CBD For OCD – Benefits, Side Effects And How To Use It


OCD is a fairly common disorder characterized by a specific type of anxiety that results in people exhibiting compulsive behaviour. The condition is actually a lot more common than we previously thought – according to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 1 out of every 100 Americans struggle with OCD. Of these, more than 80% struggle with ‘moderate to severe impairment’ as a result of their condition.

With the increasing prevalence of this difficult condition, there’s little wonder that people are reaching out to alternative medicines like cannabis and CBD to help find treatment for it. In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not the CBD can be considered a viable option for helping people manage their OCD.


Does CBD work for OCD?

One of the most important things to understand when trying to decide whether or not CBD will be useful for treating your OCD is the fact that OCD is a fairly complex condition that deals with different types of recurring thoughts.


According to NIMH, OCD is a mix of obsessions (the recurring thoughts) and behaviours (compulsions) that can vary immensely from person to person.


Saying that you could treat OCD with CBD is a bit like saying you could ‘improve your mental health’ with it – it’s a vague statement that doesn’t really provide you with any serious benefit.


There are a lot of factors involved in a person that could lead them to becoming diagnosed with OCD.




For example, Dr. P Morgado observed in a study that OCD is linked to a higher level of cortisol in the bloodstream. Intrusive thoughts, another difficult aspect of OCD, may or may not be related to high stress levels. Furthermore, general anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions can all exacerbate or contribute to OCD.


To really answer the question, we have to address whether or not CBD could be useful for treating the different aspects or contributing factors of OCD.


Can CBD oil help squash intrusive thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are a form of thought that can cause great distress in an individual. Intrusive thoughts are often of a disturbing nature, and can cause a person to begin to doubt themselves, their intentions, and their beliefs.


Intrusive thoughts may be of a violent or sexual nature, and frequently involve close family members or friends. These thoughts, which seem to intrude into the mind from nowhere, can cause a person to feel extreme guilt, stress, or unhappiness.


While there isn’t a large body of evidence that has been built around the use of CBD for intrusive thoughts specifically, many studies indicate that it can help fight OCD in general. Esther Blessing, et. al, observed in one study that CBD helps to reduce OCD symptoms.


Can CBD make OCD worse?

CBD is well-known for being an anxiolytic, and many studies have proven this. This means that it can help to relax you and slow down the speed of your thoughts.


There is little reason to believe that the CBD would make OCD worse, though it’s important to remember that everyone responds to substances differently. If you find things get worse after you use CBD, you may want to discontinue using it.


Does CBD oil help with trichotillomania?.

Trichotillomania, referred to sometimes as ‘hair-pulling,’ is a condition that’s on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum – meaning that it shares a lot of the same symptoms as OCD. Mental Health America reports that the repetitive behaviour of pulling on your hair can be considered similar to OCD.


It is difficult to identify the exact cause of this condition, though there is some reason to believe that it is linked to anxiety. In this case, it’s reasonable to suspect that CBD may have a positive influence on people struggling with trichotillomania.


Can CBD help manage bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a difficult condition which causes people to experience manic and depressive episodes. This means that one moment they might be elated and very happy, whereas the next they might be depressed or even suicidal.


According to Psychiatry Advisor, more than 70% of people with bipolar have reported using marijuana, and 30% use it regularly. However, considering cannabis is associated with contributing to bipolar disorder, there’s no guarantee that it could be helpful.


Bipolar can be a very serious condition, and it’s important to make sure that you’re seeing a therapist or receiving medical or psychiatric attention. Do not rely on CBD alone for treating bipolar disorder.


Is CBD really that great for anxiety?

CBD has shown tremendous promise for helping to manage anxiety in its various forms.

  • CBD has been used to help manage panic disorder. People can use it when they feel a panic attack approaching and effectively stop it in their tracks before it begins to take hold.
  • CBD has been used to help manage generalized anxiety disorder, quieting a general feeling of unease that people may have throughout the day.
  • CBD has been used to help people manage their social anxiety, functioning as a lubricant that allows them to easily engage with others.
  • CBD can even be useful for treating anxiety associated with PTSD, according to studies done by Lucas Elms, et. al.


One of the best things about CBD is that it does not numb the mind or the emotions like so many other anxiety medications. Benzodiazepines, for example, are the most commonly prescribed anxiolytic drug. In addition to being highly addictive and dangerous, these drugs can cloud the mind. While they may fight off the symptoms of anxiety, they can make it difficult to actually identify the root issue.

CBD, on the other hand, allows people to remain clear-headed so that they can observe and identify triggers or contributing factors that can lead to the development of anxiety.


Does CBD oil lower cortisol levels?

There is some evidence that marijuana high in THC can cause a spike of cortisol in the bloodstream. This is associated with elevated levels of anxiety or even mania that can emerge as a result of THC’s effects.


CBD, on the other hand, is not known to cause these effects. In fact, CBD can even diminish or completely counteract the effects of THC. Some studies indicate that CBD can lead to a decrease in cortisol, which may be part of the reason that it’s so effective at reducing stress levels.


Can CBD trigger mania?

Many people have experienced mania as a result of smoking cannabis. Marijuana has even been associated with the development of schizophrenia and the triggering of latent mental disorders.


While these things are undeniable, it is becoming apparent that not every cannabinoid found in marijuana is responsible for these effects. THC is the cannabinoid that is primarily known to cause symptoms like anxiety, mania, and mental unrest.


As discussed above, CBD is an anxiolytic and is generally not known to cause mental unrest. Its effects are generally relaxing and tranquil, so they should not trigger mania. If anything, it would be likely to nullify a manic episode.


Is CBD a mood stabilizer?

Many people experience difficulty in stabilizing their mood. They may be prone to irrational or angry outbursts, mania, depressive episodes, or other issues that can make them rather unstable.


CBD may be useful as a mood stabilizer. Because of its relaxing properties, it can help to bring one into a state of equanimity. Emotions are still felt, but it’s easier to observe and control the reactions to these emotions.


Furthermore, since CBD can be tremendously effective for treating anxiety, it can help to prevent the related emotional issues associated with anxiety. Anxiety is a form of fear, which can contribute to things like depression, irritation, anger, and other emotional issues.


In Conclusion

OCD may not be life-threatening, but it can certainly impair a person’s quality of life. OCD is characterized by constant intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors that can make it difficult for someone to enjoy their lives.


OCD is often associated with a number of things, including elevated cortisol levels and anxiety. Since CBD has been shown to be effective at helping to lower cortisol and anxiety, there is reason to believe that it could be useful for helping to manage OCD.


In fact, CBD has shown promise at treating a wide range of conditions that can sometimes be associated with OCD. It can help to reduce the frequency of manic episodes, bring about emotional stability, and help prevent hair-pulling or other compulsive behaviors: all things that would be important for anyone hoping to achieve an optimum state of mental health.


If you think that CBD could be useful for helping you to manage your OCD, then don’t hesitate to reach out and purchase some. Remember, it’s best to start with small doses – you never know how your body will respond to a new compound.


If you’re going to be using CBD, make sure to check in with your healthcare provider to ensure that it’s safe to do so given your medical history.