Medical Cannabis for Bipolar Disorder

This page contains some of the medical cannabis research studies that have been carried out into the use of medical cannabis for bipolar disorder.

Continued cannabis use at one year follow up is associated with elevated mood and lower global functioning in bipolar I disorder.
2015 February

University Hospital and Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway.


There is limited knowledge about how environmental factors affect the course of bipolar disorder (BD). Cannabis has been proposed as a potential risk factor for poorer course of illness, but the role of cannabis use has not been studied in a first treatment BD I sample.


The present study examines the associations between course of illness in first treatment BD I and continued cannabis use, from baseline to one year follow up. Patients (N=62) with first treatment DSM-IV BD I were included as part of the Thematically Organized Psychosis study (TOP), and completed interviews and self-report questionnaires at both baseline and follow up. Cannabis use within the last six months at baseline and use between baseline and follow up (continued use) was recorded.


After controlling for confounders, continued cannabis use was significantly associated with elevated mood (YMRS) and inferior global functioning (GAF-F) at follow up. Elevated mood mediated the effect of cannabis use on global functioning.


These results suggest that cannabis use has clinical implications for the early course of BD by increasing mood level. More focus on reducing cannabis use in clinical settings seems to be useful for improving outcome in early phase of the disorder.

Cannabis Vs Medical Marijuana

Is there a difference between medical cannabis and medical marijuana? No, not really. The general populace tends to refer to cannabis as marijuana, but those involved in the research and medical use of it tend to refer to it as cannabis because that’s its scientific name and because marijuana is associated with the recreational use. (It’s also sometimes referred to as medicinal hemp oil.)