Cannabinoids help to treat bipolar affective disorder?
We have taken a closer look at the science behind the use of CBD for bipolar affective disorder.
In France: The bipolar disorder classic affects about 1,2% of the adult population is more than 1000000 of cases. Including types II or III we get numbers significantly higher, up to 7% of the population including all "spectrum" bipolar, that is, all related disorders.
In the United States, National Mental Health Institute estimates that 4,4% of adults will receive a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder during their lifetime. About 82,9% of people with this disorder had a severe impairment, the highest percentage of severe impairment among mood disorders. The prevalence of bipolar disorder in adolescents was higher in women (3,3%) than in men (2,6%).
WHAT IS BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual changes in mood, energy, level of activity, and ability to perform daily tasks. A process known as "fast cycling", which involves periods of euphoria (manic episodes) followed by despair (depressive episodes), is a hallmark of the disease.
CBD as antipsychotic
There are four variants of bipolar affective disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic and bipolar. Severity and frequency of symptoms are used to determine which variant is diagnosed. Bipolar I is the most serious form of the disease.
SYMPTOMS OF MANIPULAR EPISODES
Manic episodes, sometimes referred to as manias, are characterized by exaggerated self-esteem, insomnia, racing thoughts and abnormal speech, inability to concentrate, and impulsive behavior. True manic episodes only affect those who have been diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. However, patients with other variants have hypomania, a less severe form of mania.
Although mania is considered the "high" stage of bipolar disorder, it can have disastrous consequences. Many manic episodes lead to hospitalization, psychotic symptoms or severe impairment. Untreated manic episodes can turn into psychosis.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSIVE EPISODES
Depressive episodes mimic a severe form of depression known as major depressive disorder. Symptoms can include feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities. Other features of depressive episodes are changes in sleep patterns and appetite, impaired concentration, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and thoughts or suicidal attempts.
This cycle of bipolar disorder is the "low" point of the disease. Like mania, the severity of depressive episodes varies according to the variant of bipolar disorder present. Patients with bipolar I disorder may have so-called mixed episodes, in which they exhibit both signs of mania and depression.
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
Prescription drugs used in conjunction with psychotherapy can help relieve symptoms in most patients. However, bipolar affective disorder may be resistant to treatment, which makes it difficult to manage in some people. Treatment-resistant is a concern because up to 50% of people diagnosed will attempt suicide at least once in their lifetime.
Drugs prescribed for TB include anticonvulsants, antianemic agents and antidepressants. Using anti-depressants alone may result in mania or a rapid cycle. Mood stabilizers or anticonvulsants are often taken to counteract these possible side effects.
Lithium is the only drug that has a consistent positive effect on suicide rates in bipolar patients. However, more recent research has shown that it may be possible to control this disorder by manipulating the endocannabinoid system. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for binding cannabinoid proteins to receptors.
DYSFUNCTION OF THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endocannabinoid system, discovered in the mid-1990 years, is composed of two receptors, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids, a type of compound found in both the human body and cannabis plants, bind to these receptors to alter brain function. Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the body, while phytocannabinoids are found in cannabis plants.
Studies Post mortem (autopsy) revealed that the brains of patients diagnosed with mental illness, including variants of TB, have abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system. A similar study using mouse brain slices showed that dysfunctional CB2 receptors inhibited serotonin release, suggesting thata healthy endocannabinoid system helps regulate mood.
REGULATION OF THE SYSTEM BY PHYTOCANNABINOIDS
Due to the distribution of endocannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, many of the areas they affect overlap with areas thought to be responsible for bipolar affective disorder, as well as other mental illnesses. Studies have shown that patients with CNR1 specific abnormalities are at a higher risk of being resistant to pharmacological treatments, making them more vulnerable to the effects of bipolar affective disorder.
For patients, phytocannabinoids could provide a way to manipulate the endocannabinoid system and regulate the level of chemicals traditionally targeted by pharmacological drugs. As always with research on hemp and cannabis, these studies are still preliminary. Further research will be needed to prove whether CBD and other cannabinoids can help treat bipolar affective disorder.
Anandamide and THC
anandamide, called the molecule of bliss, is naturally produced in the body and its molecular structure is similar to that of THC. Anandamide and THC bind to CB1 receptors, altering brain areas responsible for memory, concentration, movement, perception, and pleasure.
FAAH genes (the fatty acid amide hydrolas) are responsible for the activation of anandamide. THC supplementation on anandamide deficient brains may help restore the chemical balance. Theoretically, this could alleviate the cycle between the manic and depressive phases.
It has been shown that the Cannabidiol inhibits the reuptake of serotonin in the rat, suggesting that it repairs CB1 receptor abnormalities that inhibit release in mice. If CBD works the same way in the human brain, it could provide an alternative to conventional antidepressants, especially for people who are resistant to treatment.
Un randomized clinical trial found that CBD reduces abnormal brain function in regions associated with psychosis, which implies that it may have therapeutic effects on symptoms associated with the manic phase of TB. If the CBD regulates both depressive and manic symptomsit could help treat people who do not respond well to lithium.
Among cannabinoids CBG and CBCV have been shown to have potential for treating mood disorders such as depression. Other studies could help isolate more of these chemicals and determine their effect on the endocannabinoid system.
THE USE OF CBD AND OTHER CANNABINOIDS FOR BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER
CBD rarely causes side effects. Nevertheless, there are risks associated with both conventional treatment methods and the use of cannabis derivatives as a treatment. The most dangerous side effect of any treatment for TB is the potential worsening of symptoms.
People with symptoms of bipolar affective disorder or who have already been diagnosed with any of these variants should consult a health professional before beginning or changing treatments. Even those with variations of the disease and resistant to treatment can benefit from traditional methods (such as psychotherapy).
The regulation of the endocannabinoid system by phytocannabinoids may provide a means of relieving symptoms Further clinical trials are needed to validate preliminary data, but the future of cannabinoids as a treatment for bipolar disorder appears promising.