Image Credits:

Is Medical Cannabis a Possible Treatment for Symptoms of OCD?

One of the most common mental health conditions that we come across with is OCD- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. While, one may claim to have OCD tendencies, or suspect any in others, this mental health condition affects as many as one in forty adults.

However, one of the most challenging things could be selecting the best treatment option for a person with OCD. Consequently, people end up risking worsening their symptoms, by turning to self medication, in an attempt to manage their condition.

While harsh side effects or overdose potential, are not something that cannabis is known for, misuse of the drug can prove to be dangerous. Although the side effects of prescribed cannabis are usually minimal, obtaining unprescribed drugs from drug dealers off the streets, give no certainty of any addition that may have been done to the drug or what has been taken.

Like any other health condition, the severity varies from person to person. However, a patient with OCD may find cannabis helpful in reducing specific symptoms.

Many times, anxiety symptoms start to show u in people suffering from OCD because of their need to control certain parts of their life. While some people living with OCD may resort to use of cannabis, in order to ease down their anxiety for temporary periods of time, some people on the other hand, may struggle because of the feeling of limited control that they have been left with.

While medical cannabis has been effective for anxiety treatments, it may also be helpful for some OCD patients. Because medical cannabis consists of a chemical called cannabidiol (CBD) instead of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn’t have the same effects as non-medical cannabis. Thus, it can decrease a person’s paranoia or anxiety.

As the research on the role of endocannabinoid system (ECS) in managing fear, anxiety, and repetitive behaviors, continues, scientists specializing in OCD continue to research have starting to direct their research towards cannabinoids, to be potentially used for the management or alleviation of OCD symptoms.

However, desired effects may not be seen in every patient, by the use of medical cannabis. The degree of severity of anxiety will vary from patient to patient. The compulsive behavior of each patient with OCD, is caused by their anxiety which is in turn activated by their own unique experiences.

For this reason, due to the difference of experiences with the disorder, every patient’s symptoms may react differently to medical cannabis. Although, presence of intrusive and uncontrollable thoughts or impulses, would be the one common experience they share.

Medical cannabis can typically help with symptoms of OCD such as impulsive behavior and urges, repetitive behavior and thoughts, anxiety, depression, stress, and social isolation.

However, limitation of unwanted side effects by certain medications can also be aided by medical cannabis. The side effects include nausea, weight loss, insomnia, abdominal cramps, headaches, agitation, and restlessness

Precautions regarding safe use of cannabis

  • Some forms of cannabis may help alleviate the symptoms of OCD.
  • Cannabis is safe only when prescribed. Cannabis from drug dealers off the street could prove fatal due to the unknown additional substances that may be present in the drug.
  • Medical cannabis is an option that patients can discuss with their physician.
  • Medical cannabis can help with anxiety and compulsions in individuals.

However, a history of drug abuse, risks the safety of a person’s use, even with medical cannabis, leading to a cycle of drug addiction and use of other illicit drugs. However, only further research on cannabis can provide us with the answers that we need regarding the safety and effectiveness of cannabis, as a treatment for anxiety disorders.