Cannabis Has ‘Uniquely Beneficial Effects’ on People With Bipolar Disorder

 

Around 46 million people around the world have symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is generally characterized by atypical shifts in mood, energy, activity, concentration, and ability to move through day-to-day tasks. It’s known for causing ranging, sometimes erratically shifting, moods ranging from a manic, energized “high” or “up,” to more depressive periods, leaving people feeling “low” or “down,” often sad, indifferent, or demotivated. 


Although psychotherapy and pharmaceutical medications are typically recommended for treating specific disorders, like bipolar, a new study has found that cannabis could have “uniquely beneficial effects” for those affected.


Researchers referenced in the study, presented at the Neuroscience 2022 conference, that cannabis use is already highly prevalent among people with bipolar disorder. The question was, exactly how helpful is cannabis in alleviating the symptoms? 


Ultimately, researchers confirmed that cannabis indeed could hold some special benefits for those with bipolar, specifically in helping to reduce risky decision-making. Researchers also suggested that cannabis reduces the dopaminergic activity in the brain, which helps suppress symptoms, and found that cannabis had moderate effects on punishment sensitivity and sustained attention.


Researchers also cited previous studies, which suggest that some people with bipolar disorder have increased dopaminergic activity because of reduced dopamine transporter expression. Because chronic cannabis use is shown to reduce dopamine release, chronic cannabis use could result in a “return to dopamine homeostasis,” which in turn could help normalize their deficits in goal-directed behaviors. They concluded they are “engaged” in additional studies in order to explore this potential.


Researchers also cited previous studies, which suggest that some people with bipolar disorder have increased dopaminergic activity because of reduced dopamine transporter expression. Because chronic cannabis use is shown to reduce dopamine release, chronic cannabis use could result in a “return to dopamine homeostasis,” which in turn could help normalize their deficits in goal-directed behaviors. They concluded they are “engaged” in additional studies in order to explore this potential.


Researchers from Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, and Tufts University found a link between cannabis and improved symptoms in bipolar disorder in 2018 clinical trial data, also confirming cannabis does not negatively impact cognitive performance. They also found that ca nnabis use resulted in reduced scores for depression, anger, and tension.

More generally, a 2020 review conducted by University of New Mexico researchers found cannabis effectively treated symptoms of depression. A 2020 BMC Psychiatry report also found that whole plant cannabis and plant-based cannabinoids effectively improve moods and sleep, reduced anxiety, and promote anti-psychotic action.


via: High Times Magazine

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