Bipolar disorder, a complex mental health condition causing extreme highs and lows in mood, affects many adults.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMS), 4.4% of adults in the U.S. grapple with the challenges of bipolar symptoms at some point.
However, could CBD oil be a potential solution to these symptoms? The journey of bipolar CBD research gives some insights.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder
A person diagnosed with bipolar disorder, previously termed manic depression, navigates the stormy seas of disruptive mood fluctuations.
These can profoundly interfere with daily life, from work to relationships. Such individuals may experience:
- High highs – Periods of mania or hypomania.
- Low lows – Episodes of deep depression.
Given the distressing nature of these symptoms, the quest for effective treatments is always ongoing.
Enter CBD Oil
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is an active ingredient from the Cannabis sativa plant.
Unlike THC, another compound found in cannabis, CBD does not produce the “high” sensation.
Instead, CBD is celebrated for its calming effects. CBD is believed to act on the central nervous system, potentially easing anxiety and even some bipolar symptoms.
Forms of CBD include:
- Tablets and capsules
- Vaping options
- Edibles (like gummies)
- Topicals (like lotions and creams)
If you are interested in exploring various options, the CBD oils section at HempElf.com offers a curated collection.
What Does Science Say?
The relationship between bipolar disorder, CBD and symptom relief is still under investigation.
While CBD oil might act as a mood stabilizer, more research is needed to substantiate these claims.
Some findings, such as from a 2020 review, hint at CBD’s potential in treating depressive episodes linked to bipolar disorder.
A meticulous study titled “Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Mood Disorders” systematically reviewed numerous databases up to July 31, 2019.
Their objective? To unearth and analyze clinical trials, observational studies, and case reports that evaluated CBD’s impact on mood symptoms.
The researchers combed through databases like PubMed, Embase, and ClinicalTrials.gov.
They employed diverse search terms to amass a holistic data set. From the 924 records they initially encountered, only 16 cut in-depth evaluations.
- Six of the included studies utilized CBD to treat other health conditions but chose to assess mood symptoms as an ancillary outcome.
- Four studies blended CBD with Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in treatment processes for general health conditions, again monitoring mood symptoms as secondary outcomes.
- Four studies were observational, investigating the patterns and outcomes of CBD use.
- Surprisingly, none of the studies were exclusive clinical trials investigating CBD’s efficacy for mood disorders with mood symptoms as their primary focus.
While some reports insinuated the benefits of CBD in treating depressive symptoms, the methodologies used were not consistent.
As such, the available evidence does not advocate CBD as a frontline treatment for mood disorders.
Conclusions and A Path Forward
The study indeed demonstrated a diligent search strategy, covering a vast array of search terms and databases.
However, it also showcased some inherent limitations. Due to inconsistent outcome measures and rating scales across the reviewed studies, a meta-analysis could have been more attainable.
This inconsistency underscores the prevailing lack of clinical evidence regarding CBD as a treatment for mood disorders.
It is not shocking that current treatment guidelines, such as those set by the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT), do not recommend CBD for mood disorders.
However, hope remains. Preclinical studies have hinted at CBD’s potential antidepressant effects.
Some rigorous clinical trials in other health domains have also pointed to CBD’s antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic properties.
These findings indicate that CBD could, after all, have a role in mood disorder treatments, especially as an adjunctive therapy.
Future studies must address several crucial aspects:
- Establishing a dosage framework for mood disorders, given the variations noted in clinical trials spanning anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and epilepsy.
- Exercise extreme caution regarding potential drug interactions, primarily since drugs commonly used in mood disorder treatments might interact adversely with CBD.
- Averting the risks associated with THC by prioritizing the study of pure CBD, manufactured under stringent guidelines. Even then, clinicians must be wary of artisanal CBD products, as they might contain unaccounted amounts of THC, potentially exacerbating outcomes.
Safety, Dosage, and Considerations
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized CBD’s non-addictive nature, the dosage, especially for mood disorders, remains a topic of study.
Being wary of potential drug interactions is crucial, especially with medications often prescribed for bipolar disorder.
For the safest experience, it is advised to stick to pure CBD products rather than blends containing THC or other cannabinoids.
The exploration of bipolar CBD is an evolving journey. While preliminary findings are promising, comprehensive studies are still required.
If you are considering CBD oil for anxiety or bipolar symptoms, consult a healthcare professional and conduct thorough research.
The world of CBD offers potential; navigating it with knowledge is vital.