Cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder: a review and discussion of their therapeutic potential
C. H. Ashton, P. B. Moore, P. Gallagher, A. H. Young
Department of Psychiatry, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 293-300 (2005)
Bipolar affective disorder is often poorly controlled by prescribed drugs.
Cannabis use is common in patients with this disorder and anecdotal reports
suggest that some patients take it to alleviate symptoms of both mania and
depression. We undertook a literature review of cannabis use by patients
with bipolar disorder and of the neuropharmacological properties of
cannabinoids suggesting possible therapeutic effects in this condition.
No systematic studies of cannabinoids in bipolar disorder were found to exist,
although some patients claim that cannabis relieves symptoms of mania and/or
depression. The cannabinoids 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol
(CBD) may exert sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant,
antipsychotic and anticonvulsant effects. Pure synthetic cannabinoids, such
as dronabinol and nabilone and specific plant extracts containing THC, CBD,
or amixture of the two in known concentrations, are available and can be
delivered sublingually. Controlled trials of these cannabinoids as
adjunctive medication in bipolar disorder are now indicated.
Distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
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