What is OCD?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects 1% of Americans. Imagine having recurring thoughts about leaving your fridge door open, so much so that you have to keep checking it multiple times a day or feeling anxious that your hands have become dirty once again and washing them for the 50th time that day. Repetitious behaviour is the core of OCD.
The anxiety disorder can have an adverse impact on the person’s life. From a mild annoyance, to an obsession that keeps them constantly edgy and fearful, the symptoms of OCD need to be effectively managed.
Causes of OCD
The biological effects of OCD can be attributed to irregular serotonin levels in the body and neurological imbalances. Genetic influences and environment markers may also cause the condition. Kids with parents who have OCD are prone to exhibiting similar behaviors, making proactive management critical.
Related conditions include a hoarding disorder, pulling out one’s hair (trichotillomania), picking one’s skin (excoriation) and body dysmorphic disorder, where one can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived flaws in their appearance, which others may neither notice nor believe exists.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be self-managed or addressed through different types of psychotherapy. One such therapy is exposure and response prevention (ERP), where the person is gradually exposed to the object they fear or obsess over and taught to cope with his/her anxiety. Support groups and group psychotherapy may work for some people. Medication and self-care are other OCD management solutions.
How Can CBD Assist with OCD?
You may have heard of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with a number of cognitive disorders ranging from depression to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Serotonin also helps regulate mood, appetite, sleep, memory, social behavior and sexual desire.
The body’s serotonergic system is believed to play a role in encouraging aggression and impulsive actions. This system interacts with the body’s cannabinoid system to control an OCD patient’s repetitive behaviors. There is some research to suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) may help in the management of OCD symptoms. One interesting study was conducted on rats to observe the effect of CBD in preventing repetitive burying of marbles. The CBD was found to interact with a compulsion-causing serotonergic chemical and block the OCD symptom. These interactions are yet to be applied to human models and studied more extensively.
OCD causes a great deal of anxiety in patients. Here’s where CBD products can be very beneficial in relaxing individuals with Obesessive Compulsive Disorder and alleviating the discomfort they feel.
There are numerous studies pointing to the effectiveness of CBD in significantly lowering anxiety. Brazilian researchers gave ten patients with social anxiety CBD without them knowing that they were receiving the particular treatment. Participants reported a substantial decrease in anxiety after consuming CBD. Researchers further offered proof by performing brain scans and showing that the blood flow patterns in the brain were similar to those seen in an anti-anxiety effect.
A 2015 analysis of previous literature studying the effects of cannabidiol on anxiety disorders concluded that CBD oil could treat OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ). Doctors are also of the opinion that while CBD is not a magic bullet for treating this disorder, its anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects can be really useful for patients who deal with these harmful emotions on a daily basis. During events and incidents where individuals are feeling more stressed out or fearful than usual, which is motivating them to perform repetitive actions, CBD oil can provide much-needed relief.
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