Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a condition that is very difficult to successfully treat. Could adding CBD Oil for OCD treatments help give sufferers more hope?
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What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
OCD is normally characterized by frequent intrusive obsessive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), estimates that 1.2% of all US adults suffer from OCD and that 80% of those people suffer through moderate to serious impairment.
People who suffer from OCD find themselves with extreme anxiety or extremely intense feelings. These feelings drive a cycle of obsession and compulsive behavior that can be difficult to escape from.
Most people who suffer from OCD are treated with a combination of behavioral therapy and anti-depression medication.
The therapy aims to uncover the fears, thoughts and emotions that drive their obsessive behavior, while the medications are often either serotonin inhibitors or anti-psychotics. Unfortunately, both medication routes show only mixed results and come with a wide range of side effects.
The Endocannabinoid System and OCD
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a regulatory system in our bodies that helps to maintain homeostasis in many normal bodily functions. These functions include mood and anxiety management. The ECS acts throughout the body through receptors, mainly the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor especially is found in large quantities in the brain.
Scientist believe that the ECS helps us switch between habit based behaviors and new ones, which is something that OCD sufferers struggle with. One study showed that activating the CB1 receptors in a certain part of a mice’s brain helped switch from habitual behaviors to goal-driven ones. This could help OCD suffers break the loop of compulsive behaviors.
CBD Oil for OCD
Both animal and human based studies have started to happen around using CBD for OCD treatment. Unfortunately, like much of the research surrounding CBD for various maladies, not enough research exists to give a definitive answer.
What we do know is that CBD works directly with the ECS in modulating the different receptors that belong to the system.
This means the consumption of CBD could help the ECS to activate the CB1 receptors that were found to help the brains of mice switch between behavioral patterns. If these results could be replicated in human trials, it could lead to help breaking the obsessive thought cycle of OCD.
In the human studies that have been done, researchers did find that CBD helped to curb anxiety and eliminate fear based memories in otherwise healthy adults. Tourette syndrome sufferers have also reported a reduction in motor control tics and a reduction in the urge to perform compulsive behaviors in investigations into that disease.
The combination of treating behavior-based problems and the overall help CBD provides to anxiety sufferers point to it being a possible alternative to the current treatment options for OCD that are ineffective for up to have of sufferers.
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