic depressive disorder? Keep reading to learn how CBD can help people with manic depression.

People who suffer from manic depression often experience violent mood swings. The condition affects about 5.5 million adults in the United States. Almost 83 percent of cases are considered severe.

Unfortunately, traditional treatment options are often ineffective. To make matters worse, antidepressants and antipsychotic medications create many scary side effects.

It’s not surprising that many sufferers seek out natural treatment options. Effectiveness for manic depression symptoms varies from patient to patient.

Thanks to the spreading acceptance of cannabis use for the treatment of medical ailments, more patients are realizing how incredible CBD can be for the treatment of manic depression symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.

Manic Depression’s Debilitating Effects

Manic depression can take you on a roller-coaster of emotions. Mood swings often range from extreme euphoria to deep depression.

Bipolar disorder can cause impulsive behaviors that often lead to high-risk, dangerous activities. Suicide is also a major concern. Manic-depressives are 20 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
Other effects of manic depression include:

  • Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Rapid, frenzied speaking
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sexual desires
  • Unwanted thoughts
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Inflated self-image
  • Extreme spending

Mood symptoms sometimes last for months at a time. They can be highly disruptive and interfere with interpersonal relationships.

The Problem with Current Medical Treatments

Most medical treatments for manic depression focus on leveling out the emotional extremes. Physicians are likely to prescribe one or more of the following:

  • Mood stabilizers, including Lithium
  • Lamotrigine (an oral anti-seizure drug)
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Electroconvulsive therapy

Unfortunately, each of these treatments can create serious side effects. Mood stabilizers tend to cause nausea, diarrhea, excessive thirst and light-headedness. There is also a potential link between the use of mood stabilizers and birth defects.

Lamotrigine often causes blurred vision, lack of coordination, and a serious skin rash. Users of antipsychotic medications often experience increased mania. Both electroconvulsive therapy and antidepressants can lead to rapid mood cycling.

Tendency for Substance Abuse

Bipolar patients are often frustrated with the ineffectiveness of their treatment options. Many turn to alcohol and marijuana in an attempt to self-medicate. Manic-depressive individuals are 60 percent more likely to engage in substance abuse.

Substance abuse can increase the severity of manic depression symptoms. It also increases the likelihood of suicide.

How Medical Cannabis Helps Manic Depression

Self-medication with street-level marijuana is usually not a recommended course of treatment. However, some studies have found that cannabis can significantly reduce bipolar mood swings. Under your doctor’s supervision, cannabis can be a viable treatment option.

Various strains of marijuana can help relieve manic-depressive mood swings. Indica strains usually create a relaxing high that helps calm mania. Sativa creates strong feelings of euphoria that may take the edge off depression.

Avoiding the “Marijuana High”

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid that causes the typical marijuana “high.” Consuming too much THC can limit your ability to function in your day-to-day life. It can also cause negative mental effects like paranoia and increased psychotic episodes.

Many patients wish to experience the medical benefits of cannabis without feeling “stoned.” In this case, cannabis products that are low in THC and high in Cannabidiol (CBD) are a far better choice. CBD products show incredible promise for the treatment of manic depression.

The Difference Between THC and CBD

Most people associate marijuana use with mind-altering, euphoric feelings. This is caused by THC binding with CB1 receptors in the brain.

CBD does not bind to these receptors, so it does not create the same effect. In fact, CBD actually lessens the intoxicating effect of THC. This allows for the medical benefits of CBD without fear of mental impairment.

CBD’s Positive Effects on Bipolar Patients

CBD is effective for relieving pain and has anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. It also works as an anti-psychotic and anti-convulsive. This makes it a viable replacement for some traditional prescription medications.

It’s not completely clear what causes bipolar disorder. It’s thought to be genetic and may be related to physical changes in the brain. CBD addresses these issues in several ways.

Mood Stabilization

Most people with bipolar disorder have a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system. Cannabis helps balance out this system, leading to mood stabilization. It also has anxiolytic properties, which helps the body deal with stress and anxiety.

CBD has been shown to help treat depression by activating 5-HT1A receptors. Symptoms of depression often decrease within 30 minutes of ingesting CBD oil.

Cannabinoid also increases natural production of GABA neurotransmitter. This chemical helps dampen brain excitability, which may help lessen bouts of mania.

Improved Brain Health

During depressive episodes, bipolar patients often experience brain inflammation. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties help to counteract this issue.

Oxidative stress caused by bipolar disorder can also be counteracted with CBD. It helps protect the brain from the formation of damaging free radicals. Some studies show CBD use also aids in neurogenesis, the regrowth of brain cells.

Reduction of Medication Side Effects

Some patients use CBD to counteract the negative effects of their current medication. It helps reduce stomach upset and nausea and can level out rapid mood cycling.

Sometimes side effects are so bad, patients consider stopping their medication. Using CBD may enable them to continue using their recommended prescriptions.

CBD oil can sometimes interfere with the effectiveness of other prescription drugs. Always consult with your physician before adding CBD to your treatment plan.

Potential Drawbacks to Using CBD

It would be irresponsible to discuss CBD use without addressing the potential drawbacks. For most people, these are mere inconveniences that are easily overcome.

Social Stigma

Acceptance of cannabis use in the United States is growing. Unfortunately, there is still some social stigma attached to it. Users may feel embarrassed and uncomfortable discussing their treatment with family and friends.

Remember that you have every right to keep your health treatments completely private. If you opt to share your decision with others, arm yourself with scientific evidence. This will allow you to educate anybody who tries to question you.


Whether CBD use is technically legal in all U.S. states is actually a tricky question. In many cases, it depends on where you live and who you ask.

Vendor Opinion

Most vendors claim that CBD products without THC are completely legal in all 50 states. Retailers across the country are starting to carry CBD products. It’s also very easy to order online, regardless of your state’s current cannabis laws.

Federal Laws

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), however, does not agree. They have issued a clarification on the law in response to questions regarding CBD. As of today, the DEA holds that CBD oil does fall under the umbrella of illegal marijuana.

State Laws

On a state level, CBD oil technically falls under your state’s current cannabis laws. Cannabis initiatives are showing up on ballots frequently, so these laws are subject to change.

Some vendors have been raided and shut down for illegally selling CBD. However, as of yet, legal entities have not prosecuted CBD users regardless of whether it’s legal in their state.

Side Effects

CBD has very few side effects. Patients who experience side effects often find that they eventually subside. Some potential issues include:

  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness

Overall, most patients find that the potential benefits of CBD use far outweigh any drawbacks. Its ability to lessen the severity of bipolar symptoms makes it well worth exploring.

Some Final Thoughts

Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that should be treated under the supervision of a medical professional. Never stop taking your prescribed medications or add your own CBD treatment without discussing it with your doctor.

Under HIPAA laws, medical professionals are required to keep your medical information private. This means that they cannot disclose your CBD use, even if it’s obtained illegally. Always be honest and keep your medical team informed.

Your doctor should be focused on reducing your symptoms and improving overall well-being. If cannabis treatment is a viable option, your physician should be open to it. If he or she is dismissive or judgmental, it may be time to seek out a second opinion.

Want to Learn More About the Health Benefits of CBD?

CBD use for treatment of manic-depressive disorder is just the beginning. This powerful, natural substance effectively addresses a multitude of medical ailments.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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