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Using CBD for OCD: Why (and How) It’s Effective

In recent years, scientific research has been able to confirm that the anxiety disorder Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) is more common than originally thought. According to recent reports by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1.2% of all US adults have been diagnosed with OCD – with over 80% of the affected suffering moderate to serious impairment.

As cannabis and hemp are legalized in a growing number of states, many people are turning to CBD oil to ease OCD symptoms.

Looking for our comparison table of the best CBD oils for OCD? Read on or click here to go straight there.

What We Know About CBD for OCD Research

  • Anxiolytic CBD oil has already been used to treat depression in animal testing, even treating insomnia and stress in children with PTSD. The use of CBD is also 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 high in CBD have successfully been used in treating conditions that cause convulsions, seizures and muscle spasms. Because of its neuroleptic effects, CBD is able to reduce the severity of obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors in children, adults and even pets.
  • Antipsychotic CBD is also shown to effectively reduce the symptoms of more chronic conditions such as schizophrenia, manic depression and bipolar disorder. Studies show that CBD medication is not a suitable replacement, but a viable addition to existing antipsychotic treatment.

In combination, CBD’s anxiolytic, anti-epileptic and antipsychotic qualities make it a good choice for treating a broad spectrum of anxiety disorders. More importantly, supplementing with CBD may reduce risks associated with the neurological and genetic/hereditary aspects (discussed above) of OCD.

CBD for OCD Thoughts: Does It Really Help?

The viability of cannabidiol in treating symptoms of OCD is more than speculation in the medical community. A 2015 neurotherapeutics study by Esther Blessing and Maria Steenkamp provides plenty of evidence that CBD for OCD is effective. Other supporting studies include Boshuisen et al (2002), Bystritsky et al (2001), Osuch et al (2001) and Schneider et al (1999).

Because they affect the limbic region of the brain, the symptoms from disorders like OCD, epilepsy, dementia and ADHD can all be improved with cannabidiol supplementation. CBD also increases production signalling while inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide. Anandamide is a natural antidepressant named after the Sanskrit for Divine Joy and is commonly known as the “happiness hormone” because of its ability to regulate mood as well as sensations of fear, stress and happiness.

Which CBD Oil Should You Buy for OCD?

The CBD industry relatively new industry, picking a CBD oil for the symptoms of OCD can feel a bit like it’s the wild west out there.

We’ve put together this list of our top three CBD oils from companies that we trust, and we’re sure you’ll be satisfied with.

Our Top Choices: CBD for OCD*

Koi Naturals: Our Number 1 Choice

Joy Organics: Our Runner-Up

CBDfx: Best Value

Not only super-affordable, CBDfx also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

A Brief Look at OCD’s Root Causes and Effects

In a nutshell, OCD is a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted or intrusive thoughts, or memories and images that trigger feelings of distress. The resulting compulsions are various behaviours an OCD individual engages in to control the obsessions and/or cope with feelings of distress.

Because OCD often occurs with other disorders, it has been challenging for the scientific community to study and diagnose. As of now, there are two main theories regarding its origins:

Neurological medical journals show that OCD patients respond to Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (or SSRIs) with some consistency, leading researchers to suggest that OCD is largely a neurological disorder. However, it’s widely accepted that there are likely other contributing factors.

Genetic OCD has an increased rate of occurrence among first-degree relatives, supporting the idea that there are genetic and hereditary aspects to the disorder. According to the NIMH, individuals with a diagnosed sibling or parent are at significantly higher risk of developing OCD.

The degree of impairment caused by obsessive-compulsive disorder varies by personality type. Obsessions can be irregular or constant, with the potential to seriously harm one’s productivity and reputation in the workplace, university or neighborhood. In either case, it isn’t hard to imagine how excessive compulsive behavior can disrupt daily routines and social interactions.

Natural Medicine is The Best Medicine

More specialized research will be needed to highlight CBD’s viability in tackling OCD specifically. However, there’s an abundance of mainstream and independent material (as well as anecdotal evidence from OCD patients themselves) showing CBD to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms brought about by anxiety. Fortunately, obsessive-compulsive disorder is no exception, as it falls well within the spectrum of genetic and neurological anxiety disorders.

*These products have been independently chosen and reviewed. We may earn a small commission if you click to one of their websites and make a purchase. Please note that Dopa continues to run (without a profit) from the small number of hand-picked affiliate programs we join.

Many OCD-diagnosed individuals are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) in a bid to self-medicate. Why?

Does CBD Really Help With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Medical research shows that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) can play a role in modulating anxiety, fear, and repetitive behaviors.

O bsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a mental disorder that causes a person to feel the need to perform certain routines repeatedly (referred to as “compulsions”), or has certain thoughts repeatedly (obsession). Anxiety or unwanted thoughts result in repetitive behavior that is beyond their control for more than a short period of time. Repetitive hand washing, locking, and unlocking doors several times, and hoarding are all signs of OCD. There is no choice with these actions, the brain tells the person that these actions are necessary, they are compulsory.

Sometimes the feeling is that failure to conduct these repetitive actions will result in death. Estimations suggest that OCD affects 1.2% of the UK population. Although there are certain age hot spots it is widespread across all genders and ethnic types.

Sometimes, since the symptoms are easily hidden it is difficult to realize that somebody is suffering from this disorder.

How OCD Is Treated

Traditionally there have been two main types of treatment for this condition:

Cognitive brain therapy is a popular treatment for several types of depression, and mental health and social disorders. The treatment at its basic level takes the form of a series of meetings to attempt to rationalize what the trigger or thought mechanisms are that starts the compulsory response. If something is hot, we immediately we pull our hand back. This action is automatic, there is no thought about what the consequences would be if we do not act. It is necessary to find the trigger for a compulsory response, and then attempt to desensitize the brain to the trigger. A cure for fear of flying is to introduce flying to a subject in a controlled way thus showing the fears are unfounded.

Medication such as Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SRI) are commonly used to treat this condition and indeed other forms of depression. However, it is not entirely clear how this form of medication works apart from the fact that it acts to help to correct any imbalance in Serotonin levels. How Serotonin functions is also not completely understood, as it is a part of an exceedingly complex structure. As a part of the neural network, it is a messenger system that allows areas of the brain to communicate. Recalling the act of touching something hot the brain sends a message that forces the rapid movement of the hand to take it out of danger. When the brain fails to communicate correctly the messages can become scrambled or interpreted incorrectly.

Can CBD work for treating OCD?

If serotonin levels are one of the main contributors to inducing OCD than other chemicals that influence the levels could have a positive effect. There is a growing belief that CBD has a positive effect on anxiety and help to raise mood levels.

Is it possible the CBD, which is a natural plant-based product influences serotonin? CBD can attach itself to one of the 114 Serotonin receptors and by doing so helps with its regulation. Anandamide is a hormone that also influences anxiety and mood levels. CBD is also able to enhance the production of this hormone whilst also effecting the enzyme that triggers the breakdown of this hormone.

The Benefits Of Using CBD To Treat OCD

Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, the traditional medication for OCD has numerous side effects that are less than desirable.

  • Insomnia
  • Skin rashes
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced blood clotting
  • Diminished sexual interest/desire/performance

Whilst using the medication to decrease anxiety it is potentially creating side effects that would increase anxiety. There is also an increased risk level with older people using this class of medication since it can affect the heart rhythms and interfere with other medications.

CBD works by mimicking the body’s natural processes and is a natural plant-based product. Since this natural product works with the brains neural systems, naturally there is far less chance for side effects to develop.

Ways You Can Use CBD To Treat OCD

Using CBD is now often recommended for various conditions and is available in various formats making application simple.

  • CBD Oil drops dispensed directly on to the tongue is a comfortable and effective method.
  • Capsules like medication or vitamin capsule for stress-free ingestion.
  • Vape cartridges available with different tastes to aid consumption.
  • Concentrated CBD crystals is a pure extraction of CBD in a crystalline powder that enables a variety of ways to take it including sprinkled on and mixed in food and drinks.

Dosage is particularly important, although there are recommendations, they are yet to be quantified scientifically. A lot of people think more CBD is better, but actually CBD is the opposite. Whatever your body does not need, it flushes out.⁠

When it comes to CBD, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to dosing. It often takes a little while to find your sweet spot, and even then, you may want to periodically adjust your dose to reflect your changing schedule, mood, and environment.

The Bottom Line

CBD has suddenly become popular and there are countless claims about its suitability for treating various conditions. The scientific community is now in the process of a large-scale evaluation of the compound through clinical studies and surveys. There are, however, several case reports from the medical journals showing when they have tried CBD in specific cases, improvement in the patients were observed within two weeks. In some cases, there have been reports of improvement for people who have been resistant to other recognized drug therapy. There have been various trials animals such as monkeys, rats, and dogs that have all displayed positive results. However, trials with other products have shown that a positive animal trial results are not always will it correlate to a similar result with humans.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a mental disorder that causes a person to feel the need to perform certain routines repeatedly (referred to as “compulsions”), or has certain thoughts…