OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is a behavioral disorder, characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears of unlikely objects or persons. It often stems from obsessing over those fears and ill thoughts, leading to strange compulsive and repetitive behavioral patterns by the afflicted individuals.
While people may find such individuals annoying, even silly, those suffering from this condition undergo extreme levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Most people don’t understand the ordeal of surviving each day in the life of individuals with OCD. While others may ridicule such individuals for their illogical, compulsive, and repetitive actions and behavior, the person suffering from OCD is not in control of his/her behavior (and their surroundings).
What’s even worse is that this disorder is NOT curable. However, it is one of those psychological conditions that are still somewhat treatable – with a variety of therapies and medicines.
Marked by general depression and panic, most OCD patients exhibit compulsive behaviors that may include:
- Repeatedly washing hands (as if to remove germs or dirt that aren’t there)
- Compulsive hoarding (worrying that those objects will somehow become unavailable)
- Being a stickler for rigid arrangements of objects the person usually uses or is used to seeing around him/her (for fear that they may get lost or being placed in the wrong order could cause some kind of catastrophe) and other painfully ritualistic behavior
- Repetitive movements or actions that do not have any specific purpose
- Repeating their own words (or of others) in an illogical manner
- Socially isolated
- Always anxious or depressed
- Often hyperventilating
- Panic-stricken and paranoid
- Impulsiveness and agitation
- Frequent nightmares and insomnia
Conventional Treatments & Their Downsides
These above-mentioned strange behaviors and actions are what clinical psychologists or psychiatrists attempt to address through speech therapy and/or medications. These can help patients live life a little better. The emphasis on “Better” is apt as these can improve the quality of life only marginally or partially, while the underlying problems remain.
Speech therapy, like group psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, aversion therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, psychotherapy, systematic desensitization, though are quite safe (unless a practitioner tries something radical) and also effective to a certain degree, aren’t enough to control such erratic, irrational, uncontrolled obsessions.
Medications, like antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and anxiolytics, often become a necessary aid to help such therapies to work.
These medications, though, don’t come without side-effects, most of which don’t sit well with patients. Their common side-effects include dry mouth, nausea, aggravation of either depression or anxiety, insomnia, body aches, upset stomach, stomach cramps, appetite loss, drowsiness, headaches, suicidal tendencies, low sex drive, weight loss or gain, erratic heart rate, etc.
If you’re someone who has been afflicted with OCD or know someone who has, you may be well-acquainted with these drawbacks of OCD treatments. And if you’ve landed on this page, that means you’re looking for a way out and hoping you’d find that in CBD.
CBD As A Potential Therapy For OCD
CBD (cannabidiol), a cannabinoid, found in cannabis extracts, has a long list of therapeutic benefits that have been studied and utilized by people from across the world for many decades. This trend picked up pace towards the end of the last decade after low-THC strains of cannabis started being produced legally in the US.
Most of you reading this article must have already heard of Cannabidiol’s amazing qualities of controlling and regulating moods, lowering mental agony and stress, alleviating anxiety and depression, and helping people improve their overall quality of life.
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Here’s why CBD can do that with little or no side-effects…
How CBD Works on The Human Mind
This natural plant extract mimics the actions of the body’s endocannabinoids and interacts with the nervous system to attain or reestablish homeostasis.
Unlike THC, which has mind-altering effects on a user, CBD doesn’t directly bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors – the key receptors of the endocannabinoid system. Instead, it interacts with our body’s serotonin receptor 5-HT1A.
Serotonin – the body’s happy chemical – regulates moods and keeps you feeling happy and content. As a result of CBD’s interaction with these receptors, users feel happier and less depressed or anxious.
Owing to its interaction with the 5-HT receptors, CBD can also lower pain sensation, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, as well as calm the nerves.
What Science Says About CBD’s Effects On OCD Patients
Cannabidiol’s effects on the human mind are being researched, investigated, and analyzed by scientists the world over. Most of their findings revolve around this cannabinoid’s efficacy in modulating moods and encouraging the mind to behave and operate normally.
Let’s take a look at what their findings have derived so far.
- A 2015 review, published in the Neurotherapeutics, researchers Esther Blessing and Maria Steenkamp established that CBD boosts anandamide, our body’s natural cannabinoid to lower stress and anxiety. This also points to CBD’s interaction with the serotonin receptors helping in this mechanism.
- CBD supplementation has been found to enhance anandamide signaling and inhibit its breakdown, thus alleviating stress, paranoia, and general psychosis. This was established in a double-blinded, randomized, parallel-group, controlled clinical trial of cannabidiol vs. amisulpride on a group of men and women, aged 18 – 50 years diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizophreniform psychosis. This paper was published in the Translational Psychiatry in March 2012.
- A 2019 review, published in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, suggests that CBD “promotes both a rapid and a sustained antidepressant effect in animal models”. This has been credited to the compound’s complex pharmacology that gives it the “ability to interact with multiple neurotransmitter systems involved in depression, including the serotonergic, glutamatergic, and endocannabinoid systems”.
- A 2016 study, published in the Neuropharmacology, suggests that CBD could be “a novel fast antidepressant drug” owing to its efficiency in enhancing the nervous system’s ability to feel happiness, via the “5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism”.
- According to a 2019 study on repeated use of CBD on teens with social anxiety disorder, which was published in the Frontiers in Psychology, also confirmed CBD’s anxiolytic properties.
- Besides, CBD has also been seen to be effective on Panic Disorder (PD) that is closely related to OCD. This was indicated in a 2017 review, published in the Current Neuropharmacology, which saw CBD as a promising drug for “the treatment of panic disorder”.
- CBD seems to have a positive impact on fear and anxiety – both critical aspects of OCD. That is as far as a 2019 study, published in the Current Psychiatry Reports, is concerned. The study reviewed the evidence from various recent preclinical trials that exhibited fear-regulating and anxiolytic effects of both CBD and the endocannabinoid anandamide by “dampening its expression, enhancing its extinction, and disrupting its reconsolidation”.
What about direct evidence of CBD helping reduce obsessive-compulsive behavior?
- A 2011 animal study, published in the Psychopharmacology, indicated that CBD use can effectively (though gradually) inhibit O-C behavior in mice and reduce its occurrence.
Even though this indicates that CBD could be similarly effective on the human endocannabinoid system, animal studies are not an exact representation of the effects a substance can have on humans.
- A more recent study on the acute effects of cannabinoids on obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans, published in the Depression and Anxiety in May 2020, may have raised little hope for people looking to try CBD or cannabis for OCD. The randomized, placebo-controlled, human laboratory study, conducted on 14 human volunteers with cannabis (containing varying levels of THC and CBD) and placebo, indicated that neither CBD nor THC has any significant immediate impact on people with OCD when compared to placebo.
Nevertheless, more detailed and prolonged clinical trials are needed to establish whether or not CBD can help OCD patients over a longer period.
Besides, THC is known for aggravating symptoms like anxiety and depression among humans. So, it’s possible that the trial failed to establish a positive impact of CBD on OCD patients owing to the presence of THC in both samples tried by the subjects.
BEST CBD OILS FOR OCD
- Cheef Botanicals
- NuLeaf Naturals
*We recommend only full-spectrum CBD oils for managing OCD symptoms, as it is the most potent variant of CBD extracts.
Why These Are Best-Suited For OCD
#1. FabCBD – Editor’s Choice
FabCBD, a small yet popular American CBD brand, has within a brief period garnered trust and loyalty of customers across the country. It offers CBD oils in a wide range of potencies and flavors, offering patients both variety and options to get the best possible flavors to soothe the nerves and doses to effectively reduce anxiety, depression, and panic-related feelings. This is one of the best options for users suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety- and depression-related disorders.
All in 30ml bottles
- Organically Grown, Cannabinoid-rich, Hemp Extract
- Natural Flavoring
- Medium Chain Triglycerides (fractionated coconut oil – carrier oil)
Contains trace amounts of hemp-derived THC (<0.3%)
Full-Spectrum CBD blend
ProVerde Laboratories Analytical Testing Services
#2. Cheef Botanicals – Purest, Tech-Driven CBD Oil
Set up by a team of health-conscious cannabis enthusiasts, Cheef Botanicals brings knowledge about the market, its needs, as well as the science to the table. Like FabCBD, Cheef also excels in its extract quality – offering 100% natural and organic, lab-tested CBD products that are both safe and effective for all users.
- 300mg (15ml)
- 600mg (15ml)
- 1200mg (30ml)
- 3000mg (60ml)
- Hempseed Oil
- CBD Extract
#3. NuLeaf Naturals – Most Balanced CBD Formulation
Established in 2014 by a similar group of health-conscious herbal medicine enthusiasts as those who created Cheef Botanicals, this brand is one of the country’s finest and pioneering hemp companies. The brand maintains transparency, right from its cultivation and extraction practices to formulation and sale. These CBD oils are available in different sizes, all containing the same potency of approximately 60mg/ml.
Until recently, it only made CBD oils for both humans and pets. It has recently come out with its full-spectrum CBD softgel capsules (15mg/cap).
- 300mg (5ml)
- 900mg (15ml)
- 1800mg (30ml)
- 3000mg (50ml)
- 6000mg (100ml)
All variants, in effect, have the same potency of about 60mg/ml. They come in different sizes to make dosing easier.
- Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
- Organic Virgin Hemp Seed Oil
ProVerde Laboratories Analytical Testing Services
Switching To Green: Is CBD A Good Option?
CBD products aren’t regulated by the US Food and Drugs Administration, leaving their quality control entirely in the hands of the manufacturers.
Many unscrupulous companies take advantage of this to sell fake and poor-grade CBD oils, which do more harm to your health and pockets than good.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, like most mental conditions, requires proper care and attention. That’s why it is best to weigh the pros and cons of using any new substance to treat this condition. This is particularly true in times like these when there is very little way of knowing which product will provide you with proper relief.
Besides, all never buy from brands of poor or less repute.
Lastly, never try to self-medicate yourself, without first consulting with your doctor, who understands your condition better than you do.