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Borderline Personality Disorder Sufferers Find Relief With Cannabis Treatment

A new study, which could provide some hope for people suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) reveals marijuana’s potential to mitigate some of the symptoms.

What is BPD and how common it is? BPD, also known as an emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) is a mental health problem that causes a variety of symptoms, which could be grouped into 4 main areas: 1) emotional instability, 2) disturbed patterns of thinking or perception, 3) impulsive behavior and 4) impaired social functioning. 

As per data from McLean Hospital, it is estimated that more than 14 million Americans suffer from this disorder. Unfortunately, even though BDP is not a rare condition (it is more common than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) there is no cure for it.

According to a case series published in the October edition of Brain Sciences, cannabis could help. 

Researchers first noted that previous literature indicated that impaired functioning of the endocannabinoid system in key brain regions in charge of emotional processing and stress responses may trigger the manifestation of some EUPD symptoms. 

According to 2009 guidelines released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), “no drugs have established efficacy in treating or managing EUPD,” yet patients are usually prescribed antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

Fortunately, this case series of seven participants with EUPD, treated with cannabis-based medicine, provides some hope for the development of more efficient and safe natural treatments. 

“Our results indicate that CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products] were effective and well tolerated, as six participants reported a noticeable improvement in their symptoms and functioning,” the researchers wrote. “Although promising, further research is needed to ascertain the long-term tolerability, efficacy, and dosing strategy for CBMPs in EUPD.”

Key Highlights

The majority of participants were young with 5 out of 7 being under 30;

Participants were initially assessed and then again after one month of being treated with cannabis-based products;

Improvement in symptoms was assessed by both participants and a psychiatrist;

Participants were prescribed marijuana products based on clinical assessment, with consideration to patient preference and individual choice for the route of administration or desired clinical effect;

The treatment was well-tolerated and none of the participants reported any adverse side effects.

“To our knowledge, this case series represents the first medical evidence of the use of CBMPs for the clinical management of patients with a diagnosis of EUPD,” wrote the authors, adding the “results suggest that, when deployed in a rigorously controlled clinical environment, CBMPs can provide substantial improvement in symptoms associated with EUPD thus warranting the need for further research on this therapeutic strategy.”

Photo: Courtesy of Aditya Naidu via Unsplash

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