Study: Cannabis Has ‘Uniquely Beneficial Effects’ on People With Bipolar Disorder

Study: Cannabis Has ‘Uniquely Beneficial Effects’ on People With Bipolar Disorder
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Although psychotherapy and pharmaceutical medications are typically recommended for treating specific disorders, like bipolar, a new study has found that cannabis could have “uniquely beneficial effects” for those affected. Around 46 million people around the world have symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is generally characterized by atypical shifts in mood, energy, activity, concentration and ability to move through day-to-day tasks. It’s known for causing ranging, sometimes erratically shifting, moods ranging from a manic, energized “high” or “up,” to more depressive periods, leaving people feeling “low” or “down,” often sad, indifferent, or demotivated.  There are three types of bipolar disorder. Each involves similar changes, though bipolar I disorder is characterized by high and low periods lasting at least seven days, sometimes lasting weeks at a time. Bipolar II is characterized by less severe episodes, and cyclothymic disorder references recurring hypomanic and depressive symptoms not intense enough to qualify as bipolar I or II episodes. Researchers referenced in the study, presented at the Neuroscience 2022 conference, that cannabis use is already highly prevalent among people with bipolar disorder. The question was, exactly how helpful is cannabis in alleviating the symptoms?  To pin down the effects of cannabis on those with bipolar, researchers recruited people with and without the disorder, along with cannabis users and non-users in each group, analyzing each combination. Participants were tested on cognitive battery measuring risky decision-making, reward-learning, and sustained attention.  Ultimately, researchers confirmed that cannabis indeed could hold some special benefits for those with bipolar, specifically in helping to reduce risky decision-making. Researchers also suggested that cannabis reduces the dopaminergic activity in the brain, which helps suppress symptoms, and found that cannabis had moderate effects on punishment sensitivity and sustained attention. “Chronic cannabis use was associated with a modest improvement in some cognitive functions,” authors noted. “Cannabis…

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