Don't miss

Marijuana For Bipolar Disorder

By on May 16, 2013

Summary (click to view)

  • Bipolar disorder affects 4% of the population
  • More than half of patients struggle with substance abuse problems
  • Marijuana is the most common substance abused by patients
  • Studies suggest that marijuana may improve learning and memory in bipolar disorder
  • Case reports suggest that marijuana may provide relief from other symptoms as well
  • TruthOnPot.com – Bipolar disorder may be one of the world’s oldest known illnesses with records of its existence dating back thousands of years.

    But today, doctors are faced with a greater challenge when it comes to treating the condition. The challenge is drug abuse; a problem that affects only 6% of the general population yet plagues more than 50% of all patients with bipolar disorder.

    Interestingly, cannabis appears to be the drug of choice for these patients, which has led many to question its role in the treatment of this age-old disorder.

    What is Bipolar Disorder?

    Bipolar disorder (also known as bipolar affective disorder) causes dramatic mood swings in patients, alternating between states of depression and mania. Mania can range from moderate levels of energy and excitement to symptoms of psychosis, such as erratic and delusional behaviors.

    Experts say that approximately 4% of the population will fit the criteria of bipolar disorder at some point in their lives. And while the underlying cause has yet to be identified, there are a variety of treatment options available for patients.

    The first-line of treatment is lithium which acts to reverse symptoms of mania, but other mood-stabilizers (anticonvulsants) and antipsychotics are commonly used as well.

    On the other hand, current pharmaceutical therapies subject patients to a wide range of side-effects, which can sometimes outweigh the benefits of the treatments themselves. As a result, some are beginning to turn to medical marijuana – a sparsely recommended treatment option that is gradually becoming more noticed as research progresses.

    How Can Marijuana Help?

    Medical marijuana acts on the endocannabinoid system – a homeostatic regulator that is present in all humans. Interestingly, research suggests that certain cannabinoids found in marijuana (i.e. THC and CBD) may have significant mood-stabilizing properties that could be beneficial for patients with the disorder.

    Studies have shown that THC, under certain conditions, can have anti-anxiety, hypnotic and antidepressant effects, resulting in improvements in mood and overall well-being in normal subjects as well as in patients suffering from pain, multiple sclerosis or cancer. CBD seems to counter the psychoactive effects produced by high doses of THC and may also possess anti-anxiety, hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties of its own.

    Researchers have also identified a link between marijuana use and cognitive improvements in patients with schizophrenia – a finding could explain evidence of similar improvements in bipolar disorder.

    What Studies Say

    A number of recent studies have set out to determine the effects of marijuana use on patients with bipolar disorder and have provided some thought-provoking findings.

    In 2010, researchers at the University of Oslo in Norway published the results of a study conducted on 133 bipolar patients. What they found was that patients who used cannabis regularly actually performed better than non-users on tests of verbal fluency and learning, although improvements in learning were not statistically significant.

    In another study, published in 2012 by researchers at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York, regular marijuana use was linked to higher levels of attention, processing speed and memory among the 200 bipolar patients that the researchers followed over a 9 year span.

    On the other hand, while these results suggest that marijuana use might improve cognitive function in cases of bipolar disorder, a study published in 2009 found that bipolar patients who used cannabis exhibited less treatment compliance as well as higher levels of illness severity, mania and psychosis, although data was only collected over a 12 month period.

    Interestingly, the study also found that while cannabis users were less likely to have a relationship and were less satisfied with life in general, they were still more engaged in social activities than non-users. Furthermore, the study identified no significant differences between cannabis use and independent living or work impairments.

    Anecdotal Evidence

    Despite the overall lack of clinical research available on cannabis use and bipolar outcomes, case reports provide an abundance of evidence that seem to support its usefulness.

    A study published in 1998 by Harvard professors Dr. Lester Grinspoon and James B. Bakalar documented 5 cases in which patients obtained significant relief from their bipolar-related symptoms through the use of medical marijuana.

    One of these patients, a 47-year-old woman, found cannabis to be more effective than other drugs in controlling her manic episodes.

    “A few puffs of this herb and I can be calm… this drug seems harmless compared to other drugs I have tried, including tranquillisers and lithium.”

    In another case, the husband of a bipolar sufferer told of numerous ways that cannabis seemed to help his wife in dealing with the disorder.

    “My wife functions much better when she uses marijuana. When she is hypomanic, it relaxes her, helps her sleep, and slows her speech down. When she is depressed and would otherwise lie in bed all day, the marijuana makes her more active… Lithium is also effective, but it doesn’t always keep her in control.”

    These cases were also cited alongside others in a review study conducted by a team of British researchers. The review, published in 2005 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, presented evidence from a 1996 report that described 5 cases in which marijuana seemed to have a direct effect in countering depression. The researchers also cited 2 surveys conducted in 2003 which found that 15-27% of medical marijuana patients in California were prescribed the drug for various mood disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and ADHD.

    • MOM

      It is a shame that big pharma is what it is and a disgrace to modern medicine . We need to stand together as a nation and change the way we treat our bodies and what better way than using this
      herb we call marijuana.

    • Margaret Fleming

      I have seen this first hand with someone Bipolar Disorder,Cannibis has a real good effect for their problem.

    • Jacqueline McGowan

      I am bipolar and am pharmaceutical free for the first time in 10 years thanks to CBD. I’m also symptom free from my disorder.

      • Pammi

        Hi Jaqueline,
        Please can you tell me how you went about changing to CMD and do you have to smoke it or is it in another form?
        Pam

        • Gandolfication

          I am bipolar. Weed has helped tremendously. You can get a vaporizer and there is no smoke. Supposes health benefits too. CBD is in Indica strains of marijuana. Easier to get from dispensary than dealer or friend but it is fairly easy either way.9

          • Connie

            How do you get your CBD marijuana?

            • Gandolfication

              I wish I had a good answer for you. That hasn’t been what I have wanted to use (although perhaps I should try it). I would think if you live near somehwere that it is legal (I do in DC), it could be done with some effort of just asking different providers. I think generally now they can get it on request. Someone else more involved in the industry I should think can offer a better answer. Good luck.

        • http://careersreport.com Rosana Whitt

          This is how you! can earn 65 bucks hour… After searching for a job that suits me for 6 months , I started working over this internet-website and today I possibly can not be more happy. After 3 months on my new job my income is around 5000 dollars/monthly -Visit link on MY~PROFILE~PAGE to see more

      • nick

        CONGRATS im so glad to hear this worked for someone maybe i cant get this working for me

      • Deline Cion

        Fantastic!!

      • susan

        Jacqueline, that’s amazing. My 20 year old son has very serious bipolar. He is on a very high dose of Lithium and Depakote, he’s hospitalized yearly for psychosis, when he chooses not to take his meds. But the doctors tell me his liver won’t last to age 40 on his currently prescribed meds. I’m hoping that “Charlottes Web” is the answer. Low in THC, high on CBD. I’d like to hear more of your story.

        • Mary Stevens

          susan,
          My 20 year old son is bipolar also. Was on Lamictal, Depakote, etc.,. He started smoking pot. It keeps his bipolar under control. He no longer has to take the meds that wreaked havoc on his body in exchange for sanity. We live in SC, so pot is illegal. I am trying to find out the best tincture for him with ratio of CBD to THC that will hopefully fall under legal limits of THC. But, there is no one, here, to ask. Ideally, I’d like to find a doctor to help me figure this out, and then set a plan into motion where I could attain established tincture on a reliable basis. If you come across any information in your searches, please let me know; and, I’ll do the same for you.
          Sincerely,
          Mary Stevens

          • Allen Hurneman Jr.

            Hi Mary, my name is Allen. I started using cannabis after being discharged from the army and leaving Fort Jackson. It has tremendously helped me with my Bipolar disorder and my depression. I live in Pennsylvania where marijuana is also illegal. I have found that cannabis has also helped me with all of my symptoms of bipolar depression.

            • Lisa

              Medical usage won’t be illegal in Pennsylvania after today! However, BP is not on the list. I think I could get my doctor to enter asperger’s autism or PTSD on the paperwork. Best of luck to you!

        • kat

          You know, interesting that I have never heard of anyone not wanting to take their med when it’s true medicine. I have heard of people who don’t like cannabis, but when it works, no one fights it.

      • joe slates

        realy thats great what type did you have?

      • James Saldivar

        I want to tell a doctor but I’m afraid they’ll accuse me of just wanting it to smoke on. It really does help with my mood swings but how u suppose to tell a doctor that you’ve already been treating it illegally w out a card

        • becky

          Exactly. .it wasn’t my idea. Only the love of my life who suffers with me. As we try to raise a family. He new something, only today as I decided to look up if it’s to take This one MED ..when smoking….did I realize that he just SAVED MY LIFE!! However how am I ever going to get legal now? #1 BLOOD TEST! No.. in my condition, this is like ALL THE PILLS THE DOCTORS SHOVE DOWN OUR THOUGHTS! I have a schedule dose every day. So no I can’t go a few weeks with out it. I might wind up dead.

        • Jonathon Kohler

          I suffer from manic depression as well. I have been medicating with cannabis for a little over four years now. I have tried lithium for over a month and had been vomiting all day. my psychologist and family doctor know that I use cannabis and don’t question me on it. I am off of.the lithium now. Just be smart with what u r doing with the cannabis and enjoy nature’s benefits. our day will soon come to.where cannabis is going to b legal whether it’s for rec or medicinal purposes.

        • kat

          Arm yourself with massive amounts of data and ask why he isn’t up on cannabis, if he isnt. Is he writing script for other mood enhancers? Say you went out, got drunk, took a toke and woke up feeling Fantastic. I’m flippant because I think a these docs have tried it, they went to college right? The stigma is a bear. I think we have to educate the doctors one by one. And say, I was so miserable I tried it. And it works, help me back off big pharmacy scripts, let’s save my liver! Huggs

        • Connie

          I’m in the same situation. I’ve been taking meds for 20 years. 6 months ago I started smoking weed. Since then I’ve come off 4 psych drugs. I need medical card and I don’t know how to get one, since bipolar is not approved medical condition.

          • Derek Zukowski

            There is a medical hub in BC called MCRCI, but first you have to get a doctors note indicating they are “aware” you use cannabis . It helps if they can list any medications you’ve previously taken .

            You are correct , I ran into this issue as well as unfortunately bi polar is not yet on the list (but it definitely should be !).

            I told my doctor I’ve found effectiveness using cannabis to treat PTSD and insomnia (which are on the list as treatable illnesses with the use of cannabis).

            Email me if you have any more questions (derekzuke@hotmail.com)

            I fought this broken system and have got it down to a science .

            -Derek

      • Connie

        How do you get CBD? Do you have a medical card?

    • Anonymous Account

      It’s so goofy and dumb that we haven’t really found out which strains tend to work better for which clusters of symptoms (although I guess mood stabilizers and ADs are similarly a crapshoot). I’m bipolar with Asperger’s and pretty bad social anxiety. I THINK mild, high-CBD strains are a good adjunct for me, and that high THC is disastrous for me (this is probably just the opposite for somebody with similar symptoms and different reasons for having them), but as I understand it, the tests stores use to gauge this stuff are pretty flawed. Have you read the slate article about the mom whose autistic kid does great on brownies, until the supplier runs out of White Russian? Luckily somebody with access got in touch with her, because they couldn’t find another strain (or delivery method) that worked nearly as well, and a couple made him actively unhappy. Say what you will about lithium, which totally screwed up my thyroid, but at least you know what you’re getting every time, and that the pharmacist isn’t going to randomly going to have to give you Depakote instead. So yeah, more studies, please, and some regulations that gets this stuff tested for pesticides and active ingredients.

      • Morgan O’Brien-Bledsoe

        It make complete sense when you think about the fact that growing marijuana is illegal and that makes it really hard to study.

      • Jlb

        YES!!

      • cicada69

        spot on!

      • Jennifer Bowers

        Hi ..
        I have bipolar disorder recently diagnosed in June…I have struggled with both intense mania and depression. I too like 50% of bipolar patients also struggled with abuse of alcohol and prescription pills. I would recommend discontinued use of alcohol, as people in this population have a problem with the inability to stop use and alcohol is also a CNS central nervous system depressant. I also have always used marijuana. I find sativa strains in medicinal grade form to be the most helpful in elevating mood during depressed period. During normal mood or any form of mania sativa strains may increase mania but i do find indica strain to have a more calming effect. Hope this helps some. ..and remember retrain your brain only you can control yourself.

      • d

        I’ve been given the wrong form of depakote by different pharmacists on two occasions. I just went a month taking dr instead of er. I couldn’t wake in the morning and was anxious and couldn’t pay attention late in the day. I live in NY so when the law goes into effect bipolar will not be covered. I can’t seem to find it illegally anymore unless going through friends so I run out of marijuana often. I smoked illegally before I accepted treatment for bipolar as well as after while on meds. It helps me relax and keep my thoughts together. It counteracts the lack of artistic creativity when not manic. I can be creative AND stable. This is important to me. Anyway, my real reason for reply is that not only is it difficult to get proper strains of marijuana, we can’t even guarantee we are getting proper pharmaceuticals from pharmacists.

      • Joshua

        I was having the same issue. Except my issue was with rapid heart beat, after changing my supplier, the irregular heartbeat went away. I totally agree that there should be research and regulation, but I’m also for letting people grow it at home. That way they know what they’re getting.

      • kat

        Thank God Israel, Amsterdam, Yada Yada have been growing and studyinh, developing while the good old USA is dinking around!

    • The Jackle

      I’m sure my husband of 10 years is bipolar – he is lovely 90% of the time but he has a dark manic side – I’m talking holes in walls and verbal abuse. I find weed is the only thing that helps control these episodes. Without weed I am certain we would be divorced years ago. I also recommend pet therapy, since getting a dog his
      Mood swings have reduced
      Considerably.

      • Morgan O’Brien-Bledsoe

        That’s not bipolar that’s human. If he was bipolar that dark manic side would be seen much more and you’d be dealing with him depressed too. My manias are short and tend to be sexual and their rare. But my depression is long and mean. Yes every persons mania and depression are different but even a doctor wouldn’t say someone was bipolar unless they spent a large amount of their time depressed. Maybe your husband is manic.

        • LeeLee

          I agree Morgan. I too have bipolar and have never been on lithium but rather many other meds instead. And if her hubby is good 90% of the time that’s absolutely not mental disease that’s just life indeed. With bipolar depression I am good 10% percent of the time and I too are rarely ever manic and when I am I am also hypersexual. I don’t smoke weed but I am curious at researching how people feel it works for them as it has become such a widely takes about subject.

        • Lauren

          Not everybody who has bipolar has a deep depression, but they do have depression to some degree even if it is mild. There are various types of Bipolar disorder with varying degree of severity. Some of you obviously need to do your homework on mood disorders, primarily bipolar. Bipolar comes in cycles where you are manic for several weeks to months and then you switch to depression. You may go into remission at some point if you are taking medication and getting therapy (although bipolar symptoms can still peek through treatment), but bipolar doesn’t just come and go throughout the day so those saying that the person is fine 90% of the time don’t know anything about bipolar. Also if someone is not being treated for bipolar they will become increasingly worse. Morgan you are right in your degree because you are describing Bipolar 1 and possibly 2. Although Cyclothymic is a completely mild form. The Jackle, Just Me, and LM leave the diagnosing up to the professionals because you don’t seem to know exactly the full symptoms of bipolar.

      • Just me

        To the Jackle, disregard Morgan and Leelee’s responses. They obviously have limited information on what Bipolar as a whole is and the many different types there are along with other comorbid disorders. Yes, your husband certainly can be bipolar even with limited episodes. Also, it very well could be anxiety which can present with the same type of symptoms. I am not a cannibus user but I do know many who are and some who do have various types of mental health issues and feel much better. Regardless, if it helps your husband…..that is all that matters.

        • LM

          I’m Bipolar II. I have almost the same exact problem, 10% of the time I am a complete and total nightmare. Breaking things, throwing things, screaming, telling my wife I hate her and want a divorce, hurting myself and telling her I’m going to kill myself. That’s most definitely not normal.

          I have mixed states. Last night I was talking a mile a minute, laughing, telling my wife jokes, dancing for no reason, being goofy, doing all the chores in the house. She said one thing that set me off and I smashed a kitchen plate, told her I want a divorce, and cried for about two hours.

          I used marijuana all through high school. It helped the anxiety but made the mania much worse. I would get into fist fights regularly, vandalize homes, anything to hurt other people because I was still really hurting on the inside.

          I moved to California seven years ago and have been smoking medical marijuana on and off the entire time, I was also diagnosed with my bipolar and have been taking prescription meds the entire time. I’ve tried so many different combinations, but the main theme has been Lamictal and Seroquel.

          Nowadays if I smoke medical marijuana definitely it definitely helps my anxiety and my motivation. Without it, I spend most my time inside because I have so much anxiety driving and interacting with people. I also find it more fun to go hiking or play basketball while high, it’s easier to go grocery shopping, day to day routine isn’t somhard anymore.

          The reasons why I don’t smoke… First and foremost it’s very addictive for me. Every time I try taking up medical marijuana again, I tell myself I’m only going to smoke to relieve my anxiety, that turns into having to smoke every time I leave the house, which then leads to me not doing anything without smoking. Even chores around the house. The worst is having to smoke as soon as I wake up. I feel like I have to, I can’t seem to stop myself.

          Problems with psych meds… They are not nearly effective enough. They make me nauseous and give me really bad headaches. They are expensive and I have to talk to a psychiatrist and go to CVS every month, which neither trip is fun at all especially if your doc changes your meds every time you see him. The whole system is just fucked. There’s no one fit drug to help me, and after four years of treatment I’m still breaking shit, telling my wife I fucking hate her and want a divorce, and then the next day I have to clean everything up and apologize because I didn’t mean any of that.

          I’m a programmer, and I have a really difficult time thinking logically when I’m high. So works becomes much more difficult. And finally my wife hates when I’m high, like really really hates it. I guess my sex drive goes down the toilet.

          I’m in the board now literally because I read an article about vapor joints. I figure if I can hide the smell maybe I can give it another shot and hide it from my wife and my work.

          • susan

            This is pathetic. What horrible things you do and say to your wife. Bipolar or no bipolar, this upsets me what you’re doing. But, I’m on the same path as you in looking for treatment for my son. Getting high is not the answer. The THC in most strains of pot seems useless. Even smoking it doesn’t sound good for the lungs, long term. But I want someone to try “charotte’s web” an oil made from hemp, low in THC and high in CBD.

            If you are open to experimenting with this, I need some answers before I encourage my son, age 20, to switch from lithium and Depakote (which is killing his liver and he won’t live past age 40) to Charlotte’s Web.

            • Kayla

              Your fucking stupid for calling him pathetic….
              He’s telling the truth in how he acts because of his MENTAL ISSUES. You don’t get it or what?? Bipolar means you have moods all over the place and are literally unable to deal with it.
              You are in no position judge, especially if “your on the same path looking for help for your son.”

              Maybe you need to learn to be less negative towards people & then maybe your son will live out 40….
              Just a thought.

              Keep your negativity to yourself. I don’t even know you and that right there offends the shit out of me… This man feels like shit and can’t figure out what to do; he’s trying to get help, and you want to kick him when he’s down. I’m sorry for being so ugly (wait no I’m not) but I believe, Susan, you are the pathetic one.

          • Luda

            Personally it seems like there is an underlying problem to your difficulty in keeping a healthy relationship with your wife. Are you seeing a counselor about this? Counseling has helped me so much more than meds ever could

          • Joshua

            I was on the same cocktail of Pristiq and Lamictal (I was on Serequel for years). Serequel will have you feeling like you’re a floating head without a body, so it makes sense that you have no sex drive. I had anorgasmia and various sexual side effects on the pills. When I’m medicated on weed sativa all the sexual side effects go away. If you live in Cali, can you talk to a doctor that understands the individual strains, if so, what did you find out? Also, are you vaping or smoking. Another thing that really helped was edibles. A pill from a big pharma company is basically the same thing. The cookies are a more efficient form of delivery. The only downside, is a pharmacist won’t prescribe you a yummy cookie.

    • Morgan O’Brien-Bledsoe

      Just want to point out not all bipolar people take or have taken lithium. I was diagnosed with, and heavily medicated for, bipolar 9 years ago. I’ve been hospitalized twice. I’ve never taken lithium.

      • Bri M.

        I’m 38 years old and I’ve been bipolar my whole life. I was a fanatical liar when I was young because of the rush of getting caught. In other words it kept me happy. When I got caught I got destructive.
        In my teens I got more depressed and became a shut in. I never went to parties or dances, I surfed. I was always happier alone. As a young adult with two little ones, I was a terror to my now ex husband, and he cheated lots of times which in turn forced me to feel guilty. Now my life has taken a new turn and I’ve been rediagnosed with Severe Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder. I was put on lithium for a year before realizing it wasn’t doing anything but keeping me down. Not level like they tell you. My dr increased dosage to double from 300 to 600 mg per day. That made my levels too high. So I had to stay on it until I was put on Geodon. I dislike the constantly drowsy feeling I have. My ambition is nonexistent.

        I’ve smoked pot before and found I’m happy. Normal happy. And my ambition is through the roof. I don’t get depressed unless someone I know dies or a pet gets sick and dies. I feel normal. I just wish they’d legalize it nationwide. They’d have reserves and no national debt

      • Beverly Standing

        Morgan. I also share bipolar , Have had this on & off for years . I also started on lithium , plus other medications , Then went onto Epelim & Serepax . I am happy to say , I now am on Cymbalta 60 mg x2 daily , 120 mg , Work’s quite well , I am sure I was told they are phasing out the Lithium , this was 30 yrs ago .

        • nfme

          just diagoised with bi-polar and i’m 42. The first thing the put me on was lithium. They won’t ever stop this toxic treatment because it’s cheap and it works. I live in Oregon and can’t wait to get my OMMP card. I’ve smoked weed on and off my whole adult hood and know I know why. It keep me from killing people…..lol 3 kids all graduated never csd involvment. Just a crazy mom trying to make it work.

    • Morgan O’Brien-Bledsoe

      I’m bipolar and i use marijuana to medicate myself. I can’t afford to go to a doctor every month and pay for 2 expensive prescriptions. For me my pharmaceuticals work better. Fortunately pot works alright. It keep’s me from getting too sad or too mad. Without it neither my son nor my husband would want to be anywhere near me. No one would.

      • Deline Cion

        Thanks for your comment, really interesting to read the stuff here. I am happy but not one bit surprised people have had good effects on their bipolar disorder thanks to cannabis. Its the only thing in my life that has ever balanced me, but it is illegal here, so I pretty much never get to use it. Every now and again, I get a few weeks of calmness and peace. I really want to move to a place where I can legally get it, but I have to make a choice between that and being with my family

      • Joshua

        I had the same issues, I’m still in the process of getting better healthcare for myself. The healthcare system is a mess here. The mentally ill are demonized enough and finding a doctor is tough. Best of luck, my girlfriend seriously feels the same way way about my behavior off weed. Yes, I’m not as “locked down” as I am on prescription meds, but weed doesn’t make me scream in pain either so there’s a trade off.

    • Marcella T

      I think there need to be more studies on this – a friend of mine who has BP1, told me that while she enjoyed the use of cannabis – it also caused her to become manic – going off meds and having serious consequences. She said that she was told it was because of the type of BP disorder she has…I am wondering if there is some truth to that?

      • Sherry

        i would be interested in hearing about that too, if it makes it worse?? my friend has a gambling addiction and it seems like people with bipolar have some type of addiction associated with it as well. wonder if it would help or make it worse for him.

        • Larson

          hi I have friend that smokes pot for Bi polar and PSTD.
          In the months I known her she was happy at first.
          But her short term memory, seems to be getting worse.
          Still making bad judgement calls with her life.
          She gets fired for alot jobs still.
          With PSTD some people need more therapy than pot.
          I believe sometimes it works and sometimes it does not
          in my friends case. Which I see as just a crutch for her.
          She was Heroine addict for couple years.
          I don’t see any improvement with her on pot.
          Like somebody said , More research needs to be done.
          This not one size fits all treatment.

      • Martin Geldart

        It may have a lot to do with the levels of THC/CBN/CBD in the strain of cannabis she was using, and perhaps how much she was consuming and at what times. It seems THC isn’t that great for bipolar, but the CBD part is. As we all know, there are 1000′s of strains out there and some are now very low in THC, with almost 0%, but are high in CBD, making great medicine. It might be worth finding and trying these THC-free strains. I personally find high THC and CBN gives me problems, especially with anxiety. The problem is, a lot of people enjoy the high from THC, so it may become not so enjoyable for her, but more helpful.

    • ColoradoQueen

      Bipolar disorder runs in my family. My older brother is moderately/severely bipolar, and was on the wrong medications for a long time which only worsened his disorder. Since he was around 12-13 he has been smoking marijuana. He is 20 now. I’ve seen amazing differences in his mood and his overall quality of life. While he does experience normal mood changes, he has calmed down extremely. After growing up seeing his blackouts, fits of rage, and hyperactivity it is relieving to see that he no longer struggles with that (thanks to marijuana use). I too have suffered from bipolar my whole life and i found that before i started smoking i had a hard time keeping my emotions under control. After i started, not only could i see the changes it made, but i felt so much better. I was able to be calm and stay that way even after the high faded, and it made me so much happier overall. I haven’t smoked in about a month now, enough time to let the THC clear from my blood, and i have felt the extreme emotions coming back. I have severe mood swings several times a day. Every little thing sets me off to the point where all i want to do is break out in violent outbursts and scream. The differences are incredible, and i can definitely say that marijuana is the best medicine for someone struggling with this disorder.

    • koolbreeze

      I feel great life is amaxying I’m a freshman in college n have stability for the first time of my life thank u cannibus !!!!

    • Peter Cohen

      Does anyone even know who wrote this and what their qualifications are?

      • Deline Cion

        Hi Peter, Here is the link referenced in the article. The article is regarding the study in question. Also notable to check the comments here, as aside from people having degrees etc, first hand accounts speak significantly. I for one actually Googled marijuana and bipolar disorder, and found this along with a good few other articles, as I am personally battling with the disorder, and have only found solace in treating it with marijuana, while medications I was given exasperated my condition, and had awful side effects. I have been raised to believe that marijuana causes mental disorder, but my personal experience has been the complete opposite. Before I Googled this, I was 100% convinced that marijuana had a positive effect on bipolar disorder…then finding this study, not to mention the comments is all the evidence I need. It is also notable that marijuana has many types in the family, some with very opposing effects, so its safe to say certain strains are effective medication for certain individuals with bi polar disorder. Besides, for many biploar’s it can sometimes take up to a few years to find the right medication – some people have killed themselves from being given wrong medication, prescribed by a professional. I can understand your concern, but its very important to be careful about making assumptions about marijuana.

    • Jay

      Its tricky. Many Sativas can make manic symptoms much worse. Hazes are notorious for this. Many Indica’s are better to manage manic symptoms and relaxing the body and mind. That’s the problem with “weed” if you don’t know what kind it is, it may help or hinder. I’ve had good luck with some old NL strains, indica leaning blueberry strains, and white rhino, a higher CBD strain and modest THC.

    • Alex McMann

      The reality of my situation is a 100% SUCCESS STORY! … I am 30 years old. I have bipolar disorder – diagnosed at age 19. From age 19 to 27 years old I was on every psychotropic DRUG known to man… made me groggy – hospitalized twice – no job – no career – no money – literally a bum in my parent’s house – depressed – suicidal – i would try to work but it would last at most a month even with meds in my head, because symptoms would kill me emotionally. My whole life I was VERY CHRISTIAN and viewed marijuana as the spawn of satan… …When I turned 27 years old I smoked pot and I felt good… REAL GOOD … The next three days I felt “normal” …stabilized… so, i smoked again… more stability… after a month or two of trying out some pot – different strains.. and getting over my feeling of believing I was sinning for smoking pot – I realized that I had gone the longest period of time in my life – healthy… so, I started smoking everyday… not a lot to get high, but to MEDICATE… Over the next 6 months I was able to begin school, got a “real job” and felt good…. I am 30 years old – I AM getting married in May, will finish my bachelor’s degree in early June and have been fully and totally successful in the world of Sales – so, I went from nothing, feeling hopeless – doped up on designer meds to smoking marijuana (vaping) … I literally went from rags to riches (at least for me) ..production is through the roof! I feel great! Lots of friends! …No cycling in 2 whole years! MOST IMPORTANTLY, I learned that what I initially thought was a weed of the devil that makes you lay on the couch and eat Cheetos…is actually a magic potion from God… Thanks God for making this medicine for me and those like me.. Trusting in Him :)

      • cicada69

        please seek out & share your diagnosis & use of particular strains for your situation.. it -will- help others, as the ‘picture’ of patient/diagnosis & treatment w/ particular cannabis strains is filled in by more & more success stories like yours! -very glad for you & your success. Peace & God’s best !

        • tasteandsee

          Yes, please share specific strains if you know which work best Alex. You sound exactly like my son who is unable to function physically or emotionally. Thank you for sharing and God Bless you (and we are also Christians).

          • Martin Geldart

            Yes, people must share the strains they find helpful and not helpful. I know that low THC and high CBD seems to be the best mix for people. Becuase it’s still stupidly illegal where I am, I had to go and buy any old weed from my dealer when I ran out of my good stuff. I got given a fantastic smelling and tasting strain called Super Lemon Haze (THC: 20%!!!, CBD: 0.2%, CBN: 1.1%). I found this great for my depression and actually made me smile and seriously happy after I smoked it. However, I found the high THC and/or CBN to be really bad my for my anxiety. As nice as it was, I will steer clear of this strain for that reason. It was ok at home on my own, but around other people it was far too much for me and is classed as one of the strongest strains available. One I found very good was White Rhino (THC: 11% CBD: 1.6% CBN: 0.5%) and has been one of the best medicine plants for years.

            • Tamela Heim

              Casey Jones helped me

            • Joshua

              I’m using Headband now. I’ve also been diagnosed as learning disabled and it really helps me concentrate.

          • Hope this helps

            I am bipolar and have been self medicating with cannabis for 20 years. Thankfully there is a lot of information available now that would have made life much easier for me had I had access to it earlier.
            Although strains play some part in predicting levels of thc and cbd. Individual plants of the same strain can be very different in their effect, even buds from the same plant will differ between the top and lower branches.
            One method of producing higher cbd is to allow the plant to flower for longer, although this is not always possible when purchasing material grown by others.
            Another is to decarb (heat in order to remove carbon atom) past the peak of thca to Thc and into cbn, which is far less psychoactive, with more of a sedative effect.
            I recommend blueberry from Dutch passion/sensi seeds for its long lasting effects with clarity of mind. And a website called skunkpharm for all you need to know about decarb, tinctures, and extracts.
            Even an ancient recipe for tincture taken from the bible that I look forward to sampling when I can source all the ingredients.
            Best of luck in your search, hope this helps.

      • susan

        I’m considering this for my 20 year old son who has severe bipolar and who is hospitalized yearly for psychosis. I’m familiar with the little girl named Charlotte, whose epilepsy was nearly cured do to the strain that was low in THC and high in CBD.

        I’m not interested in putting my son on a drug with THC, for the psychotropic side effect. But I am interested in the benefits of CBD, and the hemp oil that can calm the mind. Hopefully calm my son’s manic episodes.

        I’m excited to hear of your improvement. I want to know more. I can’t get enough information.

      • Sue

        I’m glad you’re feeling better. I’m bipolar too but I smoke weed. I use a variety of meds. With all due respect you sound very manic. It’s my understanding that weed makes bipolars manic. Let’s face it most us would rather the highs than lows of our disorder. I too have been hospitalized twice. Mania is NOT stability

        • Sue

          That should say I Do NOT smoke weed

          • RedPill

            Freudian slip

      • Scott Murphy

        You just, basically, told my story. A few differences, but, yup. I agree 100%. God Bless you…

      • Fleetmaster46

        Alex, thank you for what you wrote. I a not a user, but I son is now. he is bi-polar. The doctors gave hem al sorts of drugs and made him WORSE. He became sometimes even self destructive. He smoke a bit each day, and I have to admit it has made him so much better. There must be something medicinal to it. The doctors nearly wrecked him with all their pills. Now he’s so much calmer, and able to cope. I came here to se I someone else had experienced this. thank you for sharing our experience. God bless you
        Craig .

      • Derek Zukowski

        Thank you for existing and God bless you brother

      • Rxstone

        Were you a Jehovah’s Witness by any chance like me or something similar??? If so that would be so helpful to reach out!

        • Alexa

          Where can I contact you privately?

        • alexapretorius

          Where can I contact you privately?

    • sethbzh

      Hi i was diagnosed a year ago at the age of 34, after a long time on hard drugs. I now take depamide with venlafaxine that keeps me sorta stable….when i have properdaily access to mjn (i vaporise concentrates) it Just generaly improves my moodsanxiety/sleep patternsagression…..like someone else said thc strains Just make me all out manic…..i like a high cbd lowish thc strain when i can.nice to ne able to share…..stay safe all.

    • bipolar-loadie

      Will it work if You “cap” it? I have some veggie caps and I would rather use it in them than smoke it.

      • Deline Cion

        You can ingest it yes, but there is a way of doing it. Simply capping the substance would not do anything. You could make a tincture/extract and there are plenty of recipes online :)

    • Latasha Gerald Chavez

      How can I get medical marijuana for bipolar? ??

      • Martin Geldart

        Depends entirely where you are from and whether it’s legal or not. If cannabis is legal and prescribed by your doctor, then that’s the person to see and ask about it. They will prescribe you with something suitable. If you have other forms of cannabis dispensaries such as recreational cafes like Amsterdam, then ask the bud tender for a low THC and high CBD strain. Some bud tenders may know some of the medical values, so always ask. If it’s illegal where you are, then I would suggest growing it at home instead of buying it off the street. It’s very expensive on the street and some amateur growers don’t know what they are doing and fail to wash out some of chemicals, and you can never guarantee what levels of THC/CBD you will get, as each strain and each dealer is different. Growing it at home is a fantastic hobby and that can help with the depressive state all on its own.

    • greg dave

      TO BE ON A GOOD MOOD

      We are here to help with the bipolar sell top quality medical hash oil and marijuana strains at affordable prices. Discrete delivery available in vacuum sealed containers to any location. Tracking numbers available ,These products are highly recommended for its anticancer properties, relief of symptoms of chronic diseases and pain relief. Our strains are all Top shelf grade AAA + and the taste is good and incredible strong . hook us up with any of these withnesses
      =manic episode which has last longer than one week and above
      =those with period of depression
      =And untreated manic episoded generally last 3 to 6 months
      =Depression episodes last longer than -6 to 12 months without treatment
      for more info
      email;greycastro007@gmail.com
      tex or call (567) 218-0050

    • Ryan Watterson

      I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the military I’m not sure if I’m bipolar or not but smoking cannabis really seems to heal me. Kind of like medicine from God.

    • greg dave

      we have top quality marijuana strains for sale text or call (567) 698 8469 or email … joshuamenez1137@gmail.com..

    • Mom’s in Charge

      I am bi polar. Been on & lots of designer drugs for over 15 years. I have been on Cymbalta 60 mg, along with 4 other drugs for over 7 years now to help me cope with every day life situations. I QUIT taking them recently.
      I started smoking again & so far it’s working for me.
      .My doctor dismissed me from his practice due to what my mouth said & very hateful I was, when he let me run out of meds.
      I was lied to…. No More
      With pot… This is the way I choose to cope with life.

      • Redser32

        Interesting but do be careful not to overdo it with the wrong type and send yourself into a manic cycle. Good look and i admire your determination. I think the doctors actually have no idea and get very Godly when we question their authority. For many years i ask how can they treat the MIND when it is not physical thing nor can they locate it. Perhaps we are the normal ones.

    • Jlb

      I here positive results, but can’t find any doctors that agree. How do I find a doctor that does?

      • Deline Cion

        until it becomes more prevalent in mainstream medical studies, it won’t be taught to doctors. They are just going by their education, and education based on an every growing and changing reality.

    • dave

      Bipolar is a curse I have friends who cycle over a 6 week period that has 3 weeks of mania lots of energy answers to lifes biggest questions spending large amounts of money fighting with people in the same street sexualized behaviours-then the next 3 weeks its crashed in bed only coming out for toilet water etc and a sence of deep shame for their actions the weeks past-and this is their life its tragic -many use skunk to help these symtoms which it does to some extent-but the times that they run out of skunk about the 4 day with out the come down is horrible to watch-and then its ambulance and cat team call out hospital-weed has its good points but ive seen it destroy familys and relationships so be aware its a trap if piping on 20 bongs a day its no different to meth or smack addiction.

      • Martin Geldart

        You sound so ignorant *sigh*. People taking cannabis as a form of medication don’t tend to rip 20 bongs a day with ‘Skunk’! and it couldn’t be anymore different to meth or smack! There is a high possibility you will die taking those two drugs and you won’t from cannabis. The fact that you use the word ‘Skunk’, tells me you’re clueless about the subject. Skunk is the name of one particular strain of cannabis from the 70′s, it does not, and should not, describe cannabis as a whole, unless you’ve been reading too much about it in the media, of course and no doubt. Skunk, the strain, has high levels of psychcoactive THC, so I’m not surprised your friend had a come down after quitting 20 bongs a day, with relationship and family issues, too. I use cannabis and, in vaporisor terms, I probably smoke 4 bongs a day and I can start/stop with no come down. Abuse it and it will abuse you back – the same for alcohol, energy drinks, paracetomol, etc. Before shouting your mouth off, spreading utter BS, do some research. “ive seen it destroy familys and relationships so be aware its a trap” – you must be on crack to write such nonsense.

    • Trichome Kaaskop

      Thanks for this

    • cicada69

      to note: there’s different -types- of cannabis; the low-psychoactive and the higher-psychoactive.. it probably would make a huge difference to determine what levels of CBD & THC (and other sub-components) of particular strains make a difference for where individuals are at in the bipolar spectrum.
      This needs some university &/or govt research, as BigPharma can’t make a dime off of this kind of research (unless they patent a series / range of hybrids for medical cannabis, for consistency)

    • leanne

      I don’t care what anyone says smoking weed has made bipolar less like Hell. I started smoking a year ago. Pre pot I was unable to work unable to take care of myself or my child fully without assistance and on a cocktail of medications that caused physical side effects that even resulted in surgery. Now a year after starting it I am working studying taking full care of myself and my child ! Everything I was unable to achieve before is now easily achieved. My meds have decreased from a cocktail of seven pills per day to one very small dose of quetiapine and I only take that because the withdrawal from this drug is horrific. i smoke one blunt at night and have even quit a 15 year smoking habit practically effortlessly. I just don’t understand why it is not legal and regulated in the UK.I can live now. I never could before.

      • Redser32

        as in ireland in the uk it i not legal so i assume you are buying from your local dealer so how do you know what you are smoking as high THC etc ….. i am both BP and a long term cannabis smoker …… yet my manic episodes seem to coincide with coming off meds and heavy smoking of these new hydroponic grasses …… always prefered hashish but it’s availability is very rare …..my doctors always frighten me about my cannabis use and now i am feeling a bit better after an at least 8 month depression after manic episode and the old thoughts come back ….. don’t really need this lithium and would prefer a joint or two ….. any ideas on getting the balancing act right

    • ann smith

      I’m 25 years old and I am bipolar type two and I am a mother pot has made a big differents in my life my family and me get along a lot more and the my house stays clean I don’t get angry over stupid things I lesion a lot more and I get more things done and I don’t smoke that much just ones in the morning and after noon and night

    • Gustavo Fats

      There are a lot of truly honest people who suffer from BiPolar Disorder that will tell you that MJ is the best medicine they have ever used. Considering a side effect of anti-depressants can be suicidal thoughts..yeah..I don’t think the side effects of THC can even come close to being as negative. It is time for change. To redraw the lines that were purposely skewed generations ago.

      • Redser32

        the side effects of THC can be very destructive and traumatic it appears to myself and my case but can’t be sure which came first the chicken or the egg. Stopping meds smoking too much strong weed thus becoming very manic and needing hospitalization. I would love to smoke again as i do feel i felt better and now am confused was i more level or just manic. The subject needs a lot of exploration and clarity. Which strains are the right ones for which people.

        • Dan

          My thoughts exactly, what came first the chicken or the egg.

    • Joshua

      I have Bi-Polar and BPD. I also actively meditate and work out, and it helps me immensely. I feel there should be more research into the side effects of marijuana on mental patients. However, I feel that mentally ill people are victimized by the Pharmaceutical industry. I take a cocktail of Lamictal and Pristiq, and I’m also on disability.

      The reason I’m concerned about prohibition is that each strain does something different. That’s why more research is needed. What I do know, is the prescription drugs are addictive and coming down from Pristiq causes me to vomit, have extreme mood swings and the shakes. Pot doesn’t cause me any side effects. I find that Glaxo Welcome (the people that produce Pristiq) overcharge for the drug. Sometimes my insurance pulls a fast one and raises the price on my deductible. Also, they want to force the poor to go off premium meds to take ineffective generic meds that don’t do a thing and may harm the patient. I’m in constant fear that my meds won’t be available to me and I’ll slip into withdrawal. I feel that weed is a lesser evil than the medical/mental health community and their closed minded attitude. Political greed and corruption also plays a huge part in prohibition.

      When I have the money, I smoke regularly (vape). I find that I’m
      happier and less prone to cycling. However, only certain strains help. I
      tried Sour Diesel and it’s not bad, I’m more creative, less effusive
      and I operate better than if I’m on an indica strain. Ironically, it also helps with the withdrawal symptoms that’s caused by Pristiq and Lamictal when it’s not available. Pristiq costs about 50 dollars + a pill.

      I’m not saying that weed is a magic bullet, but it’s a good alternative as a supplement for other adictive and (in the long run) more expensive legal/prescribed drugs on the market. Also, research would tailor the right treatment to the right patient. Something that psychiatric practitioners do with legal drugs already. I’ve been misdiagnosed 15 times, so I know.

    • IronRose

      Most of the articles on Bipolar Disorder and Marijuana are hysterical because they include (A) a bunch of warnings about how terrible THC is for people with BP, and (B) some sort of statement along the lines of “Why so many people with the disorder use marijuana remains a mystery.” LOL maybe because it actually helps a lot of people with the disorder. Friggin propagandist morons. I am a Type 1 bipolar so I even get delusions and mild psychosis eventually if I go off my prescription medications. Thing is those prescription medications while not perfect are also not the devil, they do help to keep me stable. But they do not feel good. They just prevent the really bad stuff like going completely crazy. But I am often left feeling very unimaginative, no creativity, no desire to do anything, feeling nothingness. THC combined with my atypical antipsychotic keeps the crazy stuff away but also lets me feel alive, lets me enjoy life, helps me be relaxed but not brain dead. They work excellent together. I would not recommend ONLY marijuana for type 1 BP because sadly I do need the antipsychotic. But ONLY the antipsychotic just keeps me from being psychotic, it prevents the worst of the worst but I am still an empty shell. Combining them together has a wonderful outcome for me.

      • Redser32

        very interesting abd sounds very familiar ….. do you discuss with your doctor?

      • d

        Ditto. It’s so nice to draw and be creative while I’m not manic!

      • BeaverChick

        Exactly my experience! The meds help me be stable but numb. The weed helps me think and feel again. The combo works for me.

    • Richard Michael Darmody

      Is there a list of Universities or Hospitals that are working on Cannabis research in the US vs the rest of the world ?

    • Scott Murphy

      Ok, here we go. I’m a 50yr old male. Who’s earliest memories consist of not feeling “right”. Very sensitive, they used to call me. Started smoking pot at age 12. As entertainment, you might say. Living in the suburbs (boring). It escalated to harder things (drugs) as I got older. When it came to do a reality check, I realized I was self-medicating. But, medicating what ? I decided to seek psyc care. Was diagnosed multiple times, but, never accurately because I was always “using drugs”. A year and a half ago, I went inpatient. I was taken off of the three controlled substances I was on ( Addaral, Xanax, Pain-meds) and put on 13 different meds (yikes). I had been a part of a recovery program (still am) for 18yrs. But, was finally able to recommit with an understanding that drugs did not work for me. I am an addict (100%) Anyway, long story short. I was able to maintain sobriety for about 9mo, and still felt something was really wrong (mentally). A Doctor who had been treating me, since before I went inpatient, properly diagnosed me ( with a smile of relief on his face ) as Bipolar Disorder. Later that year, I auditioned for a band and smoked some marijuana at the studio and automatically felt better. Not high, Better. I had stayed on the anti-depressant that I had been on for 20 yrs and my Doctor had put me on Depakote (that’s 2 meds from 13. pretty cool ) That took care of the physyalogical part, but not the brooding-dark-angry-frustrated to no end-cant deal with shit, part. Since I’ve made a decision to utilize marijuana as a mood stabilizer. It has made a WORLD of difference. I can function (HOLY SHIT) . I have gotten back into my artwork and am a productive (sober) member of society. The difference between who I am with it and who I am w/o it is not even on the same chart. Thank you, Lord. Now, can we please legalize it so I don’t have to spend $500.00 a month on a health sustaining med (marijuana) ? ;)

    • Kai

      I am 36 years old. I have Bipolar type 1. I have had symptoms since childhood. At 17 I was given Paxil for depression. I went manic for a few weeks and then was even more depressed afterwards. I obviously quit that medicine. A few months later a psychiatrist diagnosed me with Bipolar. I had no I dea what it was. He gave me Zoloft and tolde me to see I’m in 3 months. I stayed on it for 8 months. It made me feel numb. I did things I would never normally do that I was ashamed of. Then came the depression. A suicide attempt at 21 medicated with Effexor. Effexor elevated my mood, but I went off of it and got depressed. At 22 I was medicated with remeron which comes from the same family as Effexor. I gained 18 pounds in three weeks but I felt a lot better. I was stronger and my brain was better. After a while I went off of the remeron. I did pretty good for about 10 months and then work and life stress got to me. I was put on Effexor and after a few months I got a new job and worked part time. Previous to this, I had always worked full time. I was a workaholic and then I would have an episode and quit my employment. Things were going really well for me. I made some questionable decisions on my time off getting better, medicated, but I wasn’t feeling ashamed like I had in the past. I also have mixed episodes where I am manic and depressed at the same time. It can be confusing. I did alright and then I had a break up that was hard on me. Started working full time and engrossed myself in work too much. The Effexor dosage had increased to 150 mg/day from 75mg and I started to become manic. And then I started to get very depressed. I was given valporic acid to stabilize my mood. I gained 30 pounds in less than a month. I was living off of insurance and couldn’t wear any of my clothes with no money to buy more. I was really depressed now. I had major anxiety. I was taking topimax instead of valporic acid and suffering from weird side effects, I was using tryptophan to help me sleep, I was on respiridol 1mg for social anxiety. I had a hard time going anywhere alone. I took a mood disorders class, an anxiety class, but nothing was helping. I was commuting suicide but at the last moment, I asked for help. I was hospitalized for a month. Seriously was added. I was taking 17 pills a day. My life revolved around medication. After a month, I quit all of my medication cold turkey. I went through withdrawal, with for me was constant motion sickness. I couldn’t watch tv, or ride in a car, it felt like that constantly and I threw up a lot. It took 6 weeks. After the withdrawal was over, I got a job and worked at it for about 4 months before getting fed up with my bosses. I had dysthymia but I was using marijuana now and it was helping. My boyfriend and I became pregnant. I stopped using. I was okay. I got through the pregnancy. I breastfed. Afterwards I was getting hyper. Lots of thoughts in my mind and too much going on inside. I started using marijuana again. It calmed me down. It helped me sleep. It made me hungry so I ate. Something people don’t talk about in bipolar, is that people with bipolar forget to eat. If they are not hungry, they just won’t eat, and they can be not hungry for a long time. This absense of nutrients can lead to mania. I used marijuana 3 – 4 times per day until we got pregnant with our second child. The whole pregnancy I was depressed. After my son was born, I was post party’s depressed, but that went away after 3 months and then I had dysthymia again. I had a lot going on when my son was almost a year old and I was working full time . I started spending money without consulting my husband and there was a lot going on in my mind. I got mad at my boss and quit my job. I started to have a mixed episode. I was hospitalized for a month. They put me on Seroquel, and zopiclone. They didn’t want to release me but I coildnt stay any longer. My family needed me. The Seroquel made me gain 40 pounds in a few weeks. What they don’t tell you about Seroquel is that you can get an insatiable hunger. Even though you et 5 pieces of toast and a bowl of cereal and some cheese, you don’t get full. Your mind “forgets” that you ate anything(you know you are, but your body doesn’t think so). I was switched to lithium. Lithium only comes in 300mg doses. At 1200mg it wasn’t enough and at 1500mg it was too much for me. I swelled up. Saw black dots, couldn’t think straight at all. Gained more weight. 30 pounds. My 5’2″ frame was now 190 pounds. When I had met my husband 6 years before I was 110 pounds. You try not to be depressed 80 pounds overweight. Eventually I was taken off the lithium. I tried Precidia, Abilify, and so many others I can’t even remember now. I hated going to the psychiatrist. They don’t counsel by the way they just prescribe and adjust medications. I started using marijuana. i went through another very stressful time where I had taken on too much and I started to get depressed and couldn’t work. I saw the psychiatrist again, but in the end the medication wasn’t for me. It didn’t feel like myself. I felt like there was mornethan one of me and I didn’t know why I was doing thkngs. Being medicated made me feel crazy. I have not been medicated for 3 years and I have been using marijuana and cognitive thinking/reasoning to maintain my moods. I have worked in these years, quiting or reducing hours when I could feel that I was feeling stressed. I have symptoms everyday. That is the thing about it, the whole time in medication I still had all the symptoms, the medication made it confusing for me to control. Now I feel I have control. I don’t need to be doped up like a zombie on Seroquel. I can use cannibis as I need it. If I have to be around a large group of people and I am getting hyper and I am anxious that I will make an ass of myself, I smoke some pot. If I need to sleep but can’t get my brain to shut off I smoke some pot. If I am depressed and can’t get the suicidal negative thoughts out of my head, I smoke some pot. I still get all the symptoms but I control them with my mind. I can’t fly. I am not psychic. I am not the reincarnation of Jesus. I am smart but not smarted than everybody else. Yes I have great ideas and I am very creative, I can use that to solve problems. There is nothing wrong with sitting down and writing half a book and never finishing it. I don’t have to do everything all at once. Marijuana and learning about cognitive thinking/reasoning has changed my life. I most certainly would have probably killed myself if I was still medicated. My suicidal thoughts were worse on medication. Now I talk myself out of it.

    • Jackson

      hey guys i have some questions. this christmas i had been hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital where they told me i have bipolar disorder and thah i experienced a manic episode. they also told me that i can never drink alcohol or smoke pot ever again. and I am wondering is this even true? i mean why would they say that i cant smoke weed and drink alcohol ever again if there are sites like this one saying the opposite? i personally would love to live like a normal person again and smoke weed like i used to but there are doctors telling me that i shouldt or i will end up in a mentalhospital again. So if anyone could please tell me what is true i would be very grateful.

      • darklordofgorgoroth

        They HAVE to tell you that it’s bad for you, regardless. That’s how political correctness works. Anyway, smoking pot for me is far better for my bipolar than being medicated to the point where nothing matters anymore.
        Pot-smoking still makes me social and creative. The ups and downs will never go away anyway, but over the years I’ve managed to detect signs when I’m becoming manic or depressive

    • Jacqueline McGowan

      You can all friend me on Facebook to follow my story, my activism and pending legalization in California. Also you can ask me more in depth questions there so I can respond one on one.
      Jacqueline McGowan- Livermore, CA

    • Louwho

      Sorry to rain on your parade, BUT I DISAGREE 1000%
      My ex is bi polar. He took one hit of pot and from his depression soared past normal and straight into mania in little under 30 minutes. I am not kidding you. He has been diagnosed as Bi-Polar with extreme mania. Pot fuels his mania and extends it. It has turned a 60 year old mild mannered, quiet and reserved, conservative republican and penny pinching tightwad into a maniac. Pot use has extended his mania to a record 10 months and counting. To date he has blown through 3/4 of his retirement, 1.5 and counting, has been to jail twice in the last 10 months, and is currently on the run from the law.
      It is sweet to think that Pot is this tame little “herb” that helps everyone and is not a serious drug, but to someone like this, POT IS DEADLY. I am not kidding. He can’t stop, and he is destroying his life. His friends and family have turned away from him, in a manner of weeks he will blow through the remaining money he has. He has lost 50 lbs in this craziness.
      Please, before you consider this article to be a good reason to self medicate, please listen to the words of other doctors in the field of Bi-polar treatment- Pot has long been known for its effectiveness to take a depressed bi-polar and move his outlook to a brighter one, BUT YOU ARE UNABLE TO REGULATE THE DOSAGE, CONFIRM THE EXACT CONTENT OF THE HERB, AND JUDICIOUSLY MONITOR THE PATIENT. Self-medicating with Pot is a dangerous idea, and you should exhaust other options unless you can do this under a regulated and clinical administrated protocol.
      Better yet, here is what you do-when my ex sobers up and realizes what he has done while manic, he will blow his brains out, this is not conjecture it is about to be fact. Come to his funeral and lets discuss how wonderful and amazing and benign Pot is.
      Please try another method. Pot ruined his life as well as our relationship, our family, his family and friends.
      If you are bi-polar, please take this post to heart-Pot is dangerous to bi-polars.

      • Joshua

        OMG Reefer Madness! I bet he was also hoped up on goofballs!

      • mandyraye

        My husband is the same. He won’t come out of mania until hospitalized and off it. He was stable since the end of 2012 until a little over a month ago. Someone gave him a hit of “legal marijuana” in the restroom when we were out. That night he became extremely agitated. He thought cops were following us to where we were staying and took all back roads. I ended up leaving to drive home in the middle of the night he was so bizarre. We were out of town so I had to drive two hours. I almost died because I fell asleep and woke up right before hitting a semi. He came home but has left me repeatedly and is in a full blown manic episode. He is up to 20 mg zyprexa; 2.5 kept him stable for three years. He is still smoking pot everyday. He is an addict. Our whole lives have been shattered again. He has been gambling, drinking like a fish, abusive, and so much more. I don’t believe any of the bogus studies saying otherwise. I don’t know one person who smokes pot regularly that has a good life. And I know quite a few lowlifes thanks to my husband while manic. I posted earlier if you want to read that one. I am praying for your ex along with my husband. My husband is the opposite of how he is now. He will be ashamed when its over, if he survives. We have a ministry with children and they don’t understand why he’s gone. I have been so depressed I can barely make it through a day.

    • Sarah Or

      I deal with bipolar and have been using weed for it for 7 years now. I’ve gone from being hospitalized every 6 months to not being hospitalized in these past seven years at all. I’m not on any meds for it either. The earth gives us this wonderful plant and we really need to use it to its full potential. The pills for this disease will kill you….marijuana…will make you cough. I’d rather cough. Especially considering up until I started smoking my illness was treatment resistant. I’d be on a drug for a couple months and it would stop working no matter how much they’d up the dosage. Not worth it at all.

    • MB19ap

      From what I have been researching all the doctors and medical professionals say to smoke weed at own risk. Weed is the drug of choice for people with bipolar so I think there is plenty of evidence. Also they have found that weed can induce psychosis in otherwise healthy individuals. Obviously the verdict is still out because there are pretty much endless strains that can be created so surely one can be created to be beneficial for bipolar. But the stuff you buy now most likely cause mania and end turn in to depression after a few days which begins an endless cycle of getting high to lift and crashing.

    • Smarie

      My husband has went off medication twice since being diagnosed in 2009 at 23 yrs old. He smokes pot and it helps to a certain point as far as hypomanic episodes bit after awhile a full blown panic one always erupts. We have noticed it is every 2 yrs..09,11,13 and now this year and roughly same time every year except once. We live in a state where medical marijuana or recreational use is not legal and psychiatrist blames episodes on pot. He does good for roughly 8 months to a year when he stops his meds before full manic episode happens. I wish pot was all he needed. It is such a terrible disease and I hate hearing him say he doesn’t want to take meds that will slowly kill him to be normal

    • Debbie Williams

      Cannabis oil is full of CBD and cannaboids which are healing and repairing components..they help immune system as well as pain..THC works in the blood stream helps kill cancer cells and stunts growth of tumors. Chemo is basically a poison meant to kill Cancer. Unfortunately it kills healthy cells too.

      Where to purchase, contact via Email > ( drdonaldhealthcare@gmail.com )

      My Friend,s Family is now a brand new one, so stop your worries and go get your medication and set the family free of the deadly disease that hold no respect to family harmony. This also works on seizures, PTSD,chronic pains, Liver Diseases e.t.c

      Make your health a better one by using CBD oil in your everyday life.

      IMPORTANT NOTICE: NEW RESEARCH BY RICK SIMPSON, HAS JUST PROVEN THAT THC CURES HIV.

      contact Dr Donald for all type of cancer Cure. Email:> ( drdonaldhealthcare@gmail.com )

      thanks to DR DONALD.

    • Lisa Arlene Lang

      I Am almost 44 yrs old and have been on almost every prescription drug known to man and not one has helped me as much as THC… I was diagnosed when I was at a young age… So due to the fact that every prescription drug that has been manufactured by man doesn’t work and the one God put one this planet does. I think that speaks volumes.

    • Robert Ford Jr.

      I’ve been diagnosed bipolar 1 with psychosis since I was 16 years old. I’ve tried almost everything out there for my illness and have not really been successful. The combination of welbutrin and seroqeul has been most effective unlike lithium etc. Because there are too many negative side effects for me personally. With the medication I’m on and smoking marijuana everyday, it’s like I’m normal haha no depression no mania. Unfortunetly I live in PA where the laws are completely idiotic and with me being in the legal system for trying to kill myself on heroin. I’m put in a position where I can’t smoke. The last thing I want to happen is going back to my suicidal ways. If anyone out there has knowledge or support for me Id greatly appreciate anything. Thanks

    • Patricia Ann

      A great testimony I must share to all cancer patients in the world. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 primary liver cancer in
      March 2013. The doctor told us there was not much to be done since the tumor was 7 inches covering his lower lobe and also had
      spread to his lymph nodes. We decided to go home and called hospice which gave us morphine for pain. Ed hated the morphine which
      made him vomit and also affected his mind. After one week at home we decided to do what we have done for many years, rely on
      ourselves.We were only in Hospital for 3 days with severe Pain. The cancer had blocked his bile duct, after that we choose a
      Naturopath doctor and have not had conventional treatments. one day i came across the use of cannabis oil for treatment of cancer
      and i saw a post on how a cancer patient was cured with cannabis oil. I urgently needed help and i contacted the email :( phoenixtears44@gmail.com) to get the cannabis oil, i was given instructional guide on how to use it. After taking a gram
      of oil per day. Within a couple of weeks his pain and swollen stomach disappeared and with it came hope and a good quality of
      life. We never saw an ocologist and only have done a blood test after the first diagnose CT scan. His tumor marker went from over
      6000 to normal and he is feeling well. We don’t know how this is going to play out, but enjoy every day and give thanks. As i am
      writing this post, my husband is free from liver cancer and the doctor confirmed that the cancer was cured permanently. For
      immediate assistance on every medical issue you and your family may be experiencing, contact Dr Rick via email: (phoenixtears44@gmail.com) for more information and the delivery process.

    • Duodenal

      Hi All.

      I’d like to share my experiences with this treatment.

      I was diagnosed with BP 10 yrs ago. My main complaint was chronic insomnia. I never had hallucinations or extreme behaviors, like gambling. I kind of doubted the diagnosis but I stuck with the treatment. I tried many different combinations Geodon, trileptil, effexor, lithium, adderall, depkote, klonopin, etc. Nothing I tried helped me get regular sleep unless I was almost knocked out all day. My doctor suggested Alteril and melatonin supplements in addition. Even though some of my symptoms were alleviated I kept using alcohol for the anxiety. For those of you that are curious, my symptoms were irritability, pressured speech, ADD, depression, impulse control (sending poorly worded emails), and nail biting. I thought a lot of these were due to lack of sleep. But, then there’s the fun times where I would be highly creative, talkative, and would act like Michael Scott, character on “The Office”. The doctor’s kept changing the medicines comparing that it was hard to get me stable.

      Then, the side effects started. The klonopin made me irritable. So, part of my instability was a side effect of the treatment. I developed muscle spasms and was in constant pain for over 8 years. I got regular migraines, 3-4 times a month, but couldn’t take medicine because of the lithium. I developed social phobias. I had high blood pressure and took medication. I developed Celiac disease which is lethal if you don’t avoid gluten. I started getting gout flare ups. And I still can’t sleep.

      My girlfriend introduced me to marijuana. I tried it in college but didn’t care for it. However, this time it felt really good. It slowed everything down. It is very relaxing.

      I still have mood swings. I’m high some days. I’m low others. But, I sleep better. I’m much less irritable. I’m more reflective of my actions. I’m nicer to myself. I don’t have any of the side effects listed above. Even if I don’t sleep at night, I can get going more easily in the morning. I’ve lost weight. I don’t have to worry about my liver or my kidneys failing. So, in my case, the side effects are much worse than my condition. I need a lighter touch, but more than ambien. Marijuana works for me.

      I tried the high CBD products that are supposed to treat BP. What seems to work best for me is high THC content. I don’t need the soothing feeling you get with CBD’s, I need to slow my mind down. The THC seems to do that best.

      If you’re in CA and you want to explore this treatment, take your prescription to Harborside. They took a lot of time with me explaining the sensations you’ll feel and the different products, both of which can be overwhelming. True to my history, the traditional remedies didn’t work, i.e., sativa helps me sleep better than indica. Based on my experience, I think everyone should investigate it like any of the treatment options. If you do try it, be prepared to experiment, play around a little.

      I’m happy to read the stories of people this treatment has helped. The medications can really change you. It’s great to get some relief without all the side effect baggage.

    • Ivailo jotoff

      Well I was smoking A LOT before I recognized my condition. And to be honest what it was doing for me was unlocking slight maniacal episodes. Yes, it helps your fight against the constant feeling of mild depression, but I don’t think is the right way. You become addicted to the better reallity it gives you, but doesn’t help you embrace reallity the way it is. I feel like the key to controlling this condition is hidden in positioning yourself well in the real world. This way everytime you start drifting no matter high up or low down you can say to yourself “I know who I am, I know where I stand”. Everyother balance nomatter through meds or drugs seems like a great dilusion that can get you somewhere, but not to happiness with yourself.

      • Joshua

        I felt that way too, but I was taking some pretty strong psychiatric stuff and it hurt A LOT before I caved and tried marijuana. This isn’t Brave New World, but it doesn’t have to be 1984 either. If marijuana works for you, then do it. A drug is a drug is a drug and there are no magic bullets.

      • darklordofgorgoroth

        Yes, smoking marijuana for bipolar is in fact embracing a false reality. However, that “reality” may very well be better than being medicated to the point where nothing interests you at all and you’re just staring into your pc screen.. Or even better, unmedicated and climbing on the walls..

    • Mandyraye

      No one should be promoting marijuana for someone who suffers from manic episodes. You clearly have no idea the devastating affect it can have. It is known to cause or escalate manic episodes, not help them. Sadly when people are escalating into mania they may believe marijuana is helping when in fact it makes them worse and causes some medications, like zyprexa, to clear their system too fast to bring them down. If anyone on this thread is considering trying it after reading these posts please study it further. I have first hand experience of what it does in three people with bipolar disorder I. I have studied it in depth. If you want to end up losing everything, in jail, or dead then maybe its the treatment for you. There are very large spectrum/degrees of Bipolar Disorder. And there is a ‘big’ difference between bipolar disorder II and Bipolar Disorder I with extreme manic episodes. You can’t comprehend it unless you or a loved one experiences it. No matter how desperate you are to help a loved one please do not suggest marijuana unless you have some really fool proof plan to get them into a hospital if it doesn’t work the way these people are leading you to believe it will.
      Thankfully after ten years of frequent manic episodes, which always led to forced hospitalization and severe consequences, my loved one has been stable three years on the lowest does of Zyprexa. It took much more to bring him down initially. After he came down we had to find the dose that kept him from escalating but not overmedicated and sleeping 24/7. The doctors used to prescribe him a cocktail of other meds, including Depakote, that caused horrendous side affects. He is now stable on Zyprexa 2.5 mg (half lowest dose). The dose is increased as needed when we notice he’s starting to escalate, usually during times of stress or over excitement, and then decreased again. It took my husband a full three months to fully stabilize and he slept well into the day/early evening during that time. I believe this was more a part of coming down from such a high mania than from the Zyprexa (my opinion). His doctor wanted to prescribe him new medications at every visit. The side affects/after affects from mania subsided and now he has minimal side affects and is finally himself again. My loved one also suffers with anxiety, FAE, and other issues. Doctors do not always know what’s best. They gave him Lamictal to help during the months he was sleeping which immediately started causing escalation. My loved one said he believes it took over a year for his natural endorphins to work again after his last manic episode. It was his worst one and lasted for over six months with three being so high he was hallucinating. So maybe it’s not the medication keeping you from feeling any joy. Maybe it’s the after affect of your last episode. All I know is he is finally enjoying life again and ‘normal’ and still on the same dose. I sure hope time and less medications would help others. But I would sure try that before marijuana.
      *Written with very much love for anyone suffering from this devastating illness and those who love them.

      • Dan

        I have bipolar disorder, I’ve been suffering from it since I was 20. I’ve managed to live a relatively successful life while dealing with my illness. Over the years I’ve noticed a trend in behaviour; my winter’s are the worst, I’m usually quite depressed all winter and when springs comes I sometimes go into a hypomanic state. I’ve used marijuana since I was 18, my first stint in the hospital identified me with “Drug induced psychosis”. After the second stint in the hospital they deemed me bipolar. I’ve been in the hospital a total of 5 times due to manic psychosis. You’re story is amazing and I’m glad your loved one is doing better but I always question my illness and marijuana use, Just like any drug prescribed by a doctor may not be the right fit for a patient, marijuana is not right for everyone. But what I can tell you is this, I may not have survived these long dark dreadful winters if it was not for marijuana and the light it has brought me.

    • Joshua

      Lamictal and Pristiq worked for my anxiety and depression. However, so does medicinal cannabis treatments. The only difference is the side effects. When I was on Lamictal and Pristiq I had rashes, apathy, insomnia, pancreatitis (the doctors didn’t even look for drug interactions), manic episodes, spasms, insomnia, dry mouth, consistent urination, constipation, over eating, psychotic breaks, no emotions. Withdrawal from these drugs were even worse, migraines, fever, aches and pains, crawling skin, uncontrollable crying, insomnia, irritability, anger, depression, manic episodes, jaw pain, shakes. The only thing that made any of this manageable was cannabis. On a side note, after 4 months, the side effects from the Lamictal and Pristiq are gone, I’m able to move my neck again, I get 8 hours of sleep a night, I’m running – walking 7 miles (thanks couch to 5K), I rarely binge eat, I’m able to concentrate, and I’m still a straight A student. Unfortunately, my caregivers are being locked up, and the people that are supposed to be helping us don’t really care if we get well. Our government and our doctors are betraying the mental health community by refusing to study CBD and THC. They are not weighing their benefits and prescribing what’s best for patients. Unfortunately, we can’t do that because of our government’s, propaganda, greed and lies. A government that will feed Oxycotin to children but refuses to support any research to make cannabis safe and available to everyone.

    • leonard band

      Hello my name is Sancho Grecia Pedro base in United State of America, my wife was suffering from Breast Cancer and the doctor told me that there was nothing that he could do to save my beloved wife. Then a friend told me about the Rick Simpson hemp oil that can cure cancer, i told him that my wife’s breast cancer was in the last stage that i don’t think the hemp oil would cure it and he persuaded me to try it, for the love of my wife, i decided to give it a try.

      I did some research and i found a doctor who helped me with the cannabis oil to cure my wife’s breast cancer and he assured me that after 4 months the cancer would be no more,here is the email to contact: ricksimpsoncannaoilservice@gmail.com

      I bought it and she used it, it worked exactly as the doctor prescribed it. Thanks to doctor Thomas for taking away sorrow in my life. can you all imagine, that my wife have a 6 years old daughter and a 3 years old son, what would i have done. God will bless Dr. RICK Simpson for helping me with cannabis oil and for his support and care.

      contact: ricksimpsoncannaoilservice@gmail.com what can i say unto my LORD, all i have to say is THANK YOU LORD…,/

    • William Carter II

      My name is William Carter and I used to smoke marijuana and self medicate with it. What made sense to me was that there were no adverse side effects of smoking the marijuana versus taking medications. I have been clean of smoking marijuana for a year now I’m also on a medication called Systema and it is an injectable. I hope this information helps with anybody that is dealing with bipolar disorder because I deal with it each and every day.

    • Matt Watt

      I’m 24 year old and I have bipolar. In my experience pot has only enhanced my symptoms by making the highs higher and the lows lower. When I’m hypomanic, if I smoke up the level of euphoria I experience is insane. I can’t imagine a better feeling. The trouble is that while it intensifies my highs it does the same to my lows. When I’m feeling depressed, pot is the worst thing I can do. I find that smoking up at the wrong time can trigger a serious depressive episode, sometimes even a dreaded mixed episode. I have been hooked on pot on and off for about 6-7 years. For the last 2 months I haven’t touched it and while I’m still experiencing symptoms, my mood is noticeably more stable. My opinion is that pot and bipolar do not mix. I would even say that it makes your bipolar worse. I think this article is enabling people and validating self-destructive behaviour.

    • Amy Aguilar

      I been smoking for years with this bi polar illness I used to take pills.. I’ve been off of pills for 6 years. But my doctor wants me bac on lithium how is it gunna b with me smoking I started today with taking pills but 8 want to smoke how is my body going to react to that

    • jenybee3

      I’m looking for help with cannabis and Bipolar Disorder 2. I’ve been trying a few strains but not all day and would love to get off some of my several medications….lamictal, trazedone and cymbalta. I enjoy smoking and the THC part.

    • Carla le Roux

      Hello

      My son is 19 and has Bipolar 2. His depression is the worse problem, as is with Bipolar 2. He has been on all kinds of chemical meds for the past two years, and nothing worked. In fact, it made him worse. He had so many dreams and it all crashed due to his inability to function normal. He has no life and it was heart breaking to see all his school friends starting their lives after school, while all he could do is lie in bed and eventually contemplated suicide. Eventually he also started developing back ache, kidney problems, lung problems, which are all attributed to mood stabilizers such as Epilum and Lithium he was on.

      About 3 months ago he went cold turkey on all his chemical meds and started smoking marijuana. He did a lot of research and was adamant to try it.

      At first I could not handle it. But I did a lot of research and realised the miracle this actually is. He is much much better now and can function normal, although he still cannot handle a lot of stress. The only problem left is that he must now find a life again.

      In my community and in our country smoking marijuana is a no no (South Africa) and you are severely discriminated against should it be found out. People are too ignorant to understand the medical use of it. So my poor son is permanently alone, just working in my garden and hanging around the house, too scared to go out and people smell it on him.

      So my goal now is to somehow figure out how to create him a life where he does not need to stress or worry about other people. This is what I need to do now.

      I am not sure how, but somehow I need to make changes in our lives. My son can’t spend the rest of his life hiding at home as if he is a criminal. This is unacceptable. I am just not sure what to do….

    • nicole

      When i was 18, I was diagnosed as Bipolar in an Inpatient Hospital that I was in for my Eating Disorder which was due to my Bipolar Disorder. I was put on 3 different kinds of medication and when released saw a different psych was put on about 4 or 5 different medications ranging from 400-1000MG of each one. Before my entertance to the hospital I was self medicating with cannbis which my parents were very against. I found it help keep my mood from going out of control, my food intake, anixtey but most of all my sleep (Which effected by mood a lot if I didn’t get enough ) I had a hard time with staying stable. I went through jobs like no tomorrow before and after medicated. When I was on all the pills, I didn’t smoke much because the mix between the meds and smoking was horrible. The medication just ended me back in the hospital and I was still engaging in behaviors including my eating disorder and self harm. According to my psych at the time, I was the only patient who relapsed of his. (Which I find hard to believe) We were paying him about 300-400 dollars every session because he took no insurance. When I went back into the hospital, he refused to see when I was released. I went to another doctor who gave me one pill that I couldn’t take due to the side effects. I found myself doing the one thing I knew helped, smoking cannabis. My parents treated to call the cops more then once. I did what I had too. They were afraid of me over dosing because I tired once about 3 years ago and until this day, they lock any sleeping or pain meds in there room. If I would be able to use cannabis to control my mood. The fear they have of me over dosing who be non-existent. The battle between the laws and my parents on cannabis is something I am willing to put up with to get the medication that works for me even if my parents disagree. Finding out that soon it will be legal medically in PA, my dad still fights that he has read left and right that it makes Bipolar Disorder worse. It hurts me because I am the one that has to live with it everyday. I am the one that suffers and has to down over 12 pills everyday. It’s sick. When I could take one and live a normal life. That’s all I want.

    • smbelaen

      Some of you say it has helped with mood swings. Is it because moodnswings are a withdrawal symptom and you haven’t stopped smoking long enough to stabilise? Or were you bipolar prior to using marijuana and found much relief when using marijuana? Also, do your moodswings worsen when you are not using marijuana?