Is Marijuana a Viable Treatment Option for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?



Contributor: bruce1520

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a common mental health condition. The symptoms of the condition can be seen in literally every individual to some extent, it is the severity of the condition that makes it uncontrollable and difficult to deal with. There is no possible treatment available for managing obsessive compulsive disorder except therapy and medications that can manage stress and anxiety. But people have started self medicating with marijuana.



Several anecdotal evidence suggest that medical marijuana has helped people in managing symptoms of OCD, but is it a viable treatment? Should patients shift from prescribed medication to medical marijuana? Let’s find out.

What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive compulsive disorder, abbreviated as OCD, is a mental health condition or anxiety disorder in which an individual feels obsessed with certain thoughts or things and compulsively performs certain tasks despite having a constant urge to stop or avoid the same.

It is a stress driven condition that when tried to control can lead to more stress and anxiety. Often OCD is confused as an obsession with perfectionism. Even though one of the most common symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder is keeping everything excessively clean and to the perfection, it is unfortunately not all.

Some of the common symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder include:

  • Fear of getting contaminated
  • Obsessively cleaning everything
  • Excessive obsession with keeping things in order and maintaining symmetry
  • Checking locks and doors again and again
  • Fear of losing or misplacing something important

Obsessive compulsive disorder in itself is a pretty serious condition. especially because there is no possible cure or permanent treatment. But what makes it even more serious is the fact that it can lead to other disorders as well.


Some of the common disorders that are related to OCD include:

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Hoarding Disorder
  • Compulsive Skin Picking Disorder
  • Trichotillomania
  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Can Medical Marijuana Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Medical marijuana can help manage the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder by reducing stress and anxiety.

It is important to know that medical marijuana is not a cure for obsessive compulsive disorder. All it can do is help the patient in managing the condition by reducing the severity of the symptoms, stress, and anxiety that works as the trigger for compulsive behavior. So, medical marijuana may not treat the condition, but it definitely is a viable option for managing the disorder and stress that follows.

The traditional treatments of obsessive compulsive disorder include therapy and prescription medications. These prescription medications also target stress and anxiety but they are known to offer some serious side effects as well. Medical marijuana can not only reduce stress and anxiety but even alleviate the side effects of the prescribed medications.

What Does Research Say?

Researchers believe that the endocannabinoid system of the human body has a significant role to play in obsessive compulsive disorder. Marijuana is a plant that has certain components called cannabinoids that are similar to the endocannabinoids produced by the human body in their chemical structure. This means that the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant can bind with the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system just like endocannabinoids and influence the working of the endocannabinoid system and, in turn, the central nervous system. This is how marijuana can reduce stress and anxiety.

Even though the research regarding marijuana and its effects is pretty limited, and in case of obsessive compulsive disorder it can be counted on fingers but that does not mean that the results of these researches can be ignored. The studies and anecdotal evidence specifically regarding the effects of marijuana in cases of stress and anxiety are in favor of the plant and suggest that marijuana can reduce stress, anxiety, and the severity of anxiety induced mental health conditions significantly.

How Can Medical Marijuana Help People With OCD?

Anxiety and stress play a major role in obsessive compulsive disorder. There is enough evidence, both scientific as well as anecdota, that suggest medical marijuana is a great natural alternative treatment option for managing stress and anxiety. If consumed as per the recommendation by the doctor and the budtender, medical marijuana does not offer any side effects.

Prescribed medications such as antidepressants and anti anxiety pills, on the other hand, offer side effects such as nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, headache, impaired thinking, and memory loss.

If the obsessive compulsive disorder is extremely severe and the doctors strictly recommend taking medication, in that case medical marijuana as an add on can help by not just reducing stress and anxiety but by reducing the side effects of the prescribed medications as well. There is, again, sufficient evidence that suggests medical marijuana can reduce nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, headache, enhance creativity, and improve focus and concentration.

Is CBD Better Than Marijuana for OCD?

CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that is majorly known for its medicinal properties. The cannabinoid is non psychoactive, that is it does not offer the infamous high, and is federally legal. CBD infused products have taken over the market. From chocolates to bath bombs, there is literally a CBD infused version of every product one can imagine.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is the whole plant that contains all the major and minor cannabinoids along with other components such as terpenes. Since marijuana contains THC, that is the psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, it is definitely going to offer you the euphoric effects. However, euphoric effects and high does not necessarily have to be intoxicating as a lot of people assume.

Out of CBD and marijuana, people often think CBD is the better choice as it is all medicinal and offers no high but that is ironically not true. Medical marijuana is better than CBD as it contains minor cannabinoids, terpenes and even THC, all of which have medicinal properties and therapeutic effects to offer. All these components in the presence of each other create the entourage effect that intensifies the effects of CBD.

So, out of CBD and marijuana, medical marijuana is what you should choose for obsessive compulsive disorder.

Parting Words

Before self medicating with the plant, it is suggested to consult your physician or a medical marijuana doctor so that you have a professional who can assess your condition and guide you through the treatment. In order to get your hands over medical marijuana you will require a medical marijuana card. There are several reasons why you should use medical marijuana even if your state has legalized recreational marijuana. You can easily apply for an Online Medical Card without any hassle.



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