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There is much written on marijuana's effects on this condition.  I was once misdiagnosed manic depressive, but whatever, marijuana turned out to be the perfect medicine for me.  I have my own story online at  Cannabis is not perfect for everyone but for quite a large number of people it does work wonders.

Getting the most benefit from this plant is very much (at least for newbies) a set and setting reaction, so for a new person I suggest being at home, or somewhere very comfortable, I personally like quiet music, but that's a matter of choice.. If anyone is around, make sure they are trustworthy, calm and compatible.

For me it is pleasant, creative, and helps me focus on my work.  You can't overdose, you can't die or go mental from marijuana.  It usually wears off in 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.  If one finds it unpleasant, one simply has to eat something and the high will go away.  The calming effect may last days without any 'high' about it.

Remember, the cannabis plant is like a pharmacy unto itself.  I have patients who separate theirs according to its benefit for different symptoms: Deep bone pain, sleep, stress, focus, appetite.  Not to worry so much about what kind it is - If the plant helps, all varieties will help, some just better than others. 

Side effects are mild; drowsiness at times in which case you nap; munchies in which case you snack, or like me, eat before smoking (eating and drinking anything but water will reduce the 'high').  Paranoia is reported by some new users, but that's more a result of the illegality.  The worst side effect IS the law.  I always encourage people to help change it.

I will list some documents for you that I found in a google search for "marijuana, bipolar" at the bottom.  How it works?  I'm not sure, but I have a friend named Joan Bello who 'wrote the book' and can tell you exactly how it works in the body and on the mind.  Joan's webpage is  and her email is  She makes it easy to understand the physical changes marijuana causes in the body that makes us feel better.  You can trust Joan's explanation more than NIDA or any other government agency because she has studied all the research, knows the human body and the plant, and has a way of making complicated things understandable  Such a shame this wonderful little plant is illegal.
Kay Lee

Is Marijuana a stimulant or a depressant?
Marijuana is neither a stimulant nor a depressant; instead it is both at the same time. We get simultaneous stimulating and sedating effects with marijuana which is why it is so misunderstood by the medical profession and the scientists for whom “both / and” instead of an “either / or” ethic is in place. Marijuana balances the autonomic nervous system (ANS) by its sedative / stimulant qualities which take place by its action on the hypothalamus part of the brain – the brain-center or the place from whence the autonomic system receives its instructions.  The ANS is that part of our system which is responsible for all non-voluntary activity of the body / mind, such as rate of heart beat, size of pupils, rate of breath, chemical mixes in body fluids, etc. The actual mechanism by which marijuana balances our automatic system is through the cannabinoid network which is the cellular receptor system that is compatible with the cannabis compounds, which are found all over our bodies. The sedative / stimulant unique and healthful feature of marijuana was known more than 5000 years ago and is the reason the adepts employed marijuana for their spiritual practice. Only from the place of equanimity (balance of the autonomic nervous system) can one launch spiritual evolving.

Here's a few of the search results.  There is a ton of info out there.

Marijuana and Bipolar Disorder

Marijuana and Bipolar Disorder (Todd). Q: My girlfriend has recently been diagnosed with Bipolar, type 1. and she wants to continue to smoke marijuana, ...  - 13k - Cached - Similar pages

AlterNet: DrugReporter: Mental Marijuana

He says that it can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder and ... marijuana laws, each attempt to get depression or bipolar disorder added to the ...

Excerpts from Marihuana: the Forbidden Medicine  (I'm in this book - 2nd Edition)

Here are several accounts of medical marijuana use from our book, ... and I have been using marijuana for twenty years. I was diagnosed bipolar in 1982. ...

Bipolar Disorder Daily News Blog: Cannabis in bipolar

Cannabis in bipolar. filed under Bipolar Disorder Research Study. Cannabinoids in Bipolar disorder. The role of cannabis (marijuana) in psychiatric ...
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Medicinal Cannabis - The BipolarAware Bipolar Disorder Forums

Medicinal Cannabis Bipolar Disorder. ... if this marijuana pill is safe, legal, and looks good for use for bipolar disorder, I'd have no trouble trying it. ...

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Kay Lee's Cannabis Research