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Shelby charter Township, MI
A 74-year-old female asked:

bipolar meds have so many side effects. wouldn't it be better 2 smoke marijuana as bi polar people tell me they feel better than the meds? is it harmful

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Aaron Ament
Psychiatry 58 years experience
DONT THINK SO: I have no idea what the long term effects are - possibly including psychosis. The goal should be to have as stable a life as possible and i doubt that pot will do that. Properly balanced meds and real support can help a whole lot. Very hard to live a productive life by being happy and out of it - and depressive and manic phases are most likely to recur anyway. Not the best solution.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
I'm guessing you're equating "happy" with "high," in your answer? I hope our Bipolar patients can truly be happy (not manic, hypomanic, or needing to be intoxicated) from way down inside. Jane Pauley seems like a great example of this, as she shares her experience publicly. http://tinyurl.com/mdtkknd
Jan 20, 2014
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Cannabis : Has numerous potential psychiatric side effects that can be very serious. There is a significant possibility that it could worsen your mood disorder. Do not recommend this.
Dr. Robert Killian
General Practice 28 years experience
Medical Marijuana: Yes and no. There are very few long term risks from using marijuana and this fact makes the use of marijuana for medical purposes fairly safe in general. If someone gets benefit to relieve the symptoms of a condition then i would advise using mj cautiously and to use it without smoking. But, marijuana can also cause anxiety, paranoia, nightmares and many other intolerable symptoms. Use caution.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
As a psychiatrist, I consider potential long-term risk of Cannabis (panic attacks, anxiety disorders, paranoia, dissociation, psychosis, aggression, ataxia, hallucinations, illusions) to be of significant concern. One of the major reasons that patients who have Bipolar Disorder in the US often do not respond to treatment – is concurrent illicit drug use.
Jan 20, 2014
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Bipolar Disorder is not an indication for medical marijuana even in the state of Washington, Dr. Killian. http://tinyurl.com/3ju7z78
Jan 20, 2014

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Last updated Apr 13, 2016

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