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How Hemp Works for Borderline Personality Disorder

April 14, 2020

how cannabinoids work for borderline personality disorder

If you’re reading this article because you’re wanting to learn how hemp works for borderline personality disorder then be sure to check out the section on how cannabinoids interact with the body to balance and regulate mood and emotions.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is defined as a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self image and behavior. Symptoms include mood swings of anger, anxiety, mania, and depression. 

People with BPD exhibit most or all of the following symptoms:

  • frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment by friends or family
  • unstable personal relationships that alternate between extreme idealization and devaluation
  • distorted and unstable self-image
  • impulsive, dangerous behaviour (e.g., overspending, substance abuse, unsafe sex, etc.)
  • self-harming behaviour, including suicidal threats and attempts
  • periods of intense depression, irritability or anxiety, which can last for just a few hours to a several days
  • chronic feelings of boredom and/or emptiness
  • inappropriate, intense and uncontrollable anger, which is often followed by equally intense shame or guilt
  • dissociation and/or stress-related paranoia

A person who is “borderline” has insecurities about themselves, their relationships, and the world around them. Their interests, values and opinions can change quickly, and their opinions are often extreme. A situation or person will either be all good or all bad, and this assessment can also vary easily.

One day someone may believe the current president is the person for the job, and the next, they’re a joke. They may view someone as almost angelic with superhero traits, followed by the next day seeing them as a villain complete with staff and fire.

Someone suffering from borderline personality disorder may be quite impulsive in their decision making. One day they may want to learn how to play tennis, purchase all the equipment, and the next day completely change their mind and throw all the gear out in the trash.

Each person displays varying severity and frequencies of symptoms, which can be triggered by normal events.

How Can Hemp Hemp with Borderline Personality Disorder

Consequences can include struggling with interactions or tasks at work, difficulty at school and difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. By struggling with controlling mood, it is exceptionally difficult to be in a professional or academic setting. Difficult trusting and explosive reactions can be truly damaging to personal relationships. 

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for bringing order and balance to many systems of the body including those responsible for mood and emotions. The ECS produces its own cannabinoids called endo-cannabinoids, and also responds powerfully to phyto-cannabinoids (made from plants such as hemp).

An estimated 14.7 million Amercians are affected by BPD (this makes up roughly 1.6% of the entire population). 

A 2003 study in the Biological Psychiatry journal indicates that people with this disorder have a smaller amygdala and it is hyperactive. The amygdala is a part of the brain that is involved with experiencing emotions. The major emotion regulated by the amygdala is fear, which controls the way we react to threatening situations.

how hemp works for borderline personality disorder

When this part of the brain is hyperactive, people experience hypervigilance and unregulated moods. Hypervigilance is an increased sensory sensitivity to one's environment, which can cause an increased response to outside stimuli and constant paranoid observation of the environment. In short, hypervigilance increases anxiety significantly to the point of exhaustion.

In a relationship this could appear as someone becoming suspicious of their partners behaviors, such as leaving the house spontaneously to purchase a surprise gift. This could be followed by the sufferer of BPD making stories up that they’re leaving the house because they don’t want to spend time with them, don’t love them anymore and are actively on Tinder looking for their next partner. Stories really can get out of hand with the best of us, let alone having a hyperactive amygdala.

Where there is no cure for borderline personality disorder, it is possible to live a happy and successful life filled with meaningful relationships.

How Cannabinoids Work for Borderline Personality Disorder

For those suffering, mood regulation is critical. The endocannabinoid system will use cannabinoids to not only improve mood, but also keep it balanced. By negating anger, mania, anxiety and depression, someone with the disorder can view their lives and themselves through a healthier lens.

Cannabinoids work to offset the transfer of neurotransmitters and to fight the overactive neural transfer that’s associated with BPD symptoms such as anger, anxiety, paranoia and impulsivity.

Among the endocannabinoid receptors that cannabinoids such as CBD activate are 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. Serotonin, typically called the “happy chemical,” is a compound the body makes that is crucial for mood balance. People struggling with anxiety and depression, for example, seem to show lower levels of serotonin than people who are not. 

People with BPD also show similar low levels of serotonin. When cannabinoids activate the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, they bind to 5-HT serotonin neurotransmitters and increase serotonin production, which, in turn, combats the negative effects of depression and anxiety that come along with BPD.

There is also a debate on using marijuana in the treatment of borderline personality disorder, but varying data leaves the argument inconclusive.

It is important to discuss all available treatment options with a medical professional to find the best route of care.

We hope you’ve found this article on how hemp works for borderline personality disorder helpful and if you would like to read more articles like this on how cannabinoids work for specific conditions, take a look at our Blog