Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that manifests as episodes of mania and depression. Those who live with this disorder experience extreme mood swings, from feeling extremely downbeat and lethargic one day to energetic and overactive the next.
However, bipolar is a largely personal experience. The intensity of each mood, as well as transition time, can vary for each individual.
The question is, can particular cannabis strains benefit those with bipolar disorder?
Does Cannabis Help Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects 2.6% of Americans. It has a profound effect on everyday life, and, at present, there is no known cure.
There are various treatment options available, including therapy and medication to either prevent episodes of extreme behavior or treat them once they occur. Some believe that cannabis may help address some symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as self-doubt and pessimism; however, the relationship between cannabis and bipolar disorder is contentious.
Some people with bipolar disorder may look to find an uplifting and relaxing cannabis strain that works for them.
One 2015 study, conducted by Gibbs et al., analyzed a collection of studies that reviewed the relationship between bipolar disorder and cannabis.
Their findings, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that using cannabis could increase the risk of manic symptoms. Other studies have provided similar concerns about cannabis use.
Despite this, some people with bipolar disorder may still look to find an uplifting and relaxing cannabis strain that works for them. It’s important to note that these strains are not clinically proven to aid the lows or highs caused by bipolar disorder.
Keep reading to discover the five best cannabis strains for bipolar disorder.
1 – Blue Dream
This sativa-dominant hybrid (60%) contains 17-24% THC with a small amount of CBD. Blue Dream was first used as medical marijuana in California and is a cross between Blueberry and the Original Haze strain. The Blue Dream strain is an ideal strain for elevating mood. The happy and relaxed feeling it provides means that Blue Dream is now a recreational favorite, too.
While it contains a high THC level, it isn’t normally used as a means of getting high. Instead, users prefer to chill out and enjoy the calming full-body relaxation provided by this sumptuous strain. Blue Dream offers some cerebral action, too, and is an excellent way to start the day.
Its Blueberry background means users enjoy a gorgeous berry flavor, and alongside its sweet berry taste comes a touch of sourness.
2 – Lamb’s Bread
The main problem with Lamb’s Bread cannabis is that users are not likely to enjoy a clandestine smoke. It provides a powerful, sweet cheese aroma that is practically impossible to disguise. That’s not to say it is an unpleasant smell – it’s far from it. However, the sour undertones fill a room, so if a secretive smoke is needed, make sure to take Lamb’s Bread far away from an inhabited area.
This marijuana strain comes from Jamaica and is almost entirely sativa (95%). With a THC content of up to 17%, Lamb’s Bread is a relatively potent strain. It’s rumored that Bob Marley classified it as one of his favorites, which is a ringing endorsement for sure.
Lamb’s Bread is a great daytime smoke, and its proponents champion it as the ‘perfect smoke.’ Users typically take it in the morning for a burst of energy or motivation. Soon enough, it provides a potent sense of positivity and may improve productivity. As it is almost pure sativa, Lamb’s Bread is recommended as a mood lifter in medicinal marijuana circles.
3 – Headband
Headband cannabis strain is popular for those who want a peaceful and relaxed high. It is an indica-dominant strain (60%) with a THC content of up to 27%. Even ‘weak’ versions of the strain have 20%+ THC, so tread carefully.
The strain gets its name from the intense brain fog it can cause, and many users find it puts their minds at ease for a short while. Headband is a cross of Sour Diesel and OG Kush. It offers a 2-3 hour high and eliminates stressful thoughts.
There is more than a hint of lemon from this strain, along with a diesel undertone. Headband rewards users with a fantastic citrus flavor that is tangy and refreshing. Even so, there is also a slightly creamy aftertaste which is unusual but exceedingly pleasant.
4 – Alaskan Thunderf**k
This is an unusual strain, and its origins are intriguing and shrouded in mystery. Apparently, Alaskan Thunderf**k was created by crossing a Russian ruderalis with a North American sativa. During the 1970s, someone added Afghani genetics to the pot to create a bizarre yet wonderful strain. It is a 50/50 hybrid with a THC content of up to 27%.
Its THC content puts it at the top end of strains, and it is known for its potency, hence the name. Within minutes of using Alaskan Thunderf**k, users tend to experience a mind-blowing cerebral high that lifts mood immediately.
It is known for being an easy smoke that doesn’t cause coughing fits. The skunk and diesel aroma isn’t the most alluring, but it is a flavorful strain. Users should get hints of citrus and even banana during the smoke, along with a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. For cannabis newcomers, it’s recommended to use a small amount of Alaskan Thunderf**k first to get used to its power.
5 – Maui Wowie
Unsurprisingly because of its name, Maui Wowie comes from the Hawaiian island of Maui. It originates from a sativa plant native to the islands, which is why it is a sativa-dominant hybrid (80%). It also has a THC content of approximately 20%.
The strain may help users achieve a euphoric state combined with a burst of energy that lasts for a few hours. Many claim it helps focus and boosts creativity.
Users get the full tropical island experience with this strain when it comes to its scent and taste. The sweet, citrus smell is a joy to behold and is topped only by the glorious creamy taste that provides delicious fresh pineapple hints.
Final Thoughts on the Best Marijuana Strains for Bipolar Disorder
Research into the relationship between cannabis and bipolar disorder is still in its infancy. The main issue is whether or not strains with high THC levels will only serve to increase a sense of paranoia and unease. It is up to researchers to figure out if this is the case or whether cannabis is suitable for use.
Ultimately, an increasing number of bipolar patients are choosing to use cannabis as a means of curbing symptoms. However, they should do so with extreme caution.
It’s highly recommended to visit a trusted medical professional before using any form of cannabis.