CBD For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (or OCD) is a long-lasting, often permanent, chronic condition that is characterized by repetitive, unwanted behaviors that can debilitate the normal life of a person.
OCD sufferers often have uncontrollable, recurring thoughts known as obsessions, that usually transfer into behaviors, or compulsions, that they feel until it reaches a point where it interferes with their daily lives. But let’s learn how Cannabis Chemistry helps…
OCD is related to (and often accompanied by) a host of other disorders with similar symptoms such as:
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Skin Picking (or Excoriation Disorder)
- Chronic Tic Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD)
These types of disorders are often referred to as OC-spectrum disorders because of their similarities to OCD, and the fact that some of them share the same symptoms. The specific cause of these disorders is not fully known, or completely understood, but they are often associated with stressful events in a person’s life.
Scientists and researchers generally agree that these conditions are related to functions in the human brain, but more research is needed to determine how much is inherent in a person’s genetics, or how much could be triggered by external factors such as extreme stress.
This research is extremely important, as one or more of these disorders will affect a large percentage of the population at some point in their lives. OCD symptoms typically begin to first manifest themselves in people at puberty.
Without therapeutic aid, they can often evolve throughout the life of the sufferer into more severe forms. These repetitive behaviors are sometimes referred to as rituals. Often patients do realize that their behavior is drastically different from others and are sometimes even willing to admit that they are doing unnecessary things.
However, once a patient has become accustomed to performing their rituals daily, it can be extremely difficult for them to stop. The reason for this is because OC-spectrum disorders are often based on anxiety. Many patients often have irrational fears that terrible things will happen if they do not perform these rituals.
After a patient has become accustomed to thinking this way, performing these rituals can bring them relief from anxiety, making it extremely difficult to stop. Consequently, people learn to accept these behaviors as a part of life, even though many realize that they actually impede them from normal living.
Fortunately, there is hope as various treatments do exist for such conditions. Multiple studies have been conducted to establish the efficacy of CBD in improving the symptoms of OCD. One research study involved injecting rats with a compound is found in ecstasy drugs that induce OCD-like behaviors and panic attacks in mammals.
Upon the injection, the rats were placed in sand-filled cages with marbles. The rats started burying marbles almost immediately when they were placed in the cages. This behavior is an OCD-like effect that the compound causes. Next, the rats were administered with a form of liquid CBD, and their behavior changed almost immediately.
The rats stopped the marble-burying behavior and resumed their normal functions. This animal study shows how CBD can be used to potentially end anxiety-induced behavior and restore normal brain function. Although humans and animals are different, this study is important because rats and humans share a common physiology.
Since CBD has only recently been recognized as federally legal in the United States, more long-term human trials are needed to conclusively prove that CBD can be used as an effective treatment for OC-spectrum disorders. However, studies such as this one is promising to say the least.
Additionally, there is a large amount of anecdotal evidence from consumers who have tried CBD for their anxiety symptoms with incredible results.
Why Consider CBD For OCD?
Neurological medical journals show that OCD patients respond to Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors (or SSRI’s) with some consistency, leading researchers to believe that OCD is largely a neurological disorder.
Currently, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors such as antidepressants are the most common treatments used for OCD. However, these drugs are addictive, and can even harm the health of individuals that use them over a long period of time.
They often cause negative side effects, and in some cases can even make a patients’ symptoms worse. This is unfortunate because typically OCD requires long-term treatment for the sufferer in order to resume their normal life. That’s why potentially natural solutions like CBD offer hope to patients for whom SSRI’s don’t work.
What we know about CBD from scientific research, independent studies, and anecdotal evidence is that it has many medicinal and therapeutic qualities. The natural anxiolytic qualities of CBD may help with OCD because it has already been used to treat depression in animal testing.
Additionally, CBD has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of other anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, general anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Anti-epileptic strains of medical cannabis that are high in CBD have been successfully used in treating conditions that cause convulsions, seizures, and muscle spasms.
Because of its neuroleptic effects, CBD may be able to reduce the severity of obsessive-compulsive behaviors in children, adults, and even pets. The combination of CBD’s anxiolytic, anti-epileptic and antipsychotic qualities make it a good choice for potentially treating a broad spectrum of anxiety disorders.
The degree of impairment caused by obsessive-compulsive disorder varies from person to person. Everyone’s physiology is slightly different, so It’s important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor if you are considering taking CBD for OCD.
Still, for some people, it may be worth exploring how CBD could potentially help with the symptoms of their OCD. This is especially true for those who have had difficulty treating their OCD symptoms with traditional medicines like SSRIs. Some may find that a natural alternative like CBD works best for them.