Far less is known about how marijuana interacts with depression and OCD symptoms. Most of what we know comes from examinations in animals. The impact of marijuana, (and other products developed from cannabis) depends on different factors, including a person's genetic make-up, gender, frequency of usage, and the amount consumed.
Nevertheless, life with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is not easy, and it’s twice as hard to get the right medication. People with such conditions are always willing to try anything, from natural treatments (like medical marijuana) to the latest medicine with high expectations of getting relief.
If that is your case, then you might have heard about people using marijuana for OCD treatment. It can help control the symptoms, especially the meddling emotions, and stress.
What to Know About OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by bizarre thoughts and fears (obsessions) that dominate compulsive behaviors. This condition can happen to anyone, regardless of their age or gender.
Obsession: Generally, people with OCD despise having obsessive thoughts. Apart from that, they still show intense and uncomfortable feelings like anxieties or hate. Below are some common obsessions linked with OCD.
- Fear of getting infected or infecting others
- Exaggerated focus on ethical impressions
- Fear of losing control and harming others
- Meddling sexually vivid or violent images and thoughts
- Fear of losing or missing things that you feel you might need.
Compulsion: These are repetitive behaviors or rituals that are usually performed to get rid of obsessions. For instance, when a person is afraid of infections, he might develop heightened cleaning rituals.
However, the relief doesn’t last. In fact, the oppressive thoughts usually return stronger. Hence, the compulsive rituals or behavior always end up causing stress because they become more demanding and time-consuming. Here are some ordinary compulsive behaviors in OCD:
- Frequently checking in on loved ones to see if they are ok
- Imitating specific body movements
- Excessively praying, or committing habits ignited by religious fear
- Spending more time washing or cleaning
- Repeating certain words, counting, tapping, or doing other ridiculous things to relieve stress.
Treatment for OCD
Two of the main treatments for OCD are medications and psychotherapy. However, one of the most effective treatments is cognitive-behavioral therapy, and it involves two components:
- Exposure and reaction prevention: This is repeated exposure to the origin of a person’s obsession.
- Cognitive therapy: This focuses on the destructive thoughts and an exaggerated sense of responsibility a person feels.
The main purpose of cognitive therapy is to teach helpful and healthy ways to respond to obsessional thoughts without putting out compulsive behaviors.
Although these therapies somehow work, they also cause side effects that happen to be very disturbing. These effects include terrible headaches, nausea, drowsiness, insomnia, and dry mouth. This is why some people with OCD seek optional treatments like medical marijuana.
Can Marijuana Help with OCD?
Medical marijuana contains chemical compounds known as CBD (cannabidiol). It doesn’t alter a person’s focus like what tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does. Medical marijuana has a way of minimizing feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
Marijuana, however, doesn’t work the same way for everyone and some people may not experience their desired effect. Besides, every person with OCD has a different and unique experience that activates their compulsion.
Here are some methods you can use to take marijuana for self-relief:
- Consuming raw marijuana
In conclusion, medical marijuana is something you can discuss with your doctor. Make sure you seek your primary health provider's opinion first, especially if it’s your first time to give marijuana a try. This will ensure you get all the benefits.