Updated on June 25th, 2022
CBD treatment for bipolar disorder has been showing promising results, both anecdotally and clinically. Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, causes extreme shifts in mood. Shifts in behavior and energy levels are also symptoms of this serious mental condition.
An estimated 4.4% of U.S. adults develop bipolar disorder according to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIH).
Although symptoms can begin at any age, bipolar usually starts to become noticeable in late adolescence or early adulthood.
The illness is characterized by a cycle of manic and depressive episodes. Episode length can vary between several hours and several weeks. Most patients do not have any symptoms in between episodes.
In some cases, patients have mixed episodes where they show manic and depressive symptoms during the same episode. However, the most common kind of bipolar manic and depressive episodes usually show different symptoms.
- Manic Episodes
- Increased Activity
- High Energy
- Sleeping Problems
- Depressive Episodes
- Drastically Decreased Activity
- Low Energy
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Impairment of Daily Life
- General Symptoms
- False Perceptions
- False beliefs
- Panic Attacks
It is not uncommon that patients have also other mental disorders parallel to bipolar, such as:
- ADHD / ADD (read CBD for ADHD)
- Anxiety (read CBD for Anxiety)
CBD Oil for Bipolar Disorder
Preliminary research indicates that cannabidiol reduces or suppresses both mania and depression. It has great potential for therapeutic application.
The scientific community carries out little medical research in this area. This is probably because the money isn’t coming back to ‘them’, according to Dr. Paul Bregman (MD), a bipolar CBD user himself.
By ‘them’, he means the major pharmaceutical companies that sponsor most of the medical research in our country.
A study was conducted in 2005 to research the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder. It most of all reveals the future trend of major pharmaceutical companies in relation to cannabis and cannabinoids – if you read a little between the lines, it seems like ‘Big Pharma’ wants in on the deal.
It has come to the point that the effectiveness of cannabis can no longer be denied. The threat to the pharmaceutical industry as we know it has been revealed, with these major corporations at risk of being pushed out of business.
Due to this risk, they developed synthetic cannabinoids and promote them, pretending to have embraced cannabis.
Synthetic cannabinoids are just another chemically produced drug. They are less effective than cannabis and have similar side-effects to all chemically produced pharmaceutical drugs.
Researchers conducted another medical study in 2009 regarding neurodegenerative disorders. They concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) produced very promising results with high prospects for therapeutic use.
Recent developments suggest that non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids have a wide range of pharmacological effects. Consequently, many of them are of potential therapeutic interest. CBD is the cannabinoid that has garnered the most scientific attention. A 2009 study claims that CBD “…has an extremely safe profile in humans, and it has been clinically evaluated for the treatment of anxiety, psychosis and movement disorders”.
CBD for depression has also been clinically tested, providing evidence that it works well for depression and stress. In 2015, another lab study confirmed that CBD has neurogenetic properties. These are properties that regenerate and protect nerve cells.
Doctors classify almost 83% of the diagnosed bipolar cases as “severe”.
This study focused on CBD for Parkinson’s is equally important for bipolar because it proves the neurorestorative potential of CBD.
In 2010 researchers carried out a clinical study on bipolar disorder and cannabis use by 133 bipolar patients. This study associated cannabis use with improved neurocognitive functioning.
A 2017 study states that CBD has a good safety record and lacks negative side effects. CBD seems like a multi-target drug, which challenges our familiar notion that medication should always act on a single pharmacological target.
There are multiple mechanisms to explain CBD effects in neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition, Brazilian scientists started a large clinical trial in 2017 on Cannabidiol as an Adjunctive Treatment for Bipolar Depression (CBDBD).
The investigators from Porto Alegre hypothesize that treatment with cannabidiol will result in improvement of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, CBD should improve functioning and inflammatory biomarkers. The researchers will deliver results in 2019 or 2020.
In 1998, L. Ginspoon and JB. Bakalar collected a number of case studies. From these case studies, it was discovered that self-medicating patients claim that cannabis has a positive effect on manic and depressive episodes.
The overall opinion was that conventional drugs were a lot less effective than the cannabis treatment. Besides that, they also reported that it reduced some negative side-effects from those conventional drugs.
I personally use CBD hemp oil for focus and energy; it also helped me overcome a severe depression. Although I didn’t have bipolar at least I know for sure, it works well against depression.
“As a Medical Doctor I started using Medical Cannabis (CBD) to treat my Bipolar disorder. I was fired by the Medical Board of the Hospital where I worked, after honestly answering their question why I was so productive at work.” MD Paul Bregman.
Big Pharma Bipolar Medication
Currently, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. The only treatment available is to stabilize the symptoms.
Because you are tossed between mania and depression, they can’t prescribe you just mood stabilizers or anti-depressants alone. This is because mood stabilizers can provoke depression and antidepressants can provoke manic episodes.
So, they will toss in mood stabilizers or antipsychotics along with the antidepressants. On top of that, doctors often prescribe anti-anxiety medication as well as sleep medication.
Essentially, you are drugged with a cocktail of uppers and downers and you may suffer from the following side-effects:
Negative side effects of prescribed bipolar medication
- Changes in blood count
- Liver toxicity
- Weight gain
- Abdominal pain
- Upset stomach
- Nausea / Vomiting
- Tremors / Muscle twisting
- Coordination problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Kidney problems (Lithium)
- Polydipsia – extreme thirst (Lithium)
- Polyuria – excessive urination (Lithium)
- Severe Acne (Lithium)
- Double vision
- Muscle weakness
- Hemorrhagic pancreatitis (Valproic acid)
- Blurred vision
CBD Oil Dosage for Bipolar Disorder
As can be seen in the combined studies of other neurodegenerative disorders and bipolar disorder, a combination of CBD and other cannabinoids, like CBDa, THC, CBC, CBN, CBG, etc., achieves better results. When combined, the different healing properties of these cannabinoids create a synergistic effect, boosting the effectiveness of the treatment and our health in general.
Some bipolar patients started using CBD for pain in their abdomen and found that their manic and depressive episodes were also reduced.
Besides the fact that we are all a little different and therefore react slightly differently to CBD, the severity of the bipolar disorder is the main indicator of the correct dosage. Although it is not possible to overdose cannabidiol, it is unnecessary to take more than you need.
CBD milligrams for Bipolar
Based on years of patient feedback, we see that it is best to start with 40 or 50 mg per day for similar neurological conditions. This should be doubled after four days if it doesn’t improve or if the improvements are too small.
Bipolar patients have been known to have taken hundreds of milligrams daily at the beginning of their treatment. In the Brazilian clinical trial conducted right now, bipolar patients are given 600 mg CBD daily.
According to NIH, bipolar disorder affects men and women the same.
The way that you take CBD oil is not overly important. Sublingual intake is the most common method used for severe medical conditions.
Vaping can be used in parallel with other treatments to mitigate acute mania or depression when a quick reaction is needed, but be mindful that although vaping enables CBD’s effects to be felt very quickly, its duration is also much shorter.
It is recommended to stay at a higher dosage for several weeks. When you feel that you are functioning normally again, gradually reduce the dosage to a maintenance level of 25 to 50 mg per day. You can find out by trial and error what the minimum dosage is for avoiding the return of your bipolar symptoms.
Do you need help determining how your milligram dosage translates into CBD oil drops based on the CBD oil you purchased? Check out our CBD oil dosage calculator.
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Success Stories From Bipolar Disorder Patients
We have carefully collected CBD testimonials for this particular condition to serve as proof and inspiration to others. Do not hesitate to record your own experience and share it with us so we can add it to this list and help thousands of other patients.
Overview of Scientific Studies and Reports
If you are interested in the medical proof and not scared of reading through some professional medical jargon, check out the studies below.
Scientific Research Studies on Bipolar Disorder
1998 – The use of cannabis as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorder: anecdotal evidence and the need for clinical research.
2005 – Cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder: a review and discussion of their therapeutic potential.
2009 – Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb
2009 – Cannabidiol: a promising drug for neurodegenerative disorders?
2010 – Opposite relationships between cannabis use and neurocognitive functioning in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
2015 – The neuroprotection of cannabidiol against MPP+-induced toxicity in PC12 cells involves trkA receptors, upregulation of axonal and synaptic proteins, neuritogenesis, and might be relevant to Parkinson’s disease
2017 – Plastic and Neuroprotective Mechanisms Involved in the Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol in Psychiatric Disorders
2019/20 – Cannabidiol as an Adjunctive Treatment for Bipolar Depression (CBDBD) Clinical trial that started in 2017. Planned completion 2019 or 2020.
Thank you for the information, very interesting. I am 57, diagnosed clinical depression and borderline bipolar. I am highly educated and hold a secure position, that is what is concerning. Recently my moods become so sporadic, I can definitely tell that it may even be life altering if I do not do something. I do not want to take medication. Is there a site that you can recommend where I can ensure that the compound of the CBD product is accurate?
Thank you again for the wonderful information, explaining in layman terms.
Hi Wendy, We recommend the concentrated CBDistillery oil: https://idweeds.net/go/cbdistillery-fst-5000mg/. When you follow this link a 25% iDWeeds discount is applied automatically at checkout on orders above $150. Follow the dosage instructions from the bipolar post. If you need help figuring out how many drops to take, you can use our calculator or reply to this comment and I’ll be glad to help.
Personally, CBD helped me gradually get over a severe depression, and there is no reason why it wouldn’t work for you. The most important thing is regular usage (every day). Please keep us posted on your progress and results.
Thank you for the prompt response. I do understand you are not a doctor, you are not diagnosing me or prescribing medications. You are giving me knowledgeable information as a tool and for me to do with it what I choose. You have no liability with me. I feel it is important we discuss that because so many people today will distort information, you need to be protected.
I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday. My big question is would I continue on the pharmaceuticals and add the CBD oil to the medications? This has become a very serious issue for me and I am trying to do as much research as I can. I know what works for one may not work for the other.
Hi Wendy, You are right. The decision (and responsibility for it) to take medication or not or deal with medical issues otherwise always lies with the patient. This is also true for regular medication. A doctors recommendation is not the law. I recommend you to study how doctors tread bi-polar and make your own common sense decision on whether or not a cocktail of uppers and downers, with their specific side effects, is what you want. You could ask your doctor about the medication he/she prescribes; its purpose (upper/downer or something else), side effects, and proof of results in other patients.
To take CBD or not is also entirely your responsibility. There is enough scientific evidence proving it is not harmful to take, even in larger dosages, but it is your decision to try it, based on the fact that it worked for other people with depression.
I actually have an appointment this week to discuss some options. I feel so fortunate to have found this site. Advantages of CBD are so exciting, thank you for your knowledge 😁
Thank you Wendy. Please share your decision and progress with us.