CBD and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is a condition that is characterized by repetitive behavior and intrusive thoughts that can negatively affect one’s quality of life. In addition to the intrusive thoughts, anxiety and depression are commonly accompanied with OCD, which also adds hurdles in any day-to-day routine (1).
Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system is involved in the pathology of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which means this gives us a target receptor system that we can use cannabinoids like CBD and THC to improve how we approach and treat OCD in the community. CBD is a great cannabinoid to include because CBD was shown to reduce OCD, reduce depression, and improve one’s quality of life (1). Now, if we can do that by using something natural, safe, and effective that acts on our endocannabinoid system (the system that maintains homeostasis), then we are absolutely taking advantage of the many uses that this medicinal plant has to offer.
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The only medications that are approved by the FDA to treat OCD are serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), but typically treatment is limited and relief from OCD is uncommon (2). This means that more medications are often introduced as a secondary form of treatment (2).
If you know anything about human health and homeostasis (the body’s ability to maintain an internal stable state of equilibrium), you will know that introducing another medication (that could potentially cause a larger deviation from homeostasis), may not be the best idea. This is why researchers on the lookout for a more effective treatment to improve how they treat OCD. Because of the potential of CBD and THC when discussing OCD, medical researchers are pushing for cannabis as a treatment for OCD (and for good reasons) (1).
Long term dependence on SRIs can cause folic acid deficiencies (3). Folate (vitamin B-9) helps with formation of red blood cells and helps with healthy cell growth and function, which means this vitamin is vital for human health.
Deficiencies in folate can lead to neural tube defects, heart and blood vessel defects, strokes, elevated homocysteine levels (causing cardiovascular disease), depression, cancer, as well as dementia (4). Therefore, making sure the body has adequate levels of folate is vital.
Now I am not the smartest man in the world, but I know which option sounds better when it comes to facing OCD, addressing anxiety, and improving depression...
Cheers to one amazing plant with seemingly endless uses. This is plant medicine!
*This information is for education purposes only and simply sharing information pertaining to these studies. No medical advice or claims are being made.
- Szejko, N., Fremer, C., & Müller-Vahl, K. R. (2020). Cannabis Improves Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-Case Report and Review of the Literature. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 681. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00681
- Pittenger, C., & Bloch, M. H. (2014). Pharmacological treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Psychiatric clinics of North America, 37(3), 375–391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psc.2014.05.006