Cannabinoids And OCD
It has been difficult finding the right treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In many cases, physicians make use of antidepressant and anxiety medications. Unfortunately, these medications have lots of side effects. Little wonder then why there is a lot of interest in industrial hemp-derived cannabinoids for the treatment of OCD. According to research, hemp has the potential to play helpful roles in the treatment of OCD without the side effects. We'll dive into those roles shortly, but first, let's review what obsessive-compulsive disorder actually is.
What Is OCD?
To put it in the broadest of terms, OCD is an anxiety disorder. It is characterized by unwanted thoughts which seem to recur. It is also characterized by ideas, obsessions, and sensations that drive the patient to do a particular thing compulsively and repetitively. It should be noted that these repetitive behaviors and compulsions such as hand-washing, continuous checking on things, and cleaning can interfere in a person’s daily life and social interactions.
Many individuals have repeated focused thoughts or repetitive behaviors that do not interfere with their daily activities (such as I need to go to the grocery store, my flight leaves at 4:00 p.m., I need to feed my dog, etc.). These repeated thoughts and behaviors help improve an individual's daily life. Conversely, individuals who suffer from OCD experience an avalanche of persistent or unrelenting thoughts. They have unwanted fixed routines and behaviors, and if they fail to perform these routines, it affects them negatively, causing a lot of anxiety and stress.
Many OCD patients understand that their obsessions are uncalled for. That notwithstanding, individuals who suffer from this disorder find it quite difficult to steer clear of their obsessions, and they cannot stop their compulsive activities/routine.
For a person to be diagnosed with OCD, the obsession or compulsion must consume a lot of time, no less than an hour each day. These compulsions result in immense anguish and cause an impairment of social interactions, school, work, or other important activities.
Studies have shown that at least 1.2 percent of individuals in the United States are affected by OCD. The disorder is more common among females than males–according to a survey by the American Psychiatric Association. It should also be noted that this disorder starts in one’s teens or early adulthood, mostly from the age of 19.
How Cannabinoids Can Effectively Treat OCD
Not much research has been done on the main cause of OCD. As a matter of fact, no conclusion has been drawn on the exact cause of it. A lot of theories suggest infection or physical trauma that causes changes in the brain, while others emphasize emotional trauma that makes it difficult to cope. Conventional treatment for patients of obsessive-compulsive disorder combines cognitive therapy with tricyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and anti-anxiety medications.
Industrial Hemp and OCD
Management of OCD can take many years of intensive therapy depending on the severity of the disorder. For those who have been severely affected by the disorder, the accompanying depression and anxiety are often managed with medications. However, it should be noted that although anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications can be effective, they often have severe side effects.
The side effects commonly experienced include headache, nausea, insomnia, weight gain, agitation, diarrhea, and drowsiness. Anti-anxiety drugs work by inhibiting brain activity, which also has some related side effects. These include confusion, blurred vision, drowsiness, loss of memory, and, in some cases, depression.
Because of this long list of anti-anxiety medication and antidepressant side effects, industrial hemp-derived CBD is a safe, viable alternative treatment option. Cannabinoids offer similar benefits as prescription medications, without the side effects.
CBD and OCD Clinical Evidence
For centuries, industrial hemp has been used by medical practitioners the world over for the treatment of anxiety and pain. Recent studies have verified industrial hemp-derived cannabinoids as an effective medication for some patients with anxiety-related disorders. Though some participants involved in the study reported an increased level of anxiety in recent studies, a good number reported a drastic reduction in anxiety-related symptoms when using cannabinoids. It is believed that the difference in results may be due to variations in body chemistry.
Conventional SSRIs work by producing serotonin, a brain chemical. While the cannabinoids present in industrial hemp (CBD, CBL, CBG, CBN, CBDA, and CBC) do not produce serotonin themselves, they do have an influence on anandamide, a natural cannabinoid made by the human brain. The reaction of anandamide with these cannabinoids produces a soothing and calming effect throughout the body which can reduce the anxiety experienced by the sufferer. Because the anxiety has been reduced, the compulsive urges that are characteristic of OCD become diminished.
Research has equally shown that industrial hemp acts as an effective anti-nausea drug. For a patient with OCD who is continually in need of some of the traditional medications, the addition of industrial hemp can help alleviate some symptoms. Cannabidiol (CBD), for instance, is an essential component of industrial hemp. Studies have shown that CBD is laced with chemical properties that combat anxiety, and also alleviate nausea.
Symptoms of OCD That Can Be Treated with Cannabiniods
OCD has different symptoms and effects on different patients. Cannabinoids may be helpful to some people, while to others, it may not. This, however, depends on the patient’s way of doing things, and the fact that everyone is different. Some individuals with OCD who use CBD may feel that they have absolutely no control, while others experience relief with it during anxious or stressful moments.
Industrial hemp has been helpful in the treatment of anxiety over a long period of time. As a matter of fact, CBD has anti-anxiety properties, and many patients are using products with a high CBD content to help control their symptoms of OCD.
Even so, anxiety comes in a lot of forms. A patient who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may experience a different level of anxiety than a patient who struggles with the social form, which is equally true for OCD patients.
Each patient of OCD has unique obsessive thoughts and experiences that stimulate anxiety and worry. The only way that relief that can be found for this anxiety is by acting out their compulsions.
As has been stated, OCD can cause many symptoms. Thankfully, industrial hemp-derived cannabinoids can help with a number of the following symptoms:
- Repetitive behavior
- Impulsive behavior
- Repeated thoughts
- Tension and stress
- Isolation and or social anxiety
CBD can also help treat the effects of certain medications used for the treatment of OCD such as tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin uptake inhibitors, such as:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal cramps
The Hemp Haus Commitment to Cannabinoid Awareness
The Nature’s Breakthrough educational resource is just one of the ways The Hemp Haus practices its sincere commitment to and passion for educating people about CBD and helping them find the right, high-quality productsbased on their needs. The team at The Hemp Haus recommends full spectrum CBD from tested, trusted brands like Ananda Hemp and Puffin Hemp.
If you or a loved one would like to know more about CBD, but are not sure where to start, The Hemp Haus team is always available to help guide you. Feel free to come into the store in Kansas City or contact them by phone or email. It is important to them that you are confident and comfortable with your CBD experience.
The Nature’s Breakthrough educational resource is just one of the ways The Hemp Haus practices its sincere commitment to and passion for educating people about CBD and helping them find the right, high-quality product based on their needs.
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