A growing body of medical research shows that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors may play a role in modulating anxiety, fear, and repetitive behavior.
But can it also help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and its symptoms? And if so, will cannabis-based drugs like cannabidiol (CBD) be an innovative but effective treatment toward curing the disease?
We'll dive into all of this and more within this article, so keep reading.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports, "It is estimated that 1.2% of US adults had OCD in the past year." It occurs more in women than in men and occurs with a lifetime prevalence of 2.3%.
Among the victims of the United States. In the United States, 50.6% had a severe disability, 34.8% had moderate impairment, and 14.6% had mild disability.
This applies to 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children with obsessive compulsive disorder, a disease that has confused doctors, psychiatrists, and neurologists, leading to different diagnoses, predictions, and treatments. Now there is a growing interest in treating OCD with CBD and other cannabinoids.
In a new article published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, researchers from Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York examined this possibility.
In their comprehensive report, the team provides an overview of the intricate workings of the ECS in the brain while examining evidence from animal and human studies, suggesting that the ECS may play a more significant role in OCD and associated disorders than once thought.
"Is there a place for cannabinoid in psychiatry?" Asks Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of cannabis, and cannabinoid research.
"Evidence from animal and human studies suggests that the endocannabinoid system is an important regulator of emotions, but how can we use this knowledge for therapeutic purposes? This article provides a critical evaluation of the evidence, focusing on obsessive-compulsive disorder and clues to future research."
Before this can happen, however, the FDA needs to regulate the market and set standards to dictate further study.
What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental condition that occurs when a person is trapped in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. According to articles posted in the International OCD Foundation,
"Obsessions are unwanted intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses that evoke disturbing emotions. They compel behaviors in which an individual commit to trying to get rid of their obsessions and/or alleviate their anxiety."
Symptoms of OCD include:
- Obsessions are intense fixations, uncomfortable and disturbed by pollution, dirt, damage, fear, sexuality, religious scruples, superstitions, and more.
- Compulsions are repetitive thoughts and behaviors designed to neutralize or prohibit obsessions. Repeated actions can occur as over-washing and cleaning, continuous checks, repetitive body movements, multiple activities, counting and self-correcting, organization and reorganization of items, etc.
What Causes OCD?
OCD behaviors and symptoms often resemble other anxiety disorders, often making it difficult to diagnose. What we do know is that the condition often comes when there is an imbalance in a person's serotonin levels.
The fact that some people with OCD respond to serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) indicates that the disease may originate from human neurology in the brain. What's more, the rate of increase of symptoms in first-degree relatives is also higher, there may be a significant genetic component as well.
Clearly, the identification and treatment regarding the causes of OCD are intricate and sometimes misdirected.
According to researchers at Psychology Today, attention is shifting from an early childhood psychological setting to a research-driven clinical approach when it comes to the interaction of cognitive, environmental, and neurobiological factors affecting the onset of OCD.
Psychologists review how OCD may develop from physical or sexual traumas in early childhood.
OCD Treatment Options
There is a difference between being a perfectionist, requiring impeccable results, versus having OCD. Compulsive obsessions are not simply worrying too much about real problems in your life.
If your obsessions and compulsions affect your quality of life, consult your doctor or mental health professional and get the best treatment option.
While CBD is not a cure for any disease, it has been shown to help with symptoms you may be experiencing. If you want relief and think CBD may be a solution for you, be sure to check out Mana Artisan Botanics™
Some psychiatric medications may help control a patient's condition. Most often, antidepressants are first tested, since depression is a major concern.
Antidepressants approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
However, your doctor may prescribe other antipsychotic and psychiatric medication options to you.
Sometimes medication and psychotherapy are not sufficient enough to control compulsive symptoms. Continued research into the potential effectiveness of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment of OCD that does not respond to traditional treatment approaches.
Since DBS has not been thoroughly tested as an OCD treatment, be sure to review all the benefits and health risks for yourself.
CBD OCD Treatment
You may wonder if you can use CBD oil to treat OCD. Currently, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as antidepressants, are used to alleviate symptoms related to obsessive compulsions. However, these therapeutic aids are not a long-term solution. Also, antidepressants may be addictive and affect the health of people who use them over a long term.
In general, treatment requires long-term therapeutic support for you to resume a healthy life. Therefore, it is reasonable to try natural solutions like CBD for OCD.
How CBD Helps OCD Symptoms
Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder have obsessions and compulsions in combination together, but some only experience one of the conditions.
Common obsessive thoughts include:
- Fear in contaminating oneself or others with germs and dirt
- Increased concern of losing control and causing harm or harm to others
- Sexually explicit or violently intrusive thoughts and images
- Excessive concentration on religious or moral ideas.
- Daily Angst and Stress
- Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must be aligned "perfectly."
- Superstition; Excessive attention to something that is considered happy or unhappy.
Common compulsive behaviors include:
- Excessive checking of things such as locks, appliances, and switches
- Self-induced required activity
- Check your loved ones repeatedly to make sure they are safe
- Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or nonsense to reduce anxiety
- Spend a lot of time washing or cleaning
- Sort or organize things like that
- Must exaggerate or participate in rituals caused by religious fear
- Waste collection like old newspapers or empty containers
When CBD oil is used as therapy to treat OCD, the anti-compulsive effects of CBD are the reverse of obsessive-compulsive behavior. Scientists suggest that relief is due to the interaction of serotonin with the cannabinoid system. Similar effects are found with THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.
As such, the study shows that CBD may be a valuable therapeutic OCD oil and a natural alternative to currently available medications.
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What's the CBD Dosage to Treat OCD Symptoms
Because CBD is not currently an established FDA-approved medicine, there are no concrete CBD dosages that have been recommended at this time.
Based on widespread anecdotal evidence only, the standard CBD dosage recommendation may depend on your body weight. Start with 1 to 6 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.
We've built a calculator for you so that you can find the lowest starting dose for your body weight below:
The above dosage recommendation is general and merely a suggestion. Your case may differ in that you may need a lot more, while others may need a lot less. Please consult with your physician before supplementing your treatment with CBD.
More specialized research will be needed to highlight the sustainability of CBD longterm, especially for OCD. There is a large amount of current and independent evidence (as well as anecdotal material from patients) suggesting how CBD is an effective treatment for a wide range of anxiety-induced symptoms.
Fortunately, obsessive-compulsive disorder is no exception, as it is part of the spectrum of genetic and neurological anxiety disorders. With that being said, be sure to consult with your physician before taking any alternative medications, including any that are made from hemp.
Kayser, R., Snorrason, I., Haney, M., Lee, F. and Simpson, H. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System: A New Treatment Target for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 4(2), pp.77-87.
Deiana, S., Watanabe, A., Yamasaki, Y., Amada, N., Arthur, M., Fleming, S., Woodcock, H., Dorward, P., Pigliacampo, B., Close, S., Platt, B. and Riedel, G. (2011). Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive–compulsive behaviour. Psychopharmacology, 219(3), pp.859-873.Umathe, S., Manna, S. and Jain, N. (2011). Involvement of endocannabinoids in antidepressant and anti-compulsive effect of fluoxetine in mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 223(1), pp.125-134.