CBD Oil And Mood Swings

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CBD has been touted to help a number of mental health conditions. Learn if there is any evidence of CBD helping people with bipolar disorder. 1,631 People reported taking CBD for mood disorders 70% Female 28% Male 2% Prefer not to say Of the participants taking CBD for a mood disorder, most stated that they had anxiety, depression, or both. The most common types of anxiety were generalized anxiety disorder (50% of all participants taking CBD for anxiety), social anxiety (10%), and panic disorder (10%). Your mood greatly impacts your work & personal life. This post covers CBD benefits for mood disorders, CBD and serotonin, & types of CBD products.

CBD for Bipolar Disorder: Does It Help?

Laura Dorwart is a health journalist with expertise in disability rights, mental health, and pregnancy-related conditions. She has written for publications like SELF, The New York Times, VICE, and The Guardian.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Erika Prouty, PharmD, is a professional community pharmacist who aids patients in medication management and pharmacy services in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Bipolar disorder refers to a group of mental health disorders that cause extreme highs and lows in mood. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMS), 4.4% of adults in the United States experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.

A person with bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, experiences disruptive mood fluctuations that interfere with their daily functioning in relationships, work, school, and family life. These mood fluctuations usually include both “high highs,” such as mania and hypomania, and “low lows” in the form of depressive episodes.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been touted as a possible way of treating the symptoms of bipolar disorder. While there’s some evidence that CBD oil can help people with bipolar disorder, there hasn’t been enough research to establish its long-term safety and effectiveness.

Learn more about CBD for bipolar disorder, including its safety, effectiveness, drawbacks, and alternatives.

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What Is CBD?

CBD is one of the active ingredients in the Cannabis sativa plant (marijuana). Although it’s a chemical derived from marijuana, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In other words, CBD won’t get you “high” like THC.

CBD is believed to act on the body’s central nervous system to produce a calming, relaxing effect that could help with anxiety and other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder. Some evidence suggests that it also might have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.

Is CBD Addictive?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s no evidence of any risk of chemical dependency or addiction when it comes to CBD.

And while CBD’s legal restrictions vary from state to state, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has legalized its use for clinical trials. One product containing CBD—Epidiolex—was FDA approved in 2018 for use in the treatment of seizures in certain rare childhood epileptic disorders.

You can take CBD in various forms, including:

  • Oils
  • Tinctures (plant extracts dissolved in an alcohol solvent)
  • Tablets and capsules
  • Vaping
  • Edibles, such as gummies
  • Topicals, such as lotions and creams

Because CBD’s legal status varies so widely across the United States, it’s always wise to check your local and state laws before purchasing any product containing CBD.

The Science Behind CBD

CBD oil isn’t yet established as an evidence-based treatment for bipolar disorder. Research is ongoing, with many clinical trials underway.

However, it’s believed that CBD works by acting on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system isn’t yet entirely understood by researchers, but some believe it plays a role in many important functions, such as pain and mood regulation as well as inflammation.

Early research indicates that CBD might serve as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder.

One 2020 review argues that CBD might be helpful in the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder due to its calming, antidepressant effects.

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A 2020 clinical trial suggests that CBD could be beneficial as an “adjunctive,” or supplemental, treatment for bipolar depression.

CBD has also been shown to have an anxiety-reducing effect and shows therapeutic potential in the treatment of addictions. This could be beneficial to people with bipolar disorder because many people with mood disorders also have comorbid mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders and substance use disorder.

CBD and Its Potential Benefits

CBD is being investigated for use in the treatment of a number of mental health disorders and neurological conditions. These include schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Drawbacks

There are certain drawbacks to taking CBD for bipolar disorder. People who use CBD products might experience a range of side effects, including:

CBD can also interact with other medications, such as blood thinners, and it can affect your liver enzymes.

If you take CBD, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know so they can warn you about any potential drug interactions or negative effects on your liver function. You also shouldn’t drink alcohol if you’re using CBD, as the interaction between the two substances could enhance their sedative effects.

There’s limited evidence in initial animal studies that the male reproductive system could be affected by CBD use. So if you’re trying to conceive, you might want to hold off on using CBD or ask your healthcare provider if CBD is safe to use.

Also, most products containing CBD aren’t regulated or approved by the FDA. This means that you can’t guarantee that what you buy is safe, pure, or high-quality. A CBD product could contain THC or even contaminants like pesticides, so choose carefully.

CBD Alternatives

There are many evidence-based alternatives to using CBD for bipolar disorder symptoms. Here are some of the many available alternative treatments for bipolar disorder:

  • Medication: There are a number of prescription medications available to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers such as lithium, as well as anticonvulsants and antipsychotic drugs, may be prescribed by a psychiatrist to help regulate your moods.
  • Psychotherapy:Talk therapy with a trusted psychotherapist, as well as support groups led by qualified mental health counselors, can help you work through the emotional and social challenges of living with bipolar disorder.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help people with bipolar disorder by releasing endorphins that improve their sense of well-being.
  • Relaxation and mindfulness techniques: Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, and mindfulness techniques such as yoga and meditation, can have a calming effect and help you regulate your emotions in times of stress.
  • Sleep hygiene:Insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation can worsen the effects of bipolar disorder. Practicing good sleep habits, such as going to bed at the same time every night, can go a long way in curbing bipolar disorder symptoms.

Summary

Some researchers believe that CBD, a chemical compound derived from marijuana, could be helpful in treating some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions.

Early evidence suggests that CBD oil could play a role in regulating mood and alleviating depression. Drawbacks can include mild to moderate side effects like nausea and fatigue, as well as potential drug interactions and negative effects on liver function.

Alternative treatments for bipolar disorder include prescription drugs, psychotherapy, mindfulness techniques, and lifestyle changes.

A Word From Verywell

CBD is widely believed to be safe and potentially effective in the treatment of various mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder. However, it’s not FDA approved as a treatment for bipolar disorder, and research into its benefits and long-term side effects is still ongoing.

If you decide to take CBD for bipolar disorder, make sure to let your healthcare provider know so they can warn you about any potential side effects or drug interactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Research on CBD and its potential interactions with other drugs is ongoing. There is some preliminary evidence that CBD could interact with lithium, which is frequently prescribed to people with bipolar disorder as a mood stabilizer. This interaction could potentially cause lithium toxicity, a serious condition.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the chemical compounds (called “cannabinoids”) found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis also contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active component of marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties; in other words, it won’t give you a “high.”

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The only FDA-approved product containing CBD is a pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil called Epidiolex, which is used to prevent seizures in people with two different childhood epileptic disorders. Because most CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA, it’s important to check the product labels yourself.

Always check your CBD product’s certificate of analysis (COA) to see if it’s been tested for THC and contaminants. Also, CBD derived from hemp grown in the U.S. rather than overseas might be a safer bet in terms of the federal and local testing requirements.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

National Institute of Mental Health. Bipolar disorder.

Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1

Khan R, Naveed S, Mian N, et al. The therapeutic role of cannabidiol in mental health: a systematic review. J Cannabis Res. 2020;2(2). doi:10.1186/s4438-019-0012-y

Oberbarnscheidt T, Miller NS. The impact of cannabidiol on psychiatric and medical conditions. J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(7):393-403. doi:10.14740/jocmr4159

Singh RK, Dillon B, Tatum DA, et al. Drug-drug interactions between cannabidiol and lithium. Child Neurol Open. 2020;7. doi:10.1177/2329048X20947896

CBD for Mood Disorders

Of the participants taking CBD for a mood disorder, most stated that they had anxiety, depression, or both. The most common types of anxiety were generalized anxiety disorder (50% of all participants taking CBD for anxiety), social anxiety (10%), and panic disorder (10%).

Most people with depression (58% of all participants taking CBD for depression) were not sure what type they had. Twelve percent of people taking CBD for depression said they had major depressive disorder, and seven percent said they had bipolar depression.

Most participants reported that their anxiety and/or depression were of moderate severity.

Types of Mood Disorders
Severity of Anxiety
Severity of Depression

Efficacy

Survey participants were asked to rate how CBD impacted 11 common symptoms of mood disorders (see chart below), indicating whether the symptom was a “much better,” “little better,” “no change,” a “little worse,” or “lot worse.” CBD appeared to be quite effective as an anti-anxiety agent and anti-depressant. Participants reported that it performed especially well at mitigating feelings of nervousness. Ninety-two percent of people experienced some relief, and 68% reported that feelings of nervousness were “much better” with CBD . CBD also performed well at relieving panic attacks, mitigating mood swings, and quelling feelings of agitation, irritability, and sadness.

CBD was less effective at mitigating difficulties concentrating, lack of interest in activities, and digestive upset. While still somewhat helpful for most, seventeen percent of people reported no improvement in these symptoms. And, 3% of people reported that the ability to concentrate worsened with CBD .

Three Benefits of CBD Oil for Mood Regulation

It is normal for one’s mood to change, depending on the circumstances. But if you experience long periods of extreme moods, it might not be normal, and you could be suffering from a mood disorder.

Mood disorder refers to either extreme happiness, sadness, or a fluctuation between the two. Some people suffer from mood disorders without even realizing it, especially when linked to extreme happiness.

It can range from clinical conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia to substance-induced disorders and those triggered by a general medical condition.

Whether positive or negative, mood disorders can influence your behavior and affect your ability to engage in everyday activities such as learning or work. For some, taking CBD oil for sleep works wonders and can uplift their moods within minutes. In this post, we’ll go over CBD benefits for mood disorders, how CBD and serotonin go hand in hand, and variations of CBD products including CBD gummies.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the phytochemicals called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant or weed gummies. Cannabinoids are similar in chemical composition to endocannabinoids, produced by the human body.

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Since they have a “feel good” effect, cannabinoids are useful in regulating mood. When you feel relaxed, secure, and involved in an activity that makes you happy, your body produces endocannabinoids, and that is what causes you to feel good.

Cannabinoids bind to receptors that determine the nature of the response they trigger. The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis.

Generally, most functions in the body rely on the endocannabinoid system to maintain balance. Whether your body needs to contain inflammation or control pain depends on the endocannabinoid system.

Anandamide is the primary endocannabinoid molecule and is mostly responsible for regulating mood. You will generally experience low moods when your body cannot produce enough anandamide or when it can’t adequately process the amount produced.

CBD can boost your anandamide levels whenever they drop. A study on the effects of CBD on the body found that CBD enhances anandamide signaling. That means CBD could help ease the symptoms when struggling with a mood disorder. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of CBD oil for mood regulation.

How CBD Helps with Mood

#1. CBD Affects Serotonin Availability

Scientists believe that CBD affects serotonin levels in a way that could help with depression and related disorders. Serotonin is a hormone that stabilizes mood. It also affects feelings of well-being and happiness.

Serotonin also functions as a neurotransmitter and links communication between brain cells and nervous system cells. When your serotonin levels fall, you will likely experience a shift in mood. So, serotonin is your natural mood stabilizer.

While CBD can help with your serotonin levels, it does not directly affect serotonin. Instead, it influences how the brain responds to the available serotonin. If your body produces enough serotonin, but your system doesn’t process it effectively, then taking CBD may improve your brain’s response to serotonin. By attaching to the same receptors as serotonin, CBD acts as a serotonin antagonist, allowing serotonin levels to accumulate in the brain. This is why CBD for mood swings is commonly used.

Learn More Ways to Increase Serotonin Levels

We dug deep into serotonin to provide the ultimate list of tips and tricks for boosting serotonin levels for more energy, better sleep, and improved moods.

#2. CBD and Anxiety

Anxiety is often an underlying condition for mood disorders. Most people who are always anxious have a lot of ups and downs. When people are faced with situations that make them anxious, it is natural for their moods to change.

Does CBD Help Anxiety?

If anxiety is the underlying cause of your mood swings, then treating your anxiety could help manage mood disorder symptoms. CBD has anti-anxiety properties that could help calm your nerves and alleviate your anxiety symptoms.

#3. CBD Improves Sleep

You probably know from experience that sleep affects mood. When you don’t get enough sleep, you tend to be more short-tempered, irritable, and more vulnerable to stress

Studies show that having an inadequate sleep or experiencing sleep disturbances could have significant effects on mood. Sometimes, just taking a nap can help return your mood to normal. But what if you experience sleeplessness and or wake up a lot at night?

CBD improves sleep in both how it affects melatonin and its anti-anxiety properties. Taking CBD for sleep minutes before going to bed can help improve your sleep quality to fall asleep fast and not experience sleep disturbances. Some CBD users report using it as a sleep aid.

Research has shown that CBD improves sleep quality. CBD can help you fall asleep faster and keep you asleep longer. CBD also enhances the effects of melatonin, the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle.

So, if you struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep, taking CBD oil before going to bed could improve your sleep quality. When you get quality sleep, you will be less prone to mood disorders.

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