Medical marijuana acts on the Endocannabinoid system – a homeostatic regulator that is present in all humans. Interestingly, research suggests that certain cannabinoids found in marijuana (i.e. THC and CBD) may have significant mood-stabilizing properties that could be beneficial for patients with the disorder.
Studies have shown that THC, under certain conditions, can have anti-anxiety, hypnotic and antidepressant effects, resulting in improvements in mood and overall well-being in normal subjects as well as in patients suffering from pain, multiple sclerosis or cancer. CBD seems to counter the psychoactive effects produced by high doses of THC and may also possess anti-anxiety, hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties of its own.
Researchers have also identified a link between marijuana use and cognitive improvements in patients with schizophrenia – a finding could explain evidence of similar improvements in bipolar disorder.