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Bipolar Disorder and Cannabis Use

bipolar disorder and cannabis use

Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that involves extreme emotional highs and lows, and many people who suffer from this form of mental illness use cannabis in order to manage the symptoms. This is not the right solution though. A new study from Lancaster University examined bipolar disorder and cannabis use. This mental condition impacts 2% of the entire population, yet 60% of those with this disorder have used marijuana at some point in order to help them cope with their symptoms. There is only limited research available about this topic, and the specific reasons for the link is not fully clear. The study was led by Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, Lancaster University, clinical psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Tyler. Other study researchers included University of Manchester Professor Steven Jones, Professor Christine Barrowclough, Lesley-Anne Carter, and Nancy Black.

According to Elizabeth Tyler “One theory that is used to explain high levels of drug use is that people use cannabis to self-medicate their symptoms of bipolar disorder. The findings suggest that cannabis is not being used to self-medicate small changes in symptoms within the context of daily life. However, cannabis use itself may be associated with both positive and negative emotional states. We need to find out whether these relationships play out in the longer term as this may have an impact on a person’s course of bipolar disorder.” The researchers studied participants who were diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. The participants were not in either a manic or depressive stage during the 6 day study.

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