How Does Cannabis Help With OCD?

Cannabis Help With OCD

Did you lock the door? Are your books in alphabetical order? Or are your shoes placed in the correct order? Some are already perfect while some strive to be. Well, this is normal behavior! But, if you have OCD, then you feel compelled to do a particular thing constantly.

OCD are disorders related to obsessions and is often heard and talked about! Obsessions can really give rise to anxiety. Having OCD is quite distressing and people finding ways to cope up with it can be as daunting! It comes in the way of our daily schedule. However, it can be managed by the use of cannabis! Cannabis has significant results in treating various illnesses and deal with symptoms too. And, OCD being another disorder, it is believed that cannabis also aids in treating OCD.

There have been great researches on the endocannabinoid system and its role in our body. It treats anxiety, stress, fear, and repetitive behavior. Therefore, cannabis has also found its place in managing OCD or at least eases its symptoms. Let us understand what OCD is and what other issues accompany with it.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder related to anxiety. It obstructs the brain’s ability to shift between habitual and goal-directed behavior. This is a kind of mental health condition. It affects the behavior of an individual depending upon the severity. OCD can be of so many ways. Some fear the contamination of objects while some want to arrange objects symmetrically. There are other disorder symptoms too, like hair pulling or skin picking.
Each individual has its own OCD issues, but they all have a common experience of persistent and uncontrollable thoughts or impulses. These can be disturbing and intrusive. Now, the constant worrying and repeated behavior can cause you to have anxiety. To get over this anxiety, we try to check and recheck what we did. These repetitive actions are also termed as compulsions or rituals.

How Does Cannabis Help?

A review published in Cannabinoid and Cannabinoid Research in 2019 shows the evidence which states that the endocannabinoid system can be targeted to treat or maintain OCD. This disorder affects a part of our brain connected with anxiety, fear conditions, stress reactivity, and habitual behaviors. And the endocannabinoid system can alter these emotional reactions and behavioral patterns.
We find the CB1 receptors in the ECS system in abundance in certain regions of the brain. These regions of the brain include the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, and amygdala. Dealing and activation of CB1 receptors can help manage associated with OCD.

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and Stress are the by-products of OCD and are so consuming to erode the sense of self in an individual. And there is a slight chance and a few pieces of evidence that cannabis can help manage the OCD- issued stress and anxiety. They can achieve all this when cannabis is consumed in the correct dosage.

The CB1 receptors of our endocannabinoid system can help regulate brains when they get neurons in work and inhibits their action. Depending upon the dose, and the way it is consumed and the sensitivity of your CB1 receptors, it will say how well agonists can help mitigate anxiety.

THC is such an agonist. When THC binds with CB1 receptors and hence brings a sense of calmness in low doses. Conversely, higher doses of THC can help in elevate anxiety and stress. There are researchers who state that if CB1 receptors get blocked or the genes encoding these receptors get deleted, the anxiety elevates.

Also, a study on rodents shows that the endocannabinoid system modifies the body responses to stress. They can get adapted to prolonged stress. And cannabinoids like THC can reduce the stress response when administered at low doses. High doses of THC can help to deal with stress. For both anxiety and stress, the key is to have the proper dosage.

Conditioned Fear

Another fundamental element of OCD is conditioned to fear. How does it work? Well, the fear network sends a signal to the brain that something is not appropriate and needs an action quickly. And studies say that people with OCD have this weird inability to remove fear from within them.

Now, as cannabis and OCD were studied further, it was inferred that cannabis can also help with a conditioned fear aspect of OCD! Cannabinoids like THC and CBD have proven their efficiency in lowering the conditioned fear in rodents. While the CB1 antagonists prevent their activation and inhibit the fear extinguishing process.

In certain human studies, dronabinol was found useful to eliminate the fear by reducing the stimulus towards it. In addition to this, CBD has helped with decreasing anxiety and managing conditioned fear.

Habitual Behavior

Habitual behavior is for the habit of repeating certain tasks persistently. OCD enforces you to behave in a particular way for a certain situation. It can be reacting to haphazardly placed books or items or washing hands too often. Depending upon how severe the disorder is, the results will be different too! Therefore, it can also lead to constant self hair pulling or scratching the skin.

There were specific research which proves the CBD consumption has an effect on habitual behavior if taken daily for a week. In a few studies, it has seen that women with pulling hair disorders saw a reduction in such activities after consuming cannabis for over 12 weeks. Common anxiety medicine like diazepam has shown decreased efficiency over time and usage.

Conclusion

At present, there are few studies on cannabis and OCD, but new and new evidence are upcoming up! Each individual who was administered dronabinol for ten days to two weeks reported having improved the quality of reduction in OCD symptoms.

Also, it is to note that all people consuming cannabis have received successful results in dealing with OCD and related anxiety. Some have also complained to have worsened the anxiety and stress while taking up cannabis.

Hence, this area of study still needs more research to draw a firm conclusion.

The probable cause of the contradictory result is the uniqueness of each individual. Each person has an uncommon response to cannabis. There are a variety of factors responsible when it comes to dealing with anxiety and OCD successfully. It is found that the new cannabis users face some anxiety initially compared to the ones who are already familiar with it. Moreover, cannabis strains that are dominant with THC can worsen the conditions and elevate the symptoms of OCD.

Nevertheless, cannabis is considered as a potential treatment for OCD disorder. Why don’t you give it a try and see if cannabis works for your symptoms of OCD?

What is Cannabis Tolerance Break? How To Know If You Need One?

Cannabis Tolerance Break

Marijuana is surrounded by facts that should not be ignored by one who consumes it on a daily basis. All information is necessary to be able to achieve the best effects while staying safe. After all, marijuana is a drug like any other medication. It can have side effects, overdoses and allergic reactions too. This is why before you apply for a medical marijuana card in New York or puff on your first joint at a party, you must do your due research.

One such important piece of information related to marijuana is a tolerance break. Every person you know that uses marijuana, especially regular users. Will have to go through one of these breaks at least once. But, you cannot just go on t-breaks without knowing what is cannabis tolerance. And if you need one or not.

What is Cannabis Tolerance?

If you are a regular user of marijuana, you may have come across the term ‘tolerance’. Either your doctor told you about it or you are experiencing it right now. Once you start using cannabis regularly, you will develop a tolerance. Because it is your body’s natural reaction and is almost inevitable. Tolerance is just what you think it is. Your body becomes tolerant of the THC in cannabis and so it becomes ineffective or less potent with time and regular use. This response of the body develops with almost every drug and even alcohol.

The cannabinoids in cannabis, especially THC, react with the CB receptors that are spread all across your body and brain. This is how they manipulate your brain chemistry and result in all the pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and dozens of other effects on the body.

Now, tolerance happens when your body compensates for the regular doses of cannabinoids. There is no exact research to point out how the body develops a tolerance to cannabis. But, the most accepted theory is that the endocannabinoid system and other CB receptors desensitize to cannabinoids with regular activation. Also, as more receptors are desensitizing, the body starts internalizing them from the surface. As a result, there are not many CB receptors left for the cannabinoids to activate. Both these factors contribute to the development and increase in the level of tolerance.

You can break this Tolerance

The good news is that you can break off from this tolerance. Total abstinence from cannabis for a few days, weeks or months depending upon the level of your tolerance can do the trick. It will not be easy and you may have to go through mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. But, once you get through with the break, it will act as a detox. Your body and mind will be back to its original state. And getting the best effects out of cannabis will be more easy and comfortable.

But, not all people need a break. Some actually benefit from it. It can help eliminate or lessen the intoxicating effects of cannabis. But, if the high is a necessity for your medical condition or you prefer the euphoric feeling. Then you may have to go for a tolerance break.

So how do you know if you need one or not? There are a number of signs that you need to look for to know if it’s time for a break.

How do you know that you need a T-break?

If you use medical marijuana, then your doctor will probably help you determine if you need a break. But, if you want to figure out by yourself, here are some signs that call for a t-break.

Change in the effectiveness of marijuana

The first signs of cannabis tolerance can be seen in its effectiveness. With time you will realize that your regular dose does not deliver the same effects that it did originally. So you may have to increase your dose to achieve the same level of benefits. And with passing time, the quantity will be way more than what you started with. This is the working of cannabis tolerance.

Such a scenario may not be the best thing for medical cannabis users. Since most of them use cannabis daily. So taking a break or slowly weaning away by reducing the dose can help you get back to normal.

Your indulgence is increasing

If you find yourself stuck to the couch for the entire day. Not because you are lazy but because you are high. Then it is time to let go of mary jane for some time. It is possible that with time you may lose track of your marijuana indulgence. You may take more hits than required to keep the pain at bay. Or maybe munch on a much stronger strain because you just love that euphoric feeling.

But, all this is not healthy for your body. Cannabis should not become your priority. So embark on a break or a few days to clear your head and start fresh.

You are going heavier on your wallet

As tolerance increases, your regular dose and strain may not remain effective for you anymore. It usually leads to an increase in the frequency of use, of dose and sometimes a shift to higher quality and more potent strain. All of these changes can put your wallet under a lot of stress. And so if you feel that your trips to the dispensary have been increasing lately. Or that restocking takes the biggest chunk of your savings. Then it is time for a break. This will not only help your slow down on expense. But also change your tolerance level so that you don’t need a lot or a much stronger strain to get high.

Your cannabis rules are not relevant anymore

Your doctor will usually give a dose to start from and map out the time intervals after which you can take your next dose. This also applies to recreational users, they may not get guidance from a doctor but are generally aware of how much they need and when. Most people use it just before sleeping, pre or post-workout, to focus or only when they encounter a triggering situation. But, they may slip off from such parameters with passing time. Also, you may stop going outside, you may not feel aware of what’s happening around and your social interaction may decrease.

If that happened with you, consider leaving that joint or edible for some time. Get back to your headspace and start again.

Final Thoughts

Cannabis tolerance comes as a given once you start using marijuana. You will experience it once during your time of use. Some may find it helpful, others may not. So you can break it with abstinence. Even a 24-hours break can be very helpful for some people. So if you think that you have developed a higher tolerance or can relate to any of the mentioned signs, consider going on a tolerance break.