Cannabis and mania:: what's the link

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the UK and for several years research has aimed to examine the link between cannabis use and psychosis or psychotic symptoms. We’ve blogged about cannabis and psychosis a few times on the Mental Elf.

So far however, relatively little attention has been paid to the possible link between cannabis use and symptoms of mania.

As is the case with much mental health-substance use research, untangling the possible relationship between the two can be tricky; it may be that cannabis causes symptoms of mania, that people with bipolar disorder use cannabis to self-medicate (i.e. mania causes cannabis use), or that both mania and cannabis use share common underlying risk factors (Strakowski and Delbello 2000).

A recent review aimed to shed some light on this by attempting to answer the two following questions:

Does cannabis use lead to increased occurrence of manic symptoms or manic episodes in individuals with pre-existing bipolar disorder?
Does cannabis use increase the risk of onset of mania symptoms in those without pre-existing bipolar disorder?
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I wasn’t a big cannabis smoker in my youth - but the times I did smoke weed, I can’t say that it exacerbated my bipolar symptoms. Mescaline was a different story - it completely destabilized me

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I’ve not noticed my brother becoming more manic after years of smoking cannabis but have noticed an increase in paranoia.

Yes I was more paranoid @firemonkey - I think that sometimes cannabis can trigger or worsen paranoia for sure

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Many many many years ago cannabis was classed as a antidepressant. Bipolar and most AD’s don’t mix. Often how they end up finding out someone is BP, by putting them on a AD.