Medical Marijuana and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects about 1% (2.2 million) of the U.S. adult population. For many readers, this may come as a surprise. It’s easy to imagine that a whole lot of U.S. citizens and residents must have OCD. The truth is, OCD has become one of those mental disorders that the world has glamorized; one may begin to think it is a lifestyle or even a personality trait for doers. The term OCD is often misused, to the point that those who actually suffer from OCD may think that whatever they are going through is normal. Thankfully, a lot of patients with OCD are acknowledging their conditions and seeking help. Unsurprisingly, this includes people discovering the connection between OCD and medical marijuana.
What is OCD?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, OCD is a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). The characteristics of OCD include irrational, intrusive thoughts, fears, or repetitive behaviors such as repeated cleaning, hand washing, and checking on things.
Being a chronic mental condition that often involves intrusive thoughts, most medical research declares OCD incurable. Those that imply otherwise also note that it cannot be cured entirely. In fact, a trigger can make the disorder resurface some other time.
However, in the absence of a permanent cure, certain therapies and medications can help patients cope with or gain relief from OCD symptoms. Patients looking for significant OCD relief without the sometimes-grave side effects of drugs often opt for marijuana OCD treatment.
Common Types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD makes it hard for patients to have an everyday social life. Unfortunately, given the perception of the term “OCD,” patients with OCD may find it hard to accept that they have the condition. This disorder comes in different ways and forms that go beyond the little things we often portray.
There are numerous types of OCD, but the common categories include:
- Contamination / mental contamination – a repetitive urge to clean surfaces or a fear that something is contaminated or dirty. People generally regard this as the most common type of OCD.
- Checking – a repetitive urge to check if things (locks, alarm systems, ovens, etc.) are in order.
- Intrusive thoughts and ruminations – obsessing over a line of thought or thoughts, which are often disturbing or aggressive.
- Hoarding – an intense urge to keep things, even when they are not needed or needed for something else.
- Doubts and incompleteness – having doubts about everything and oneself, even to the point of self-sabotage.
- Organization (symmetry and ordering) – an intense need to have things set or lined up in a particular pattern.
Ten Symptoms of OCD
These common types of OCD often come as feelings or thoughts that push one to be compulsive or obsessive about something. Irrespective of the kind of OCD a patient suffers, the symptoms are often the same across the board.
The common symptoms of OCD include:
- Fears (of getting contaminated, losing something important, yelling out insults, etc.)
- Disturbing sexual thoughts
- Disturbing violent thoughts
- Social isolation
- Panic attack
- Difficulty tolerating uncertainty
By looking at these symptoms, it may become clear why patients opt for marijuana for anxiety and OCD to relieve themselves of OCD symptoms.
What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
OCD can manifest in different manners. Generally, the causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder are still unclear. However, medical research theorizes that the following may count as the causes and risk factors of OCD.
- Stress. People that have experienced a particularly traumatic or stressful event are likely to develop OCD, depending on how they react to those events.
- Other mental health disorders. Depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, etc., may lead an individual down the path of developing OCD as a response or coping mechanism.
- Genetic causes. Indications show that sometimes OCD runs in families, posing an implication of possible genetic factors.
- Learning and observation. Individuals may develop obsessive or compulsive behaviors through things they learned from events or people around them, such as superstitious beliefs.
- Biology. Changes in an individual’s brain functions or natural body chemistry may lead to OCD.
How Does Medical Marijuana Help OCD?
You may have occasionally heard of CBD for OCD, and you can’t help but wonder about the link between marijuana and OCD. First, to understand the relationship between weed and OCD, you must understand the relationship between cannabinoids (compounds found in marijuana) and the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a nerve-signaling system that extends throughout the human body to help maintain cognitive, physiological, and emotional stability. Recent studies have shown that irregularities in the endocannabinoid system may have a role to play in the sudden manifestation of OCD in patients. ECS comprises cannabinoid compounds similar to those found in marijuana. Hence, consuming marijuana (consequently, cannabinoids) allows the cannabinoids to activate or boost the functions of the endocannabinoid system.
Now, a 2021 OCD and medical marijuana research study found that patients that inhale (smoke or vape) medical cannabis experience a significant reduction in compulsions, intrusive thoughts, and anxiety. This further establishes the link between smoking marijuana and OCD or using CBD oil for treating OCD.
The effects of marijuana on OCD differ from strain to strain. Some can help OCD patients lighten their mood, become calm, less anxious, or less compulsive.
LEARN MORE: Common MMJ Qualifying Medical Conditions
5 Best Strains for OCD
If you wish to take CBD for intrusive thoughts, depression, or compulsiveness, you’ll need to find the best strain possible. Below, we have provided a list of some of the strains that most OCD patients have reported to be effective in managing the symptoms of OCD.
Charlotte’s Web boasts a high CBD content, making it suitable for patients skeptical about the psychedelic effects of marijuana. Thus, patients who use this strain report having happier feelings and thoughts, regaining focus, and feeling more relaxed. This is especially helpful for patients dealing with depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts.
This is a 50/50 sativa-indica hybrid strain. Boasting near equal amounts of THC (15%) and CBD (12%), Cannatonic helps OCD patients become more confident, motivated, light-hearted, composed, and relaxed.
However, patients do report that the effects of this strain are not long-lasting – for some patients, this is an advantage.
This strain is prevalent among patients with disorders that affect mental health. With a CBD content of about 11%, Harlequin offers safe use to patients anytime as the psychedelic effects are negligible.
OCD patients who use Harlequin to relieve their OCD symptoms report experiencing a non-sedative feeling of relaxation, making them less compulsive. Its potency also relieves other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear, apprehension, etc.
Cherry Kola is one of the very few strains with high THC content that made it into the testimonies of OCD patients. (It averages around 22%.) Despite having a high THC content, OCD patients, especially those dealing with insomnia, find this strain to be helpful in making them relax and sleep. It provides the best of both worlds – euphoric high and utmost relaxation.
NOTE: Patients who are intolerant of the psychedelic effects of marijuana should avoid this strain.
ACDC is popular amongst patients for its potency in alleviating obsessions, panic, fear, mental exhaustion, depression, and tension symptoms. Patients who are also experiencing pains may find this strain to be a great pain reliever. ACDC boasts a high CBD content of 18%. Thus, this makes it a suitable relaxant and an excellent choice for patients looking for relief without the high.
Other strains that OCD patients have found helpful include Jack Herer, Cherry Pie, Northern Lights, Blackberry Kush, One to One, and Girl Scout Cookies.
Medical Marijuana Card for OCD
Although you may have read time and again that OCD has no cure, it is no cause for you to give up on seeking treatment that can help alleviate or manage the symptoms. Using medical marijuana in different forms – dabbing, smoking, topicals, transdermal patches, edibles – can help patients get relief from a whole lot of OCD symptoms.
Are you an OCD patient finding it challenging to acquire a medical marijuana card? Does the thought of leaving your home to visit a state-designated center for your card make you feel paranoid? Whatever the problem may be, Elevate Holistics is here to help you obtain an MMJ card. This way, you can easily access medical marijuana for OCD.
You can apply for a medical marijuana card online, right from the comfort of your home, and get it within the next 48 hours! Plus, we can help you schedule a virtual appointment with a certified medical marijuana doctor, who will provide personalized recommendations that could be more helpful in alleviating your OCD symptoms.
Contact us now to learn more about medical marijuana and OCD. Then, you’ll get your hands on an MMJ card quickly, affordably, and digitally.