The first study to examine the use of cannabis in the context of daily life among people with Bipolar Disorder has shown how the drug is linked to increases in both manic and depressive symptoms.
Dr. Elizabeth Tyler of the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University led the study published in PLOS ONE with Professor Steven Jones and colleagues from the University of Manchester, England.
“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 study looked at people diagnosed with bipolar disorder but who were not experiencing a depressive or manic episode during the 6 days the research was carried out,” said Dr. Tyler.
The study found that the odds of using cannabis increased when individuals were in a good mood. Cannabis was also associated with an increase in positive mood, manic symptoms and paradoxically an increase in depressive symptoms, but not in the same individuals.
Dr. Tyler said: “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.”
March 13, 2015