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Medical Monday: Why marijuana won’t help bi-polar disorder

Medical marijuana has been shown to be effective for some mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, but certain mental illnesses can actually be worsened with cannabis, and that’s why doctors won’t prescribe it for some cases. Since this is a question we’ve been asked a lot lately, we wanted to explain why a bi-polar diagnosis in particular, will never be approved for a medical marijuana prescription.

The simple answer for this, is that cannabis can actually worsen symptoms of mania and depression in patients with bi-polar disorder. Research has supported this as well as anecdotal accounts, which is why it’s too dangerous to prescribe for people with bi-polar disorder, or those with a history of schizophrenia and/or psychosis.

Research has been specifically linked to the following in bi-polar patients:

  • Cannabis use was associated with increased manic and depressive symptoms.
  • Marijuana use was not associated with self-medicating behavior, meaning subjects tended to use cannabis when feeling good rather than after a manic or depressive episode.

We express our empathy and sympathy for those patients who have a bi-polar diagnosis and cannot qualify for a marijuana prescription, but we wanted to explain the reasoning for that. If you have questions about medical marijuana, please call us: 403-475-4205.

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