MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Mood swings

CBD effect for mood swings
Written by Stefan K.

CBD and Mood Swings

Surely everyone has experienced mood swings on at least one occasion. One moment, you feel great, the next, you feel depressed. Youngsters will experience this kind of phenomenon by the time they hit puberty, at the latest.

However, medicine distinguishes between two basic types of mood swing – those which are physiological and those which are pathological. Physiological mood swings are a consequence of puberty, menstruation, and also pregnancy. In these cases, hormonal imbalances play a role. Pathological mood swings, on the other hand, may be diagnosed in the context of bipolar disorder, for example, as well as in the case of an addiction to drugs or medication. 

For mood swings, CBD can be used to alleviate or even inhibit the periods of associated depression, for example. CBD’s ability to lighten one’s mood and induce calm helps in such contexts.

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The causes of mood swings

It is also possible to distinguish between physiological and pathological causes. As already mentioned, mood swings are an everyday occurrence during puberty. In the period of time between ovulation and menstruation some women suffer from mood swings due to PMS. The menopause is also associated with this symptom. Both sodium and magnesium deficiencies can also result in mood swings.

cbd-and-mood-swings

Pathological causes of mood swings include manic depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and dementia. Other conditions which can sometimes lead to very severe mood swings are multiple sclerosis,  Parkinson’s disease, and cirrhosis of the liver. Many of those affected use CBD against these conditions. Addiction to drugs or medication often results in severe emotional disorders, including depression and mood swings.

In humans, feelings of happiness and the balance of hormones are partly regulated via the endocannabinoid system by means of the controlled release of messenger chemicals. In the case of mood swings, CBD can be used as a control mechanism. For example, it can influence the production of the hormones dopamine and serotonin.

How medication for mood swings works

When going through a patient’s medical history, doctors look at the patient’s history of illness in order to examine some possible causes in more depth and to be able to exclude other possible causes. In addition to this in-depth conversation doctors also carry out various examinations in order to create an exact picture of the causes of individual mood swings. These include blood tests (deficiency symptoms), neurological examinations (nerve damage), CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (neurological causes) or an ultrasound examination (cirrhosis of the liver).  In order to ensure the selection of appropriate medication for mood swings, the doctor also checks for pregnancy or the presence of a drug addiction.

For mood swings, doctors prescribe antidepressants, among other things. This is because fluctuations in the direction of positive feelings are not considered to be a problem. On the other hand, a deviation in the direction of negative feelings such as depression is regarded as problematic.

CBD for mood swings – How can cannabidiol help?

An emotional high, immediately followed by an emotional low – many of those affected by mood swings spend all of their time at the extremes. This can lead to problems: those who are in the middle of an emotional low are not interested in help, as everything seems bleak and hopeless. On the other hand, during an emotional high, people don’t want help either, as they don’t see that there is a problem – they simply feel “too well”.

When it comes to mood swings, CBD can have a mood stabilising effect. By taking CBD oil or by vaping CBD e-liquids (e-cigarettes), people who experience mood swings can take advantage of the positive properties of the CBD. For example, CBD regulates the production of the happiness hormone dopamine via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and can keep the mood of the person affected at a level which permits decisions to be made “unemotionally” – including any decisions which may concern their further treatment.

People can find it difficult to adjust to the emotions that they suddenly feel when spontaneous deviations towards negativity occur. As a consequence, antipsychotics or antidepressants are often prescribed. These have a powerful effect on the body – an effect which is not always purely positive. One result can be dependency on medication. In the case of mood swings, CBD is an alternative which, according to the current state of knowledge, is not only mood-enhancing, but also does not cause states of intoxication and, more importantly, does not result in addiction.

The ability of CBD to prevent mood swings has been demonstrated in a number of studies[1][2][3]. This is because mood swings are often triggered by increased stress and CBD can have a calming effect when stress arises, especially if it is taken beforehand.

PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome – can cause quite severe mood swings. During periods of PMS, women can experience abrupt changes in mood, experiencing anxiety and depression, but also short periods of high spirits too. Between 20% and 50% of women of childbearing age suffer from PMS, according to current estimates. Some 5% of women even suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder – a particularly severe form of PMS. Besides the psychological effects, symptoms can also include weight gain, insomnia and even nausea.

All three can end up further exaggerating the mood swings. In the case of mood swings, CBD helps against anxiety, depression and against rapid mood changes in general thanks to its calming and antipsychotic effects. But it can help in other ways too. CBD can also calm the stomach, regulate the appetite and help to relieve nausea.

Where there are pathological causes, such as bipolar disorder, CBD can help thanks to its neuroprotective properties. Researchers suggest that the antipsychotic effects of CBD may be effective where symptoms are associated with psychosis. Studies have shown that CBD has anticonvulsant properties and also provides protection against glutamate toxicity. In addition, CBD has a mood-stabilising effect. In cases of the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder, CBD thus has a very similar effect to anticonvulsants.

Summary

  • For those who suffer from mood swings, CBD can help in a variety of ways.
  • CBD can act as a mood stabiliser, “keeping the car of the emotions on the right side of the road, without ending up in a ditch or colliding with oncoming traffic”.
  • Where mood swings are present, the ECS provides us with an opportunity to control the dopamine balance (happiness hormone) by means of CBD. This removes the negative feelings from the emotional equation, so to speak.
  • For women who are experiencing menstrual, PMS-related, or post-natal mood swings CBD can help to improve things, but only following consultation with a doctor.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20439721 – 09.10.2019

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24353209 – 09.10.2019

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21663537 – 09.10.2019

Further studies

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23108553

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19839936

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20353783

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21693551

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21916860

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14583744

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26845349

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26852073

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27023732

The consumption of products containing cannabinoids can under certain circumstances result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.