Can Marijuana Help Bipolar Disorder?

Nov 09, 2009 , , ,

There has long been reason to think that marijuana may be helpful to some patients with bipolar disorder, as certain cannabinoids have been shown in lab and animal studies to have effects that ought to be beneficial. Now, a new study from the University of Oslo finds that marijuana use is associated with better neurocognitive functioning in bipolar patients. In various tests of memory, learning, etc., bipolar patients who used marijuana did better than those who didn’t use it – the exact opposite of what the researchers found in patients with schizophrenia, a condition marijuana can sometimes worsen. “The findings,” the scientists write, “suggest that cannabis use may be related to improved neurocognition in bipolar disorder.”

40 responses to “Can Marijuana Help Bipolar Disorder?”

  1. As a consumer of cannibis and someone with bi-polar in my family, I’ve often wondered if there may be a positive connection between the two. Thanks Bruce!

  2. Before I say this. I DONOT condon the use of cannabis by kids. Its not for everyone.

    I was terrible in school. D-F stdudent all the way throught school till my junior year. I started using cannabis then. I was a on honor roll both years, junior and senior. Explain that.

    Please kids,dont do it . Just cause it worked for me doesnt mean it will for you. Talk to your doctor and parents.

  3. This is a hard subject to comment on. I have seen that marijuana has worked on this particular individual and it made him stable by being able to self-reflect with is thoughts and feelings, but because marijuana is illegal; he prefers alcohol.
    Then it gets worse ……

  4. I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when I was 15. My life was completely comsumed with drugs and alcohol, even when I was the assistant store manager and produce manager of a large chain grocery store. There was a couple of times in my life that I didn’t even own the car I lived in. I finally decided to quit EVERYTHING except marijuana. After 6 and a half years of smoking cannabis every day every chance I got I now own not only ALL my vehicles but I have purchased a quarter million dollar home and almost have it halfway paid off. ALL BECAUSE OF THE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF MARIJUANA. I dont believe it is for everyone but there are millions of people that it does help.

  5. JD: I read the debate with Evans and Gray.

    Evans jsut pisses me off. He used that ol’ letality of higher potency” of cannabis argument …again. Show me ONE…JUST ONE BODY.

    He also says that if cannabis is legalized,”Once drugs are “legal” then drug sellers can hire lawyers and lobbyists and make donations to political campaigns to further their cause. They will pursue their marketing opportunities and will seek to reduce government regulation.”

    Mr. Evans , What makes you think this isnt already happening? If I was a cartel or dealer, I would be doing this to keep it ILLEGAL!

    You sir ..are a moron!

    Thanks for posting the link JD.

  6. Weed is the only medication I know of that can completely stop a bipolar rage at its peak. Before I even knew I was bipolar I called weed my bullshit shrinker. It stops the rages, it calms the mania, it soothes the depression. Bipolar is destructive. Every episode gets more expensive in every area of your life. It is very much like having multiple entities taking turns at running your life.

  7. I say let those, who think that marijuana may help them in any way, to try it. There is nothing that is more safer and nothing that is so widely used for so many different ailments. There should be a complex and complete study about what cannabis and hemp cannot help heal or help. Keep tokin and overgrow big bro.

  8. Maybe it isn’t for everyone. And I agree on that. Is adderal for every child that has ADD, how about Ritalin is that for every child with ADD. I know my child does better on adderal in school than off of it. We tried all kinds of natural herbs and diet changes and nothing worked. Last year he flunked 7th grade. This year he is back on adderal and is an A and B student. Are some drugs a good thing. Yes. Are some drugs not so good. Yes. Depending upon the persons needs and how they react to a medication tells you whether that medication is right for that person. What if the use of cannabis was never deomonized by Mr. Harry Aslinger by taking the advise of the scientists who he asked to study it and give him the results in which they told him in their report it was not a dangerous substance. What if the use of marijuana and its components were available like opiates, cocaine, and stimulants. With that in mind would you still be against it or would it simply be another drug to treat an illness or symptom. Perhaps. If it works and it has been proven to be safe for many thousands of years then why not give it a chance. If it works great if it doesn’t great there are other things. But without it we will not know the full potential of this plant and we are finally gaining some ground in learning its potential.

  9. Now in Kansas they are thinking about beating the war drums against K2, spice, genie, Zohai. Which has law officials “concerned”. No deaths as of yet because it is a marijuana substitute. No studies have been conducted on this plant mixture but they know it must be bad. 3 days after I and others started commenting on this issue and against making this illegal by not wasting police resources on yet another plant based matter, the story in KMBC can no longer be found. Looks like another loss for “we the people”. Only one person thought negatively about us and our thoughts. Kansas City is ready.

  10. I really don’t think that Marijuana can help Bi-Polar disorder. I am Bi-Polar and have used Marijuana since I was 9 years old and now I’m 40. I have been on every conventional med for Bi-Polar disorder and the trick to this disease is getting to the root problems in the persons life and of course lots and lots of counseling,also if you need to take pharmacuticals and your doc prescribes them by all means do not go against med advice! Take your meds and also supplement them with marijuana,preferably high grade Indica.

  11. This is for MR Idiot Chris Van Berge you screwed yourself sir. It is a known fact that Marijuana can hurt a person at that young of an age. Not till you are grown is your brain ready for drugs like Marijuana. At the age of 18 or so can you actually use marijuana. Once your brain has finally stopped growing can cannibus protect the brain itself. I am sorry for you sir but there is no one you can blame but yourself.

  12. I have been diagnosed with Cadasil diesease. My father had it but passed away before it took affect. It does not affect the persons brain till they are in there 30’s. I now inhale marijuana with a vaporizer and it is a miracle plant for me. I never used drugs before but my doctor prescried it to me and has worked like a charm. I actually remember more now than I did in the past. The only thing is that New York it is still taboo.

  13. Fernando – you think it’s taboo in NY? Try Virginia! And why do you have to resort to calling Chris an MR idiot. Not cool at all! Chris has as much right as you to share his/her experiences. Try vaping a little more often – might mellow you out a little.

  14. My Bff was diagnosed with Bipolar in 2001 (age 24) and smokes on a regular basis.
    I’ve never seen anything like it (and I’m a Social Worker/Counselor, so I’ve seen a good bit)..he’s a highly intelligent man with a degree in engineering, but I swear it’s like he’s able to make it all flow together when he smokes which allows him to progress to the next step instead of walking in circles. Cannibas has anb effect on his ability to focus, I think it “even’s him out”,
    The best part of it all is that it’s “all natural”
    but….its illegal so he could loose his job..either way he wont be able to hold his job down for very long if he doesnt smike it.
    Its shitty to suffer a sense of mental demise.

    P.S. I’m in Alabama……beat that one for sucking!


  15. I suffer from Bi-Polar disorder,and I am also a cannibas smoker.As of now I can not somoke due to drug testing.I feel completly awful.I live in South Carolina where we can not get medical marijuana.we need help in this state.Cannibas helps me so much more than what I am perscribed from my Dr.Please help us. Thank you Charles

  16. I have had bipolar disorder for over 20 years and have long known that I did well on marijuana. In fact for the past 5 years I have been off lithium and only using marijuana with no manic episodes. BTW I do see a Dr who while not comfortable telling me to use marijuana does agree that in my case it seems to work.

  17. I am bipolar. It helps relieve the symptoms but I wouldn’t rely on it. Believe it or not I gave up and got on Abilify recently. I’ve only been on it for 3 weeks now and my life has drastically improved. I’m currently on probation and can’t smoke weed till January. However, I was on medical mj prior to this for years for Bipolar, Insomnia, and ADHD.. Like I said before, it does provide relief for the symptoms and calms mania. Don’t rely on it for depressive phases though. I still will use it and get my medical recommendation here in CA once I’m off PC1000.

  18. I think that they should give marijuana to people who have bipolar disorder…
    Because i know a couple people that are bipolar and when they get high they enjoy life instead of just flipping out over every stupid little thing!

  19. I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when i was 16 & was hospitalized an evaluated. I also have something called obsesive compulsive disorder which is hard to explain but i feel it has something to do with a relitive who has it also & marijuana has helped me cope with it feel normal, otherwise i wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I completly approve of this medical approval.

  20. It’s not an easy thing to do to share our personal stories but here goes.

    In a S.L.C. Federal Court House in early 2002, my bi-polar disorder was mocked by the very person hired to be my ‘expert witness’ as I was the Plaintiff.
    However, I was put on trial as ‘Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction’..their very words!

    I am still trying to this day to obtain that purjured testimony of the puke on trial with his consorts being blatently displayed.

    They re-criminalized me for what…please tell me one more time…what..for getting angry…and sad?

    Glenn Close has a little sister suffering with it now and ironically has become an advocate for bi-polar.

    But at the same time, and here I go again, I hate what the Hollywood crowd did to us all back then with the subliminal damages they portrayed.

    Cardall in S.L.C. just got tazed to death as an innocent bi-polar man.

    A man here in Grantsville was left in his rage with a weapon and no med’s, by the key-stone cops in 2001.

    I think they are liable and everyone else does too!

    He killed his wife, the restauarant owner, himself, and left our Sister wounded with survival.

    I think Utah is trying to set evil precedence against innocent bi-polar people to cover their own mass incompetence..especially in this more than delicate issue.

    Mark Shurtleff has a little daughter suffering with it now.

    I wonder about our future.

  21. He treated me like I had a meth lab instead of a joint.

    That’s what’s on my felony record 0-5 for ‘attempt to manufacture.’

    Elorriaga vs. Tooele County

  22. I am diagnosed bipolor.I havent smoked for years but the meds stopped working completly.I suffer from mania and extream depression at the same time.I am a little curious if a little smoke would hurt or help.

  23. Bipolar is a convenient for the pharmaceutical companies. For decades, I had all the classic symptoms of being bipolar. I also smoked pot religiously for almost 30 years. To “Shell” – While moderate pot use is okay for those without addictive personalities, sustained use will NOT cure your depression. People leave out the most obvious cure – prayer for help. In today’s society, we make a god of our feelings – our feelings become of such paramount importance it’s like an idol – we worship the god of our feelings. Not being so self-centric, doing the right thing whether we feel like it or not, and earnest prayer will work much better than pot or prescription drugs. Through diligent effort, ending ALL drug use, and prayer – I’m emotionally stable and happy. Many will argue back and blast this, but it would be like spitting in the wind. I know what actually worked for me, and possibly it could offer a ray of hope to just one person that needs it. I’m not morally against pot use – in fact, I sometimes miss my pot. But don’t use bipolar or any other fashionable diagnosis as an excuse to get high. If anything, sustained marijuana use contributed to the mood swings. The bible talks about sorcery and I thought “Well we don’t have that sort of goofy stuff anymore. It must have been applicable back then, but not now.” However, the mistranslated Greek was actually “pharmacia” and referred to drug use. We were not meant to alter ourselves constantly. Our feelings don’t define us. If you’re feeling out of control, I’d recommend Joyce Meyer’s tape called Fickle Feelings. She really puts the proper perspective on our emotional health.

  24. I am not sure if I am bi polar but some behaviors I exhibit are manic in nature. I have been a pot smoker for as long as I can remember and am sure of the fast that if I am down and I get high and read the bible my manic episodes are quickly cut off. I have a more relaxed open mind when I am high, and an easier time understanding complicated things too. My faith in the Lord has brought much hope to me, especially during my manic epeisodes. Alcohol makes me feel invincible, and although I am a happy drunk I have done most things I regret in life under the influence. It makes me mad that Pot is so hard for me to get, yet it is the safest thing society could give me. Being a plant given by God makes me feel as though it has it’s purpose. If marijuana was legal the pharm companies would be done with.

  25. Ive been diagnosed with being bi polar for twenty years . Ive been on every kind of medication under the sun! Ive been on high grade B.C. pot for three years and I have never been so balanced in my forty years of life. I still take my meds but with the help of marjuana I feel Incredible and love life again.

  26. Hi!

    I was diagnosed bipolar II when I was 21.

    I must be completely honest, Lamotrigine has helped me very,very much. Before, when I would get off of a stressful shift at night, I would not be able to fall asleep until afternoon the next day. Rather routinely. Marijuana surely softened the edges of my little manic phases, however it did not equalize them; they didn’t cease. This is one way meds really helped.

    I also cannot take antidepressants, in which case MJ helps me very much. For every crying spell I have, marijuana will completely stop it or mellow it a ton. I also never have had suicidal thoughts while high.

    I find that marijuana helps me in my everyday life. I have been using it to “self medicate” since I was 14 (which is very common in people with mental disorders, even unconsciously). It always softens the edge of my extreme irritability and helps me with insomnia. I also am extremely nauseous or completely lose my appetite when hypomanic or stressed to the point of losing weight without desire. Weed helps me eat more and helps me approach others in a more neutral manner. I’ve read recent studies about better cognitive functioning with weed smoking and bipolar disorder, and I am sure there is much more benign research to come.

    *Stepping up on Soap Box*

    It is time for the U.S. government to stop keeping healthy, helpful products away from its citizens for the sake of corporations and profit. Hell, I think that it is a violation of personal rights to not allow others to take whatever drugs they may so freely choose. It is also time for the U.S. to stop its “Big Stick” policy and stop harassing the other 95% of the world that doesn’t care about marijuana use!

    Although I think that smoking marijuana can be beneficial to all, I understand that others think very differently. I also understand that it interacts differently with ever individual, and may not have the same benefits for all. In fact it may be detrimental to some (schizophrenics). Marijuana has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and will continue to be used once science proves the government wrong (kind of like the Church…Galileo anyone?) and the big bad pharmaceutical companies drop dead. The United States is one of only two nations in the world what is allowed to advertise for pharmaceuticals. Stop harming us to make money!!!

    Thank you for taking the time to read about my personal experience,


  27. I would also like to say that I am a constructive pot smoker. I have a double B.A. and am working on grad school admissions =) Pot smokers are not stupid! (All burnouts may be stoners, but not all stoners are burnouts!)


  28. I am only an expert in my personal life. I was told that I suffer from bi-polar II. My mania and depressions are close to equal (45% mania, 55% depression) although it can be hard to identify true manic periods.

    I use alcohol as my medicine. It totally sucks. Removes my mania but makes my depression so much worse. When I use marijuana it makes like so much better. Anxiety is removed, depression is removed, mania is diminished.

    I can’t deal with life anymore because without MJ I use alcohol which just ruins me. I need to find a way to get MJ cheap and easy. The medical centers charge too much. I can’t afford my medication.

    I hope this situation is resolved to allow anyone in the US to get pot for less than 200 an ounce.

    Wish me luck is continue to live before I kill myself because I can’t get effective medication for my condition.

  29. Thank you all for your submissions ! Im fairly new to my bipolar 2 diagnoses and truly hope that mj and lamictal help to stop any symptoms of this condition. It definitely helps to hear the stories of others. There is nothing worse then mania. Good luck all and I hope the stigma of mj as a medicine dissapears .

  30. Before I was diagnosed with my Bipolar 1 disorder I struggled very hard in class And with everything else. I never slept or ate. When i did sleep i had nightmares, then I’d wake up with a racing heart at like 4am With the feeling that i was being watched; ever since 2nd grade. By the time I was 16 years old I had alread experianced mania and depression at the same time, which I later learned was called a Mixed Episode. normally bipolar pateints experiance this when they’re 30-40 years old. My psychologist told me, the fact that I had mixed episodes this young was because I had a very bad case. She was right. 2 years later when i was at college i went into psychosis and contemplated whether I was god or a failing man.
    It was the worst feeling I have ever felt. Voices, whispers, paranoia, and the feeling of I need kill consumed me. At this moment I was experiencing a catatonic episode. I had ruined my whole life. And wasted a lot of money at college & lost my job.
    After dealing with euphoric rage episode after episode my doc told me to check myself in to a hospital. After a few medications, I returned home. A buddy had some marijuana, the good kind, not the ditch shit that ruins marijuanas name.
    Seconds after i did it i was no longer depressed, I could eat, I could sleep, I had no more nightmares, I could concentrate, I could see the world for the first time. & for once in my life I didn’t want to die.
    I know some people get paranoid on it, but when your born paranoid, I believe it takes it away. This is a medicine! It helped me in ways you can’t imagine or would try to imagine. I made it through therapy because marijuana helped me sleep soundly. I’m getting my life/reality back on track because of it. And I’m able to enjoy life for once. With my disorder I can not enjoy life. Take the medicines they give me and try to do life. You couldn’t.
    – You’d fail, or your liver would fail, or you get very fat fast, or all of the above. The medicines are extremely harsh, they could kill an elephant & I’m not exaggerating.

    Bottom line is marijuana gave, & continues to give me perspective when god gave me none. I’m still doing therapy and applying for social security. And in a few years I might take over the family business.
    This plant is one of the greatest creations this earth has provided.

    The government is even realizing it. Which is gift of god. It helps cancer patients even more than it helps me.

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