CBD And OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)31 July 2020
Could CBD be a good option when you suffer from OCD? OCD is the abbreviation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This condition can severely disrupt your daily life. Someone with OCD suffers from obsessive thoughts and can’t help but perform compulsive behaviours. You can also feel a lot of anxiety. Sadly, there hasn’t been done a great deal of research, but CBD seems to have a lot of potential to help with OCD.
What Are The Symptoms Of OCD?
OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) expresses itself in obsessive thoughts. These thoughts can provoke you to perform compulsive behaviour. Repeating certain forms of behaviour is also called ritualistic. Whenever you’re unable to carry out this behaviour, this may cause anxiety. These repetitive thoughts can be about, for example, hygiene, such as washing your hands time and again*. Other examples of compulsive behaviour include tidying up, sorting objects, checking whether the door is locked, and obsessive hoarding of items.
People who suffer from OCD often realize that what they do isn’t really necessary. But anxiety is the root of their behaviour and thoughts, and the idea to stop the compulsion causes too much anxiety. Generally, patients feel that they aren’t in control of the OCD. It’s clear that OCD can be a very serious disorder, because it can certainly disrupt daily life. Not only can it overturn you normal daily rhythm (some rituals can cost huge amounts of time), but it can also have a negative impact on relationships.
It’s unknown what the cause of OCD is. Usually, symptoms start in adolescence and progress over the years. It’s estimated 1 to 3% of Dutch people suffer from OCD.
How CBD Could Help With OCD
Because it’s not entirely clear what the cause of OCD is and why symptoms start, we don’t know why certain medication helps and others don’t. OCD is a neurological disorder, which explains why antidepressants are often prescribed. But there’s also a genetic component. Because CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound that influences the workings of the brain, it’s certainly worth the effort to find out what kind of an effect CBD has on OCD.
It is known that CBD can be used with:
- Anxiety disorders: It has calming effects, both mentally and physically. It helps calm you down in case of panic attacks, social anxiety and depression. Because of this, CBD can be used to treat the anxiety part of OCD.
- Epilepsy: The success of CBD with epilepsy is more widely known right now. It’s used with conditions that cause seizures, as well as with involuntary muscle spasms. It’s also used to treat obsessive behaviour, because it can alleviate their severity. This makes it interesting to use CBD with OCD.
- Psychosis: Right this moment multiple studies are being done into the effectiveness of CBD with psychoses, like schizophrenia and manic depression. At this time, it’s still not known if CBD is usefull with these kinds of disorders.
Research On CBD And OCD
The only research conducted into CBD and OCD so far involved rats. These rats were administered a compound that caused panic attacks. The researchers subsequently gave marbles to the rats, which they started to bury right away. This categorizes as obsessive behaviour.
Then, the rats received CBD, to see of this would inhibit the behaviour. This turned out to be the case: CBD seems to have a suppressing effect on obsessive behaviour. Of course, this has only been studied in rats and you can’t directly apply the results to OCD in humans. Still, the result is promising. We can only hope that future studies will reveal the possibilities of CBD with OCD in humans.
CBD, Anxiety, And Compulsive Behaviour
Even if you don’t suffer from diagnosed OCD, you may be one of many people dealing with general compulsions and anxiety. If you do, the findings discussed above suggested you could benefit from trying CBD. We have to stress that there is no conclusive proof yet. Still, if you’re looking for more options, CBD could be an alternative for you. If you’re not sure about trying CBD, please feel free to discuss it with your doctor.
CBD: Better Than Antidepressants?
Generally, OCD is treated with antidepressants. This medication can have bothersome side effects and it’s usually not a good idea to use it long term. CBD is a natural remedy, that hardly causes any side effects, and you could take it as a supplement. You can also use it as a way to support yourself, when you don’t use any medication at all. If you’d like to try it, you can use CBD Oil, CBD Tablets or CBD Edibles. Start with a low dose and slowly build it up, until you feel that you get the desired effects.
*Incidentally, if you find yourself getting dry skin from washing your hands often, you’ll find that our CBD Skincare products can help hydrate your skin!