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Here’s What You Should Know About CBD & OCD

Preliminary studies suggest CBD can be a helpful tool for managing the symptoms of OCD. Still, more research is needed for definitive answers.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurring and unwanted thoughts that make people want to comply with specific behaviors compulsively. OCD can vary dramatically from person to person, affecting people to variable degrees. Those who acquire an OCD diagnosis find these patterns and compulsions highly distressing and obtrusive to their everyday life. Can CBD help these people manage their disorder?

Those with OCD who turn to CBD for relief are usually exploring self-medication, looking for treatments that are less invasive than anti-depressants and therapies. It’s important to know that even if someone experiences relief from their consumption of CBD, the cannabinoid is not a replacement for other drugs.

While there’s not a lot of studies looking into CBD’s capabilities for treating anxiety disorders, it’s an option worth exploring, especially considering the fact that current medications and therapies have low recovery rates. The limited research and anecdotal evidence on CBD and OCD suggest that the compound can manage symptoms or provide supplemental treatment with some effectiveness, mainly thanks to the compound’s anxiolytic and antipsychotic qualities.

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Here's What You Should Know About CBD & OCD
Photo by Mélissa Jeanty via Unsplash

A 2019 review published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research explains that the body’s endocannabinoid system plays an important part in regulating neurotransmitters, which is why it’s effective in treating common anxiety and certain epileptic disorders.

“Although preliminary, the available clinical data indicate that cannabinoids influence OCD-relevant processes, impacting anxiety symptoms, enhancing fear extinction, and reducing certain repetitive behaviors,” cites the review. “To date, only case reports detail how cannabinoids affect OCD symptoms specifically, although the effects reported are promising. Further testing is warranted.”

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While there’s not enough data to draw conclusions or options for treatment, the studies that exist on animals and humans suggest that CBD is an influence on people’s emotions. This knowledge alone makes CBD worth exploring, offering a more natural and less invasive method of treating mental illnesses.

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