There are several different types of OCD that a person can be diagnosed with, making it difficult to treat. Depending on the symptoms, different forms of treatment will be used. One of these potential treatments is medication. Unfortunately, most medications capable of treating symptoms of OCD come along with some pretty nasty side effects. For this reason, it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing medical marijuana for OCD, instead.
What is OCD?
OCD is an acronym that stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In the United States, it affects approximately 1% of adults, or 2.2 million people. Typically the disorder presents itself in a person by the time they turn 19.
There are several different types of the disorder, however the 4 most common are:
- Intrusive Thoughts
General symptoms of the disorder may include:
- Unwanted recurring thoughts or sensations
- Uncontrollable obsession with something (for more than one hour per day)
- Continuously struggling with ideas that force you to do something compulsively or repetitively. This may include obsessively checking things, cleaning things, or repeatedly getting the urge to wash your hands.
These symptoms usually will interfere with social interactions, work, school, everyday tasks, and other important functions.
When the patient can’t give in to, or fights against the compulsions or obsessions, distress, anxiety, depression, or tension can result. For some people, the obsessions and compulsions are so severe and uncontrollable that they are unable to pay attention or focus on anything else.
Obsessions may include:
- Needing things to be a certain, specific way
- Extreme aversion to dirt and contamination
- Suicidal thoughts and tendencies
- Unwanted, uncontrollable thoughts (religious, sexual, etc…)
Some examples of compulsions are:
- Maintaining a specified routine
- Cleaning / Organization
- Requiring constant reassurance
With that being said, a patient won’t necessarily be both obsessive and compulsive, although that is often the case.
How is it typically treated?
Common treatments for the symptoms of OCD include cognitive behavioral therapy (cognitive therapy & exposure/response prevention,) anti-anxiety medication, antidepressants, or a combination of all these things.
Medications can manage depression and anxiety long enough to give therapy a chance to work. While this is usually relatively effective, there is some bad news. That is, negative side effects from these medications can be moderate to severe, sometimes making the situation worse.
Potential side effects from anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants might include:
- Blurred vision
- Impaired thinking
- Memory loss
- Weight gain
Medical Marijuana for OCD
Marijuana has been utilized as a pain & anxiety-reliever for hundreds of years. Although the effectiveness of marijuana varies from person to person, one recent study concluded that a large majority of participants experienced relief from anxiety with medical marijuana. The other participants reported increased anxiety, which is due to the unique body chemistry of every individual.
Traditional therapy (medications) boost serotonin, which is your body’s “feel good” chemical. Marijuana does not produce serotonin, but it does stimulate the release of another hormone called anandamide. Anandamide interacts with THC, causing a soothing effect, thus relieving anxiety just as effectively. Reducing anxiety helps the obsessions and compulsions dissipate.
On a side note, if a patient must continue to take anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants, CBD may be able to help alleviate some of the negative side effects.
Medical marijuana can help treat these side effects of treatment/symptoms of OCD, as well:
- Abdominal cramps
- Impulsive behavior
- Repeated behavior and thoughts
- Social anxiety
- Weight loss
If you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you may want to consider medical marijuana for OCD. It is safer than traditional medication, and possibly more effective. It is always advised to speak to a licensed physician before switching treatments.
Intrusive thoughts are a symptom of several different mental health disorders, including but not limited to PTSD, OCD and Anxiety Disorder. Studies have shown that patients may be able to take CBD for the treatment of intrusive thoughts.
What are intrusive thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted ideas or obsessions that can make you feel anxious, angry, sad, or uncomfortable. Often times, it is impossible to make them go away or to even cope with them. They can keep you awake at night and cause you to lose focus throughout the day.
If you suffer from these thoughts, you may constantly play a random scenario over and over again in your mind, to the point of obsession. An example of this could be thinking you said something wrong or offensive to someone or believing that you left the oven on or door unlocked. Intrusive thoughts can greatly interfere with everyday life.
How CBD may be able to help…
People who suffer from intrusive thoughts have been found to have specific, overactive parts of the brain. The first overactive area is the Inferior Frontal Gyrus, which is responsible for language processing. The Cingulate Cortex is also overactive, which is in control of emotion, memory, and learning. Lastly, the Hippocampus is often overactive. This part of the brain is responsible for short-term & long-term memory, as well as spatial navigation.
CBD has the ability to disrupt the over activity in the Inferior Frontal Gyrus and Cingulate Cortex, impairing cognitive functions. This may be one of the ways that CBD is able to reduce anxiety, thus decreasing intrusive thoughts.
When it comes to the Hippocampus, CBD interacts with its receptors in such a way that it helps your brain deal with intrusive thoughts instead of letting them run wild in your head.
Contact Marijuana Doctor
There’s no reason to suffer in silence, when you very well may be able to use CBD for the treatment of intrusive thoughts.