Inhaling cannabis can help treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder without any negative cognitive impact, according to a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE.
“Marijuana is the most widely used illicit substance in those diagnosed with bipolar I disorder”, states the study’s abstract. “However, there is conflicting evidence as to whether marijuana may alleviate or exacerbate mood symptomatology.”
Due to this conflicting evidence; “The current study aimed to determine the impact of marijuana on mood in bipolar patients and to examine whether marijuana confers an additional negative impact on cognitive function.”
For the study, 12 patients with bipolar disorder who smoke cannabis (MJBP), 18 bipolar patients who do not smoke (BP), 23 smokers without other Axis 1 pathology (MJ), and 21 healthy controls (HC) “completed a neuropsychological battery.”
Further, using ecological momentary assessment, participants rated their mood three times daily as well as after each instance of cannabis use over a four-week period.
According to researchers; “Results revealed that although the MJ, BP, and MJBP groups each exhibited some degree of cognitive impairment relative to HCs, no significant differences between the BP and MJBP groups were apparent, providing no evidence of an additive negative impact of BPD and MJ use on cognition.”
Additionally, the study states, “ecological momentary assessment analyses indicated alleviation of mood symptoms in the MJBP group after marijuana use; MJBP participants experienced a substantial decrease in a composite measure of mood symptoms.” I
In other words, those with bipolar disorder who consumed cannabis saw substantial relief in their symptoms, which ranged from anger and anxiety to mania.
The study concludes; “Findings suggest that for some bipolar patients, marijuana may result in partial alleviation of clinical symptoms. Moreover, this improvement is not at the expense of additional cognitive impairment.”
The full study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School, Tufts University and McLean Hospital can be found by clicking here.