Living with bipolar disorder presents an ongoing struggle for many, with mood swings that can range from devastating lows to dangerously high euphoria. Amidst the search for effective management strategies, a critical question arises: does weed help with bipolar disorder? Anecdotal reports from online forums are filled with stories of both positive and negative experiences, leaving those seeking answers with more confusion than clarity.

Delving into the heat of this controversial topic, we explore and investigate the intersection of mental health and an unconventional approach. In this blog post, we examine scientific research, expert opinions, and personal accounts, aiming to provide a balanced and informative perspective.


Understanding Bipolar Disorder

A middle-aged woman sitting on a sofa appears distressed. The image is layered with a transparent overlay of her in a contrasting emotional state, smiling and laughing, symbolising the contrasting moods experienced by individuals with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a mood condition marked by significant shifts in mood. Individuals with this condition experience episodes of heightened emotions, known as mania or hypomania, as well as periods of intense sadness and despair, known as depression.

Bipolar disorder can manifest in three primary ways:

Type Description
Bipolar I Characterised by at least one manic episode. These may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or depressive episodes.
Bipolar II Presence of both hypomanic and major depressive episodes. The absence of full-blown mania distinguishes it from other forms of the condition.
Cyclothymia A milder form characterised by frequent periods of hypomanic symptoms and mild depressive symptoms lasting at least two years.


Symptoms and Challenges

The symptoms vary depending on the type and the individual. However, some common symptoms are associated with each mood episode.

Episode Symptoms
  • Elevated mood
  • Increased energy and activity
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Grandiosity
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability
  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviours
  • Symptoms of both mania and depression can occur simultaneously or in rapid succession
  • Can be extremely distressing and difficult to keep in check


Cannabis Use Among Individuals With Bipolar Disorder

Cannabis use is a common occurrence among individuals with bipolar disorder. One 2019 study from Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews has shown that the prevalence of cannabis use in this population is approximately 20-30%, significantly higher than the general population. [1]

Several factors may contribute to the high prevalence of marijuana use among individuals with bipolar disorder:

  • Self-medication: Cannabis is often used as a form of self-medication to cope with symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
  • Comorbidity: Individuals with bipolar disorder are more likely to have other comorbid mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, which may also lead to weed use.
  • Sleep regulation: Disrupted sleep patterns, a common challenge, might be mitigated, as suggested by personal accounts.
  • Social factors: Individuals with bipolar disorder may be more likely to use marijuana if they have friends or family members who use it.

Does Weed Help With Bipolar Disorder?

Research on the effects of marijuana on bipolar disorder yields conflicting results. While some report temporary symptom relief, others experience heightened mood swings. Due to these inconsistencies, it’s crucial to consult with a trusted healthcare provider before considering cannabis as a treatment option.

Potential Benefits of Cannabis in Bipolar Disorder

The question of whether marijuana provides benefits for individuals with mood disorders (such as medical marijuana for schizophrenia) is complex and the subject of ongoing research. While anecdotal reports and some studies suggest potential benefits, the evidence remains limited and inconclusive.

Nonetheless, the exploration of alternatives for alleviating symptoms of bipolar disorder has generated considerable interest. Some potential benefits include:

  • Mood stabilisation: Some studies have reported that cannabis use may help stabilise mood in certain individuals. A pilot investigation published in PLOS One presents evidence of symptom decrease following the use of cannabinoids. [2] However, it is important to note that the result is a partial alleviation of clinical symptoms. 
  • Anxiety reduction: Cannabis has been known to have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties. Some individuals with bipolar disorder report that marijuana helps them manage anxiety symptoms. That said, high doses of THC (the psychoactive component) can also exacerbate anxiety in some cases.
  • CBD use paired with olanzapine medication: An intriguing facet of research sheds light on the combination of CBD with standard medications such as olanzapine, a notable antipsychotic. Findings from a clinical study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggest that this pairing could facilitate overall improvement in managing the condition’s symptoms. Nonetheless, CBD alone could be ineffective for manic episodes. [3]
  • Reduction in risky behaviours and activities: Emerging evidence suggests that certain weed-derived compounds might exert a calming effect on the brain, potentially minimising the impulsivity and heightened risk-taking that are characteristic during manic or hypomanic episodes. [4]

Marijuana and Bipolar Disorder: Risks and Challenges

A young woman sits curled up on a sofa, appearing distressed and deep in thought. She is resting her chin on her hand, looking worried and contemplative. The background shows a window with natural light, highlighting the cosy indoor setting and emphasising her emotional turmoil.

While exploring the potential advantages of cannabinoids in managing certain conditions, it’s critical to weigh these against the possible risks and challenges that may arise. Particularly in the context of mood disorders, understanding the spectrum of possible negative outcomes is essential for safe and informed decision-making.

Some of the key risks of weed and bipolar disorder include the following:

  • Potential for increased manic and psychotic symptoms: Research reveals a link between usage and exacerbation of manic and psychotic episodes among individuals. One longitudinal study from The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease pointed out that consumption could escalate manic symptoms and psychosis in some users, suggesting a complex relationship between usage and the dynamics of mood regulation. [5]
  • Risk of cannabis use disorder (CUD): There is a documented risk of developing a dependency, characterised as cannabis use disorder, especially in frequent users. Research published in JAMA Psychiatry elucidates the risk factors and prevalence of CUD, particularly among those with bipolar disorder. [6]
  • Cognitive impairment among adolescents: The impact on cognitive functions among younger users is a significant concern, with evidence pointing towards long-term impairment. A study featured in the Journal of Psychopharmacology outlines the cognitive deficits observed in adolescent users, ranging from memory impairment to difficulties in learning. [7] Such findings underscore the importance of age considerations in evaluating the safety profiles of cannabinoids. 
  • Increased risk of suicide attempts: Another critical area of concern is the connection between marijuana use disorder and the likelihood of suicidal behaviours in individuals with mood disorders. A 2019 meta-analysis published in Neuroscience & Behavioral Reviews suggests a link between CUD and suicidal attempts in bipolar disorder. [8] Although the association is weak, there is a noticeable correlation that merits further comprehensive assessments. 


Consulting Healthcare Professionals on Marijuana Treatment for Mood Regulation

Before incorporating cannabinoids into a management plan for mood disorders, it is crucial to seek advice from healthcare professionals. Self-medicating without professional guidance can lead to several risks, particularly for those with mood conditions. For instance, cannabinoids can interact with other medications, potentially leading to unwanted effects or reduced efficacy of prescribed treatments. 

Additionally, bipolar disorder and weed together can exacerbate symptoms or introduce new challenges, such as weed paranoia, where individuals experience heightened anxiety or paranoia after consuming marijuana.

When discussing the potential use of cannabinoids with healthcare providers, consider these key points:

Considerations Description
Current Medications Review all medications to avoid harmful interactions.
Mental Health History Discuss any history of anxiety, paranoia, or psychosis.
Symptom Patterns. Detail patterns and severity of mood symptoms to tailor advice effectively.
Previous Experiences Share past experiences, both negative and positive, with cannabinoids.
Dosages and Strains Seek guidance on appropriate dosages and strains, considering individual responses.


Regulated Cannabis vs Black Market Products: Navigating the Options

When considering cannabinoid options for managing bipolar disorder, it is essential to differentiate between regulated products and those obtained from the black market. These differences bear significant implications for safety, efficacy, and overall health outcomes, particularly for individuals navigating the complexities of bipolar spectrum conditions.

Aspect Regulated Products Black Market Products
Quality Control Subject to stringent testing for purity and potency. Lack of oversight leads to inconsistent quality.
Safety Standards Adheres to regulatory standards, ensuring the absence of contaminants. Higher risk of contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.
Labelling Accuracy Provides precise information on cannabinoid content. Often mislabeled or inaccurately reported cannabinoid levels.
Health Risks Lower risk due to rigorous testing. Higher risk of adverse effects (like weed hallucinations) from contaminants.
Cost Generally more expensive due to regulatory compliance costs. Often cheaper, but at the expense of quality and safety.
Product Variety Wide range of options, forms, and strains that are tailored to specific needs. Limited variety, often influenced by availability rather than suitability.


Why Choose Lyphe for Your Medical Cannabis Needs

The logo of Lyphe Clinic.

At Lyphe, we put your health and well-being first, especially when managing complex conditions like mood disorders. We’re committed to offering safe and legal access to medical weed, ensuring you receive top-notch care right from the comfort of your home. 

Here are some key features of choosing Lyphe:

  • Experienced doctors: Utilise the expertise of clinicians who are pioneers in prescribing medical cannabis-based treatments in the UK.
  • 100% online services: From initial consultation to prescription delivery, all interactions are conveniently online.
  • Dedicated patient support: Our advisors provide continuous assistance to ensure your treatment is effective and your experience is smooth.

Start your journey towards improved health management today. Book your online appointment with Lyphe and access medical marijuana treatment from anywhere in the UK.

Final Takeaway

In exploring the question, “Does weed help with bipolar disorder?” it becomes clear that the answer is multifaceted. While some individuals report significant benefits, scientific research remains inconclusive and highlights potential risks such as increased paranoia and exacerbation of symptoms. 

Consulting healthcare professionals is essential to navigate these complexities safely. If you are considering this path, your safest bet is a trusted provider that offers professional oversight and legal protections. Lyphe stands ready to ensure that your steps toward holistic health are taken with the utmost care and expertise.

Take control of your journey to well-being. Schedule your consultation with Lyphe today, where your health is our utmost priority.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best treatment for bipolar disorder?

The best treatment for bipolar disorder typically involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle adjustments tailored to the individual’s specific needs and symptoms. Consulting with a psychiatrist is crucial to determining the most effective strategy for managing this condition.


How to calm a bipolar person?

To calm someone with bipolar disorder, offer a supportive and non-judgmental environment, encouraging them to express their feelings while maintaining a calm and steady demeanour. It’s also beneficial to gently suggest techniques like deep breathing or meditation, which can help soothe acute distress.


What is unhealthy coping for bipolar people?

Unhealthy coping mechanisms for individuals with bipolar disorder can include substance abuse, neglecting treatment plans, or engaging in risky behaviours. These approaches may provide temporary distraction but often worsen symptoms and overall well-being in the long term.


What not to do with bipolar disorder?

With bipolar disorder, it’s important to avoid skipping medication doses, ignoring prescribed treatment plans, or isolating oneself from supportive relationships and environments. Additionally, avoid consuming alcohol or drugs, which can exacerbate the condition’s symptoms and lead to further instability.


What can trigger bipolar disorder?

It can be triggered by various factors, including severe stress, sleep deprivation, and significant life changes such as the loss of a loved one or job changes. Substance abuse and certain medications can also precipitate episodes of mania or depression in susceptible individuals.



  1. Pinto, J. V., Medeiros, L. S., Santana da Rosa, G., Santana de Oliveira, C. E., Crippa, J. A. D. S., Passos, I. C., & Kauer-Sant’Anna, M. (2019). The prevalence and clinical correlates of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder among patients with bipolar disorder: A systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 101, 78-84.
  2. Sagar, K. A., Dahlgren, M. K., Racine, M. T., Dreman, M. W., Olson, D. P., & Gruber, S. A. (2016). Joint Effects: A Pilot Investigation of the Impact of Bipolar Disorder and Marijuana Use on Cognitive Function and Mood. PLOS ONE, 11(6), e0157060.
  3. Zuardi, A., Crippa, J., Dursun, S., Morais, S., Vilela, J., Sanches, R., & Hallak, J. (2008). Cannabidiol was ineffective for manic episode of bipolar affective disorder. Journal of Psychopharmacology.
  4. Stix, G. (2024, February 20). Many people with bipolar disorder use cannabis. it may sometimes help. Scientific American.
  5. van Rossum, I., Boomsma, M., Tenback, D., Reed, C., & van Os, J. (2009). Does cannabis use affect treatment outcome in bipolar disorder? Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 197(1), 35–40.
  6. Jefsen, O. H. (2023). Cannabis Use Disorder and Subsequent Risk of Psychotic and Nonpsychotic Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Disorder. JAMA Psychiatry, 80(8), 803–810.
  7. Sultan, A. A., Mio, M., Dimick, M. K., Zou, Y., Karthikeyan, S., Kolla, N., Lanctot, K., Zack, M., & Goldstein, B. I. (2023). Association of cannabis use with neurocognition in adolescents with bipolar disorder. Journal of Psychopharmacology.
  8. Bartoli, F., Crocamo, C., & Carrà, G. (2019). Cannabis use disorder and suicide attempts in bipolar disorder: A meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 103, 14-20.


The content provided on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly advise readers to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical concerns.
To reflect its medicinal nature rather than recreational use, we prefer the term ‘medical cannabis’ over terms such as ‘marijuana’, “grass”. or ‘dope’ which may carry negative connotations.
The opinions expressed in the blog belong to the respective authors, who are not medical professionals, and may not necessarily align with those of Lyphe Clinic. Lyphe Clinic does not endorse any specific products or services mentioned, except those provided through Lyphe Clinic.
Readers should be aware that the legality of medical cannabis varies by location, and this disclaimer may be subject to periodic updates.

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