Cannabidiol, or CBD, could help alleviate some of the erratic symptoms of bipolar disorder by calming the nervous system.
CBD is one of the active ingredients in the Cannabis sativa plant (marijuana). But unlike the psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana, CBD doesn’t get you high whatsoever. Although research is still fairly young surrounding CBD, many scientists believe the plant derivative could have many homeopathic benefits, like pain-relief, anti-inflammation, and relaxation in the body.
CBD recently became legalized by the FDA for clinical trials, though every state has different laws surrounding recreational usage. As such, it isn’t established as an evidence-based treatment for any legitimate disorders, yet. Many clinical trials are underway, though, with hopes of offering more natural alternatives to prescription drugs.
As for bipolar disorder, researchers hope CBD can act as a mood stabilizer for the estimated 17 million Americans suffering from the illness. A person with bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, experiences disruptive mood fluctuations that interfere with their basic daily relationships and obligations. These mood fluctuations usually include both “high highs,” such as mania and hypomania, and “low lows” in the form of depressive episodes.
CBD could help with other aspects of mental illness, including addiction
CBD could theoretically help the bipolar community due to its calming effects, which would help the body regulate in times of spikes or depressions. It also boasts an anxiety-reducing effect for users, which could help bipolar sufferers who also (and often) report comorbid mental health conditions like substance abuse issues. Some of the other disorders researchers think CBD could positively affect are schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Because of its natural biochemistry, CBD comes with very few side-effects. Some users report fatigue or nausea, and some research suggests that marijuana in any form can adversely affect the male reproductive system.
But since CBD is not FDA approved, most doctors do not advocate for the herbal remedy as a long-term solution for bipolar disorder. Other therapies like lithium pills, psychoanalysis, and regular exercise have been shown to alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder with more regularity.
If you decide to take Cannabidiol for bipolar disorder, make sure to let your healthcare provider know so they can warn you about any potential side effects or drug interactions.