CBD and Bipolar Disorder, Using CBD, Dose, and Effectiveness

Posted February 10, 2021 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

Wondering if bipolar disorder might be treatable with CBD? Here’s the guide on CBD and bipolar disorder, why people use CBD to combat the effects of Bipolar, its effectiveness, and dosage.

CBD and Bipolar Disorder – For bipolar disorder, CBD provides a similar response to bipolar medications by supporting energy and mood levels, reducing depressive symptoms, providing neuroprotection, has minimal interactions, and acts as a low-risk antidepressant.

To begin this discussion, though, it’s important to get an overview of these two elements of the topic. Below is a brief overview of what CBD and bipolar disorder are. 

CBD and Bipolar Disorder

What are CBD and bipolar disorder?

Let’s first recap what CBD is, then uncover the basics of what bipolar disorder means for its sufferers.

CBD

CBD, in short, stands for cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant, also known as marijuana or hemp. As such, CBD is a naturally occurring substance used in products varying from oils and edibles. 

It is not psychoactive and aims at imparting a feeling of calmness and relaxation.

In general, it provides relief for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and promotes sleep. It’s also used for insomnia and different types of chronic pain. 

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a medical condition that triggers unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration. As a result, it impedes one’s ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. This medical condition was formerly referred to as manic depression. 

Bipolar disorders are categorized into two distinct phases of extreme emotions. The first phase is the manic phase, where one feels elated or extremely “up.” During the manic phase, individuals can feel overly zealous and overly confident.

The second phase is the depressed phase, where one feels hopeless or extremely “down.”

Apart from these, bipolar disorder is tricky to diagnose because no simple blood test or x-ray has a solid way of showing whether or not you have bipolar disorder.

Besides, bipolar disorder symptoms vary from one person to another and can even mimic other types of illnesses. Bipolar disorder also often requires life-long treatment to manage the condition.

There is a difference between bipolar disorder and unipolar disorder, so be sure you’re aware of the differences and treatments for each.

For information related to CBD and Bipolar, you can find out more facts about bipolar here, and whether Bipolar is hereditary.

Why people use CBD for bipolar disorder?

Antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and anti-psychotic medication are typical medications used to treat bipolar disorder.

However, complications can become apparent with these medications. Firstly, finding the optimal and healthy combination of medications is very tricky for bipolar disorder. 

Secondly, sometimes treating the symptoms of one aspect of bipolar disorder tends to trigger other related symptoms or even other medical conditions. 

On the other hand, more than half of patients taking bipolar medications don’t feel they fully alleviate symptoms. On top of this, some medications used to treat bipolar can cause withdrawal symptoms if they are stopped suddenly.

Due to these reasons and the high cost of medications, patients may stop taking their prescribed meds.

However, along with the subsequent phases of bipolar disorder, some return to continuing their medications. Alternatively, some patients switch to diet plans, exercises, and therapies. 

CBD and Bipolar disorder

As one of those alternatives, some switch to CBD as a supplement for their neurotransmitters and receptors. 

While being non-psychoactive hemp, CBD’s mood-stabilizing benefit is why many switch to CBD for bipolar disorder. Alongside this, it’s believed to be a cheaper alternative with fewer side effects and is also available in various convenient forms

How CBD works for bipolar disorder

Although many patients use CBD for bipolar disorder for various reasons, many are unsure of the basics as to how they work.

While positive user experience can come about purely from how the supplement responds to the body, some reasoning is backed up by scientific evidence.

Below is a breakdown of why CBD works for bipolar disorder. 

1. Exhibits similar response compared to many bipolar medications 

Although the underlying reason is not fully understood, CBD appears to mimic and replicate the response of other medications used for treating bipolar disorder. As such, the response patients experience in terms of handling bipolar disorder tends to be the same. 

CBD and Bipolar Disorder

The neuroprotective and antioxidative benefits of CBD is what’s believed to help in this process. These properties increase the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels while alleviating the symptoms. 

2. Supports consistent energy and stable mood levels

One neurologically assessed study observed 133 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder using CBD. The test subjects took 100 mg of CBD daily over several weeks. 

Along with the observation, all 133 subjects showed positive outcomes regarding energy and mood levels. They reported feeling consistent energy and stable mood levels throughout the day. 

Surprisingly, at the end of the study, the test subjects showed extraordinary improvements in verbal fluency, logical memory, executive functioning, and overall attention.

3. Reduces depressive symptoms related to bipolar disorder

According to an animal study that investigated the anti-depressive qualities of CBD, it concluded that CBD reduces depression symptoms by influencing cortical serotonin, glutamate levels, and 5-HT1A receptors. 

Alongside this, CBD goes a long way in reducing the symptoms of psychosis, which in turn normalizes the functions affecting psychiatric patients. These properties result because of the interaction of CBD with serotonin receptors.

4. Provides neuroprotection and stabilizes mood to combat symptoms

In in vitro studies, CBD was observed to provide neuroprotection. This includes protection from oxidative stress and free radical damage. 

Alongside the many factors that support the development of bipolar disorder using CBD, it also appeared to trigger an action similar to lithium, which is prescribed as a mood stabilizer to combats symptoms of bipolar. 

5. Acts as a low-risk antidepressant and doesn’t interfere with prescription medications

As mentioned earlier, antidepressants are a common bipolar medication but do come with potential side effects.

The advantage of CBD is that research suggests CBD can act similar to typical antidepressants without the potentially serious and long-term side effects. 

This is done by CBD using its anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing benefits for treating manic episodes.

Most importantly, CBD does not appear to interact negatively with prescription medications, unlike regular antidepressants. As such, this makes CBD a viable alternative to the typical prescription bipolar medications. 

Safe use and administration of CBD for bipolar disorder

While many doctors support the use of CBD for bipolar disorder, it is strongly recommended that you speak to your doctor if you want to start using it.

It’s important to identify if CBD can treat your current stage of bipolar disorder and of course to ensure it doesn’t interact with the medications you’re taking. 

While you may decide to take CBD, it’s crucial to identify the right CBD product to use, as it comes in many forms. Again, you must consult your doctor for this.

CBD dosage for bipolar disorder

Regarding the dose, finding the right and safe dose can take some trial and error when your doctor is prescribing it.

This is because everyone’s body is different and how we respond to medications differ accordingly. Taking too much could cause side effects such as headaches. However, this is the same case with many other pharmaceutical bipolar medications you’re likely to encounter.

As a general rule, it’s always best to start with a small dose and increase gradually. 

Increase up to the point where you find relief from your symptoms. People with bipolar disorder commonly don’t find relief from their symptoms until they reach the medium to high strength doses.

To make it easy, you can even use a dose calculator to find an optimal dose based on your weight and desired strength.

Conclusion

Taking CBD to address bipolar, or any disorder for that matter, should not be a decision taken lightly. Seek the advice of your doctor before taking any action.

If you’re having trouble affording any of your medications, then Prescription Hope may be able to help. Enroll with us and see if you qualify to pay only $50 a month for each of your medications.



ENROLL NOW LEARN MORE