Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a debilitating condition in which an individual experiences obsessions, compulsions, and anxiety. According to the Canadian Psychological Association around 1-2% of the population will experience an episode of OCD in their lifetime. The current treatments include antipsychotic, antidepressant, and antianxiety medications. But some studies and anecdotal evidence support cannabis as an alternative.
Cannabis is known to reduce anxiety, one of the main symptoms of OCD, and the driving force behind obsessive and compulsive behaviour. The reason for the relief of anxiety is the interaction of cannabis with your endocannabinoid system which helps regulate your fear response. Endocannabinoids are your body’s natural cannabinoids and when you’re anxious they are actually reduced. By consuming cannabis you can rebalance your system and fight anxiety.
However, there have been studies that imply that personal biology is a main factor in response to cannabis. Some could potentially experience increased anxiety when consuming it due to sensitivity to THC. So the treatment of OCD with cannabis could depend largely on how the patient responds, and the balance of THC and CBD in the strains they choose.
So CBD, as opposed to THC, may be the key to reducing OCD symptoms. Many have found that taking CBD before an anxiety-inducing situation reduces panic response. In addition, a study published by NCBI in 2012 found that CBD reduced compulsive behavior in rats.
Patients with OCD could potentially see relief from cannabis therapy depending on their personal biology. However, the introduction of cannabis into any medical treatment plan should be carefully monitored by a physician.
Shasta Nelson is a California Native and a cannabis connoisseur. She's been involved in the industry at every level since she was a teenager. Currently she provides content for Roottie, DOPE Magazine, and Terpenes and Testing. She's also a creative writer, with a graphic novel underway.