Another useful aspect of CBD oil for BPD is its potentially anti-addictive properties. A 2015 review found that CBD may help with various substance use disorders, a significant issue in BPD.
Research has also shown that people with BPD have differences in functional connectivity in different regions of the brain when compared to the brains of healthy individuals. MRI scans indicate that borderline patients have excessive activity in their amygdala, the area of the brain that controls fear and anxiety.
Therefore, it may be safer for BPD patients to choose a low THC and high CBD marijuana strain. They may even prefer to opt for CBD oil.
Does Cannabis Help BPD?
Cannabis and borderline personality disorder have a close and complicated relationship. Many BPD patients use cannabis to self-medicate due to its calming properties. However, in some cases, it could increase symptoms of anxiety and paranoia, making the situation worse.
Research suggests that people with BPD may undergo certain changes in their ECS. One study found raised levels of the endocannabinoid, anandamide, in BPD patients’ blood. Another found reduced levels of the same compound in BPD patients’ cerebrospinal fluid.
Endocannabinoids bind with cannabinoid receptors to trigger a variety of physical and psychological changes. In the brain, they help to regulate the activity of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that influence our mood and emotions.
CBD does not act on cannabinoid receptors directly. It influences the ECS by increasing levels of endocannabinoids such as anandamide. This has a positive effect on mood and could, therefore, help people with conditions like BPD.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a chronic debilitating psychiatric disorder characterized mainly by emotional instability, chaotic interpersonal relationships, cognitive disturbance (e.g., dissociation and suicidal thoughts) and maladaptive behaviors. BPD has a high rate of comorbidity with other mental disorders and a high burden on society. In this review, we focused on two compromised brain regions in BPD – the hypothalamus and the corticolimbic system, emphasizing the involvement and potential contribution of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to improvement in symptoms and coping. The hypothalamus-regulated endocrine axes (hypothalamic pituitary – gonadal, thyroid & adrenal) have been found to be dysregulated in BPD. There is also substantial evidence for limbic system structural and functional changes in BPD, especially in the amygdala and hippocampus, including cortical regions within the corticolimbic system. Extensive expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors of the ECS has been found in limbic regions and the hypothalamus. This opens new windows of opportunity for treatment with cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) as no other pharmacological treatment has shown long-lasting improvement in the BPD population to date. This review aims to show the potential role of the ECS in BPD patients through their most affected brain regions, the hypothalamus and the corticolimbic system. The literature reviewed does not allow for general indications of treatment with CBD in BPD. However, there is enough knowledge to indicate a treatment ratio of a high level of CBD to a low level of THC. A randomized controlled trial investigating the efficacy of cannabinoid based treatments in BPD is warranted.
Keywords: Borderline personality disorder; cannabidiol; corticolimbic system; endocannabinoid system; hypothalamus; pharmacological treatment.
Endocannabinoids do not follow what is considered the typical path of a chemical synaptic signalling, which is for a neurotransmitter to flow from a presynaptic neuron to a postsynaptic neuron and bind to a specific receptor. Instead, endocannabinoids flow backward from postsynaptic neurons to presynaptic neurons in a process called retrograde inhibition.
Endocannabinoids are sent throughout the body by the ECS to achieve and maintain the body’s internal homeostasis, or balance, among all of is working parts. In many psychiatric disorders, symptomatic or episodic behaviours can be traced back to overactive neurons, which send too many neurotransmitters from presynapse to postsynapse and overload receptors.
How CBD can help
Since endocannabinoids follow the inverse of this process, they actually block and mediate the transfer of neurotransmitters to ensure the appropriate amount of neurotransmitters are being sent and binding to receptors. And, since the plant-derived cannabinoids that enter your body when you use CBD act like the endocannabinoids your body produces, they also work to mitigate the transfer of neurotransmitters and to combat overactive neural transfer associated with many of the BPD symptoms like anxiety, anger, impulsivity and even paranoia.
This is where CBD comes into the picture. When you ingest CBD, you ingest certain plant-derived cannabinoids, which act like the endocannabinoids the body produces naturally. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) produces endocannabinoids to regulate the body’s internal functions and control how we think, feel and react to things happening in the world around us.
Because BPD is a personality disorder, treatment options are limited. Behavioural therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) are the most effective treatment options for BPD. There are no medications designed specifically for BPD, but antidepressant, anti-anxiety and antipsychotic medications are often prescribed to BPD patients to address certain symptoms like depression, anxiety, dissociation, paranoia and intense anger. The benefit of these medications for people with BPD, however, remain unclear, and talk-therapy is often the first line of treatment for BPD.