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January 13, 2023 5 min read
CBD has anxiolytic properties which treat anxiety associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This blog explains how CBD can suppress symptoms of OCD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a neurological disorder characterized by obsessions manifest through unwanted, upsetting, violent thoughts and other annoying behaviors. The disorder is heir to many conditions, including, but not limited to, anxiety, high-stress levels, and depression. CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is linked to stress, anxiety, and depression. Cannabidiol dispenses anxiolytic properties suitable for stress relief and antidepressants essential for depression. Unlike THC, CBD does not intoxicate its users, making it safe for neurological disorders like OCD.
The manifestations of OCD symptoms are more severe in females than in males. Patients of the disease could display signs of aggression, and fixation on objects, people, and behavior of ideals. Treatment for OCD involves a combination of therapies, antidepressants, and behavior changes. CBD has the following properties, which make the condition less severe when used properly.
CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to correct certain body imbalances. ECS is a complex network of neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones responsible for regulating mood, pain, sleep, digestion, and other physiological functions of the body. The system has a series of receptors that help regulate the body's functions. According to De Gregorio et al.(2019), cannabidiol interacts with serotonin, a hormone responsible for mood, to dispense anxiolytic and analgesic effects, which work for anxiety-related behaviors. Low doses of THC from cannabidiol increased the firing of 5-TH serotonin, decreasing anxiety-like behavior in rats. While there are limited similar studies on humans, the unregulated user of Cannabidiol reports similar results from anxiety. Therefore, CBD could slow down anxiety-like behavior among patients with OCD.
OCD is linked to high-level stress. Stress is a common precursor for other co-morbidities like depression and sleeplessness. CBD can trigger anti-stress properties in two ways. First, the non-addictive cannabis compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system to stimulate the products of 'feel-good' hormones responsible for mood regulation. The hormones result in low-stress levels among patients with OCD. Maroon & Bost (2018) observed that CBD counters the effects of the Cortisol hormone; the hormone is associated with elevated stress levels in the body. Therefore, Cannabidiol-infused oil treats stress by triggering 'feel-good' hormones and suppressing Cortisol.
Depression is an intervening factor for OCD; it results from multiple factors, including but not limited to chronic stress. CBD's antidepressant properties make it a utility product for depression. Maroon & Bost (2018) opined that Cannabidiol has calming and relaxing effects ideal for OCD-related depression. While the efficacy of Cannabidiol on OCD symptoms comes from anecdotal studies and observations from unregulated use, the Cannabis compound gives calming and relaxing effects. For instance, Elms et al.(2019) posited that CBD works for psychotic behaviors likeaggression, irritation, and stubbornness associated with CBD.
CBD comes in three varieties with varying Cannabidiol strengths and cannabis profiles. These include; broad, full, and isolated spectrums. Full-spectrum products contain most cannabis derivatives, including, but not limited to, THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. In contrast, the isolated spectrum contains pure CBD, while the broad spectrum contains all cannabis derivatives from hemp except THC; the broad and full spectrum provides a wide range of effects. The combination between THC and CBD amplifies the health benefits of the latter.
The trace amounts of THC in cannabis products may produce psychoactive effects if taken in excess quantity. The psychoactive effects of Cannabidiol could make the patients psychotic, worsening aggressive behavior among OCD patients. Nevertheless, products from reputable firms have THC levels at 0.2%, consistent with the UK laws on cannabis.
CBD is tolerated in the body. However, Iffland&Grotenhermen, (2017) opined that it could result in negative effects if taken in excess. The side effects could also come from first-time consumption. The side effects include:
The side effects of CBD depends on the method of consumption. For instance, edibles are synonymous with diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea, while smoking and Vaping could result in dryness of the mouth and irritation of the lungs. In contrast, topical products like creams and lotions may not lead to most side effects associated with CBD edibles. Instead, the topical could result in allergic reactions, irritation, and itching. Poor-quality products could also result in negative effects.
According to Balachandran, Elsohly& Hill (2021), CBD oil may inhibit the utility of other products used for OCD symptoms. The cannabis derivative is grapefruit-classified depending on the cannabis derivative used in the product; therefore, users should seek medical advice before using CBD for certain symptoms of OCD if they are under medication.
CBD oil products are available in many online and local stores in regions where cannabis derivatives are legalized. The unregulated cannabis market makes it difficult to select top-quality products. Nevertheless, customers can get good qualities products by looking at the following qualities;
In most cases, good quality CBD products have reasonable prices; while pricing is not an accurate parameter to measure the cost, poor quality brands tend to sell at low prices to attract more customers. Therefore, users should understand the average cost of a product from competing brands and the prices of reputable products.
CBD oil contains anxiolytic, analgesia, antidepressants, and calming effects ideal for patients with OCD symptoms. While the cannabis derivative is not approved for OCD, it has properties useful for OCD symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and high-level stress. A wide range of users tolerates CBD oil. Nevertheless, it could lead to side effects when taken in excess; poor quality products could also lead to negative side effects like irritation, allergies, or itching. Psychoactive products could also lead to psychotic behaviors, worsening aggression among OCD patients. Users should seek medical advice before taking CBD alongside other pharmacological drugs.
Balachandran, P., Elsohly, M., & Hill, K. P. (2021). Cannabidiol Interactions with Medications, Illicit Substances, and Alcohol: a Comprehensive Review. Journal of general internal medicine, 36(7), 2074–2084. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-020- 06504-8
Elms, L., Shannon, S., Hughes, S., & Lewis, N. (2019). Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 25(4), 392– 397. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2018.0437
Iffland, K., &Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139-154.
Maroon, J., & Bost, J. (2018). Review of the neurological benefits of hytocannabinoids. Surgical neurology international, 9, 91. https://doi.org/10.4103/sni.sni_45_18
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