Mar 31, 2016 5:36 AM

How can medical marijuana help with… BIPOLAR DISORDER?

Definition of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder (formerly referred to manic-depressive psychosis), is a mental disorder when periods of mania are shifted by periods of depression. Mania is the term for elevated mood, when the patient feels or acts abnormally happy, cheerfully or energetic, with little regard to consequences. During the periods of mania, need for sleep is typically reduced. Depression brings in a drastic change in behavior: there may be crying, negative outlook on life, and thoughts of self-harm or even suicide. Bipolar disorder if often associated with other mental health issues such as anxiety disorder or substance use disorder.

Although the condition is widespread (according to federal statistics, one of each ten people may bear symptoms of bipolar disorder in the U.S.), medical science does not have a straight answer as to what causes it. It is only clear that both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Such environmental factors include long term stress and a history of childhood abuse.

How can medical marijuana help?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by transitions between depression and mania. Treatment commonly includes psychotherapy and mood stabilizers such as lithium or anticonvulsants. Needless to describe various harmful side effects of these medications, but during severe mood bounces, the patient may not really have a choice. Thankfully, in recent years medical marijuana is becoming legal to prescribe in a number of states, and we already have evidence of clinical research conducted, particularly, in mental hospitals. The two main strains of medical marijuana, indica and sativa, may be used together or separately to treat symptoms as the patient starts to cycle. Indica is helpful in calming excessive emotions, alleviating anxiety, and relieving insomnia, which can be life-threatening during particularly lengthy high cycles. Sativa elevates mood, and acts as a stimulant - an effective treatment for the lows in the person with bipolar disorder.

Lithium deliberately does long term damage to the brain and liver cells, and the expenses for such method of treatment may sum up for thousands of dollars. Medical marijuana is much cheaper in legal states; it would never incur cell damage, and will certainly provide a bit more pleasant treatment experience.

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