General Question

marnette's avatar

Does marajuana really help a person who is Bipolar?

Asked by marnette (4points) December 25th, 2010

My concern is the way the boy acts and my niece doesn’t think anything about it. She has been told that she needs to see a Physciatrist to get on some kind of medicine to control her swings. She said she doesn’t like the it makes her feel and prefers the “natural medicine” of marajuana. while the boy is smelling this, could he be in withdrawals that might be one of the reasons for his actions/

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18 Answers

deni's avatar

you can’t get addicted to weed. you can’t have withdrawals from weed. you especially can’t have withdrawals from something that you’ve only ever gotten a wiff of.

Lightlyseared's avatar

You can get addicted to cannabis and you do get withdrawl symptoms if you suddenly stop using. It has also been linked to an increased risk of pychosis so if you already have an underlying condition it might be wise to avoid it.

Facade's avatar

I don’t know that it would help a person with bipolar depression. It may even aggravate it a bit. It’s a psychedelic, and I don’t think anyone who is dealing with a psychological disorder should indulge in it.
And I agree with @deni– marijuana isn’t addictive and won’t cause withdrawal although I really wish I had some weed right now…

deni's avatar

@Lightlyseared who says you can get addicted?

Hobbes's avatar

@Lightlyseared – If you can, the symptoms are on the level of a caffeine addiction. Some do display signs of psychological addiction, but again it’s nothing really destructive. Many marijuana users smoke regularly and show no signs of addiction, and do not let it interfere with their responsibilities or relationships.

@Facade – I’ve heard numerous anecdotal accounts from personal friends and people on the internet who have said weed helps them with their BPD. I don’t know of any official studies on the subject, but if the girl in question feels it’s helping, who better to judge?

Odysseus's avatar

I doubt it,marijuana is a technically a hallucinogen. Personal experience confirms that for me.
Many researchers have shown that active ingredient in marijuana can cause transient schizophrenia-like symptoms.

Facade's avatar

@Hobbes I suppose, but if the disorder is severe, I wouldn’t mess around with it.

Hobbes's avatar

@Facade – If I were talking to the person in question, I would advise her to try other prescription medications (since she may well find one that she likes). Self-medicating is generally not a good idea, and marijuana is not a replacement for a prescription medication, but that doesn’t mean it will hurt her, and it could in fact do some good.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Marijuana can both help and hurt bipolar. It can temporarily relieve the symptoms, and create a much more balanced mood, but prolonged use make it worse. It’s really much like how cigarettes will help your anxiety in the short-term, but worsen it in the long-term. The occasional toke can help – it’s all about moderation. You can’t become physically addicted to it, like you can with heroin, but you can become psychologically addicted to it, just like anything else.

Rarebear's avatar

I can’t imagine any mind altering drug helping a mental disorder.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Rarebear You do realize that psychotropic drugs like Lithium and Haldol are mind-altering drugs, right?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I know of one anecdotal case of a bipolar kid that this helps them most.

I would also say marijuana is addictive. Its not in a crack or alcohol type of addiction but there is definitely a high possibility of pyschological addiction in some people. I mean myself even, I had to quit for a while and yea I did it without a problem, but im not going to lie, I thought it fucking sucked lol. Your not going to have withdrawal symptoms like getting sick and what not, at least not in my case, but you find the thought “damn I wish I could smoke right now….” traveling through your mind a lot. Then again I use it to help my back pain alot so that was another reason i wanted it :P

I would have to say the addiction to marijuana, for me at least, is just like any other psychological thing you can get addicted to. I feel the same way when I cant play video games or spend time working on my fish tank. Its just something that some people tend to enjoy very much so taking that away can cause one to have those cravings for it.

Xilas's avatar

cant really agree with the addiction part, but thats me.. but i will say i have experience some withdrawal effects.

El_Cadejo's avatar

if you experienced some withdrawal effects then how do you not agree on the addictive part. Your body isnt going through withdrawal from the substance for shits and giggles, its doing it because it wants more.

Hobbes's avatar

Even if it is addictive, whether psychologically or physically, it’s only a problem in my mind if it starts interfering with responsibilities or relationships.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Hobbes I couldnt agree with you more.

Blindian's avatar

Bi-Polar describes a collection of symptoms, which may be the normal reaction to abnormal situations for which a person has no recognized (either by the person or society) coping skills. Bi-Polar medications “stabilize” a person within a pharmacologically defined “normal” zone. As I am fond of saying to my addictions clients, “Pills are not Skills”. The working theory (in the old days before the rise of Big Pharma), the pills were to stabilize you during the most stressful times of your life: death, birth, change in relationship, change in employment, change in geography. The pill, let’s say its xanax (a super valium) was supposed to get you through the rough patch of say three weeks after the death of a loved one, or other normal life stressor. Here’s the problem. In addition to your pills, you were supposed to get counseling from a person who could give you the emotional coping skills to deal with whatever happened to you, so you don’t need the pills. Which in the case of xanax and valium, (physically addiction, in only a week of use, and the withdrawal is potentially fatal). Another downside of pharmaceuticals besides being physically addiction, is that many of them are neurotoxic, and cause irreversible organicity (physical brain damage). So there are risks and benefits from pharmaceuticals. The side effects from pharmaceuticals, are one motivation for people self-medicating themselves with marijuana on top of their psych meds. It makes them feel better. Anything that makes you feel better is addicting. Marijuana is an addictive drug for the same reasons that other addictive drugs are addicting: Tolerance and withdrawal. The severity of the withdrawal depends on the intake. In my addictions practice of nearly 40 years, the severest withdrawal syndromes (described as heroin like by clients) seem to occur between an intake of greater than 1/8th oz – ¼oz 3.5g – 7g for you metric types a day. Consider that an ounce can yield up to 40 joints, and certainly if you have two pack a day cigarette smokers, then it is certainly possible to smoke an ounce a day of high grade sinsemilla in a day, and imagine what the withdrawal would be like from that. I don’t actually have to imagine it ,I’ve seen it.
So whether marijuana can treat bi-polar, depends on the nature of both. Marijuana is not a skill, its a drug, primarily acting along the anandamide pathways in the brain. Its produced from a natural source, without the benefit of a measured dosage. Since it hasn’t been studied for long term effects, and interactions with pharmaceuticals…its hard to say what its long term effects would be in combination with meds. Best thing I could say, is that it depends on the individual. If they were my client, I would say…its not whats wrong with you, bi-polar, its what happened to you…. Are you an abuse survivor, are you untreated for substance abuse, and self-medicating yourself using amphetamines, have you been traumatized, have your people been traumatized? How are you recovering from that trauma, has it been acknowledged, has an acceptable treatment been devised for it by society or your people? And don’t tell me depakote is treatment…sorry…Pills are Not Skills. What are the skills you need to develop? Bi-Polar is the new name for Manic Depressive…are you manic as a response to intense situations, are you depressed because you’ve suppressed your anger? Not a simple answer, not a simple question. Best I could do online.

karen_'s avatar

It does not seem that you quite have a full grasp about either marijuana or Bi-polar. It sounds like you are getting your information from books or other people who don’t know what they are talking about it. The unfortunate fact is that none of the drugs used to treat bi-polar mood are a better choice than marijuana when it comes to the actual effects on the body. Of course I am not talking about the legal risk which could be devastating.
Indeed, marijuana IS a plant and can be used without the risk of certain addiction that accompanies xanax, or the effects of psychiatric medications which can permanently change t he action and neural paths in your brain——and this is no small risk. Marijuana is considered addictive by some——but no one denies that xanax is addictive. You can skip your weed and have no withdrawal, but once you are dependent on xanax, you will not be able to sleep without it——and that truly sucks. Also, people do not have seizures and die from weed “withdrawal” but xanax withdrawal is hardcore and dangerous——and, it can take months and months even under ideal circumstances.

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