Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is far more prevalent than most people believe. According to research done by the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 1.2 percent of people in the United States have been diagnosed with this illness, with about 80% of those affected seriously.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by repetitive behaviors and intrusive thoughts. It is estimated that roughly 2% to 3% of the world’s population is affected. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or medication are the most common treatments for OCD. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the only medicines authorized by the FDA to treat OCD (SRIs).
Many patients report that cannabidiol (CBD) products improve their OCD symptoms anecdotally, and researchers are still looking into CBD’s potential as a treatment for OCD. Despite the fact that research is still in its infancy, several studies have yielded encouraging findings.
Obsessions and compulsions are common in obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, just obsessive symptoms or simply compulsion symptoms are conceivable. You may or may not recognize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or irrational, yet they consume a significant amount of time and disrupt your daily routine, as well as your social, school, and job functions.
Obsessions frequently have themes, such as:
- Contamination or dirt phobia
- Doubting oneself and finding it difficult to accept ambiguity
- Needing things to be symmetrical and orderly
- Thoughts of losing control and hurting yourself or others that are aggressive or horrifying
- Unwanted ideas, such as anger, as well as sexual or religious topics
Compulsions are recurrent actions that you feel compelled to do because you have OCD. These addictive activities or mental acts are intended to alleviate anxiety caused by your obsessions or to prevent the occurrence of unpleasant incidents. Compulsions, on the other hand, provide no pleasure and may only provide temporary relief from stress.
When you’re having obsessive thoughts, you might set up rules or routines to assist you to regulate your anxiety. These compulsions are extreme, and they’re often unrelated to the problem they’re supposed to solve.
- Cleaning and washing
- Sticking to a rigid schedule
- Requiring assurance
The exact etiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder is unknown. The following are some of the most popular theories:
- Changes in your body’s natural chemistry or brain processes might cause OCD.
- Although OCD may have a hereditary component, no particular genes have been discovered.
- Obsessive phobias and obsessive habits can be taught through observation of family members or through time.
OCD generally develops in adolescence or early adulthood, although it can sometimes begin in childhood. Symptoms generally appear gradually and progress in intensity over time. Obsessions and compulsions can change over time, as can the sorts of obsessions and compulsions you have. When you’re under a lot of stress, your symptoms usually get worse. OCD, which is typically seen as a lifelong illness, can manifest itself in mild to moderate symptoms can be so severe and time-consuming that it becomes incapacitating.
Can CBD Help Alleviate The Symptoms of OCD?
CBD is one of the more than 80 physiologically active compounds found in the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive ingredient that causes you to become “high.” CBD is non-psychoactive, but it has a variety of physiological benefits, including pain relief and the ability to reduce anxiety and depression.
Although the origin of OCD is considered to be complex, there is emerging evidence that the body’s endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating anxiety, fear, and repetitive behaviors.
Your endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors in your body that regulates sleep, mood, hunger, and a variety of other functions. CBD can alter these processes when it interacts with your endocannabinoid system.
People with OCD who were treated with CBD or other cannabinoids had better symptoms, according to a few case reports. However, further large-scale clinical research is required to determine CBD’s efficacy and safety.
According to a 2020 study, the effects of medical cannabis on a sample of 87 patients with OCD were studied by researchers. Patients reported the following symptoms, according to the researchers:
- 60% reduction in compulsions
- A reduction of 49% was observed in intrusive thoughts.
- Reduction in Anxiety by 52%
Can CBD Help With Other Forms of Anxiety?
An analysis of eight research published in 2020 found evidence to support the hypothesis that CBD might help with:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
Anecdotally, many people report that CBD helps them control their anxiety.
Finding The Right CBD Dosage
When it comes to determining the proper dose of CBD oil for OCD, start with the smallest dose possible then gradually increase it. Despite the above, the best CBD dose recommendation is to keep it as low as possible. In certain situations, taking a large dose of CBD might lead to severe side effects.
According to a review of papers published in 2015, 300 to 600 mg of CBD taken orally lowers the symptoms of anxiety. It’s possible that a comparable amount might help with OCD.
It’s advisable to start with a low dose of CBD and gradually increase it as you understand how your body reacts. Some people choose to begin with a daily dosage of around 40 mg.
Several studies have shown evidence that CBD can help control symptoms, and many people have anecdotally reported that it is beneficial. CBD is usually safe, with just a small number of serious adverse effects. It can, however, interact with a wide range of medicines, including those used to treat depression and anxiety.