In bipolar II disorder, a person typically experiences depressive episodes as well as hypomanic episodes. Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes but less severe and intense. For example, a person in a hypomanic episode may have increased energy, elevated motivation, and rapid speaking, but may not feel like anything is “wrong.” However, friends and family will often notice the shifts in mood.
PTSD is a mental health condition characterized by panic attacks and high anxiety levels. A clinical study found that people with PTSD have lower levels of anandamide and therefore, less stimulation of the endocannabinoid system. Consequently, the researchers of this study suggest that this is a likely contributor to their high anxiety levels.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is reported to cause psychosis, anxiety, and other adverse mental health side effects when taken in large doses. However, research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD), which also comes from cannabis products, may have the opposite effect and actually help reduce anxiety, mania, and panic attacks.
There are two types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I and bipolar II.
Anandamide is known as the “bliss molecule,” and researchers have found a relationship between this molecule and anxiety levels.
"A lot of patients have contacted me from all over Canada, and [are] using cannabidiol to treat depression, bipolar disorder," said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatrist at McGill University's faculty of medicine and the McGill University Health Centre.
Some of the patients she spoke to still elected to use CBD oil, instead of other treatments that have been proven to be effective for conditions like bipolar disorder, she told The Current's guest host Matt Galloway.
More clinical trials needed into cannabidiol's alleged health benefits: researcher
The cannabis extract is non-psychoactive and does not produce a high. It has been touted as a relief for everything from chronic pain to insomnia.
People suffering from serious conditions are forgoing doctor visits in favour of self-medicating with CBD oil, according to one "very worried" researcher.
"It means they're not treated at all, so this is very, very worrisome in our society because people are not cured at the end of the day."