What are Bipolar Disorders?
Bipolar disorders cause marked changes in a person’s mood, behavior, energy levels, and function. As with many disorders, there is a spectrum to the severity of symptoms in bipolar patients. Those living with a bipolar disorder experience extreme, intense emotional states, referred to as mood episodes. Due to the complexity of the condition, bipolar disorder often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as depression. Episodes of extreme emotion can be classified as manic, hypomanic or depressive.
A manic episode is a period where a person has higher energy than normal. They can seem high-spirited, happy, or irritable. During a manic episode, a person may develop temporary insomnia, have racing thoughts or engage in dangerous/unplanned behaviors. A manic mood episode may be severe enough to cause problems with work, family, social relationships and interfere with responsible behavior. Manic episodes in some cases also progress to paranoia, delusions or psychosis.
Symptoms of hypomanic episodes are very similar to those of manic episodes, except less severe. Hypomania does not cause as many potential problems as mania, and a person living with hypomania is typically still able to function in everyday life.
Major Depressive Episodes
A depressive episode is classified as a time period where a person has lost interest in activities they previously enjoyed, experiences feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, numbness or guilt. During a depressive episode, a person may experience extreme fatigue and sleep disturbances. Concentration levels or decision-making processes may be impaired. Some may have increased thoughts of suicide or death.
How can CBD help treat bipolar disorder?
CBD has been proven to inhibit serotonin reuptake in rats, which shows it repairs abnormalities in CB1 receptors that inhibit release in mice. If CBD does the same in human brains, it could provide an alternative treatment for the depressive episodes of bipolar disorders.
A clinical trial found CBD reduces abnormal brain function in regions associated with psychosis, implying it may have therapeutic effects on symptoms associated with the manic phase of bipolar as well.
Since CBD is showing promising evidence with regulating both depressive and manic symptoms, it is an amazing alternative to help treat individuals who do not react well to lithium and/or other conventional treatments for bipolar disorders.