Life with OCD isn’t easy and finding the right treatment for it can be twice as hard. This is one reason why people diagnosed with the condition are almost always willing to try anything- from natural remedies to the latest pills- that promise relief.
If you are one of those people, you’ve probably heard all about medical marijuana potentially can help manage the symptoms of OCD, particularly the intrusive thoughts, anxiety and depression.
What Is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disease (OCD) is a mental condition that can happen to anyone at any age. It’s diagnosed when the cycle of obsessions and compulsions become so severe that they affect a person’s way of life.
To fully understand the condition, you need to know about two things- obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions refer to impulses, images or thoughts that happen over and over again. They occur out of a person’s control and they get in the way of his daily activities and life.
People diagnosed with OCD generally hate having those thoughts. In some cases, they find that they don’t even make sense. Despite that, they still give that intense and uncomfortable feeling, like doubt and disgust.
To give you an idea, here are some of the most common obsessions associated with OCD:
- Body fluids
- Sexual obsessions
- Excessive concern about morality
- Household chemicals
- Fear of losing things
- Extreme concern over exactness or evenness
Compulsions, on the other hand, are the repetitive behaviors and ideas that a person makes in an attempt to make their obsessions go away. Even though they know that they are just temporary solutions, they still rely on it because they don’t have any other way to escape.
Some of the most common compulsions in OCD are:
- Arranging things
- Constantly checking if a mistake was made
- Excessive cleaning
- Counting while doing a certain task
- Repeating certain body movements
Today’s treatments for OCD are mostly geared towards keeping the symptoms under control to prevent them from getting in the way of your daily life. They don’t always result in a cure and most people diagnosed with it require treatment for the remainder of their lives.
To treat OCD, two of the main treatments are medications and psychotherapy. Usually, a combination of the two creates a more positive result.
Although those two somehow work, they create side effects which some people find to be even more disturbing. OCD medications, for example, causes drowsiness, insomnia, nausea, headaches, and dry mouth.
That is one good reason why people diagnosed with OCD look for alternative treatments. One of them is medical marijuana.
Can Marijuana Help with OCD?
Medical marijuana possesses a chemical known as cannabidiol or CBD. Unlike THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that creates psychoactive effects, it doesn’t alter one’s focus or concentration.
As a matter of fact, it has a way to minimize a person’s anxiety and paranoia.
Unfortunately, medical marijuana doesn’t work the same way for all people diagnosed with OCD. You may or may not experience your desired effect.
One reason for that is the varying severity of the condition. For example, a patient with severe OCD may not respond right away to medical marijuana, unlike a person with mild OCD.
Apart from that, every OCD person has different and unique experiences that trigger their compulsive.
Things to Remember Before Using Marijuana for OCD Management
Before you go ahead and buy marijuana to hopefully keep your condition under control, make sure that you are buying legit medical marijuana. You see, the type of marijuana you can buy off the street isn’t the same as medical marijuana.
For one, marijuana sold on the streets can be dangerous. There’s no way for you to know exactly what other substances are added to it.
There’s a lot of ways you can take medical marijuana for relief. Some of your options include:
Knowing which method is right for you may require a bit of trial and error. You may need to experiment to find out which method works fast and delivers the longest effect.
Medical marijuana is something you can talk to your doctor about. If it’s your first time to give it a try, make sure to get the opinion of your primary healthcare provider first.
Ask about the results you can expect from using it and clarify any questions you may have in mind. Don’t take anything without consulting your doctor, particularly if you are taking other medications or if you have other conditions apart from OCD.
Keep in mind that although medical marijuana is mostly a natural solution, it doesn’t mean that it’s free from side effects. Some people experience low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and bloodshot eyes.