Why all the fuss about CBD?
Cannabidiol is a naturally-occurring chemical in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Scientists are able to extract large amounts of pure CBD from plants with relative ease nowadays. thanks to increased technologies within the agricultural sector, CBD is not only available, it is everywhere!
The bottom line is that CBD can be studied meticulously across the world, and used as an experimental treatment for a range of conditions. CBD has already made waves in the media, with successful CBD-based medications treating everything from epilepsy to some symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a relatively common mental health condition. It centres around ‘obsessions’ – thoughts which trigger unpleasant feelings, and ‘compulsions’ – behaviours an individual engages in to remove these feelings.
It is likely that everyone has experienced a form of ‘obsessive thinking’ from time to time. The disturbing images and compulsions experienced by an OCD sufferer can have a profound impact on quality of life.
The thoughts and actions are often intrusive and unwanted, causing severe distress. This can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as inability to lead a normal life in severe cases.
Common obsessive thoughts include fears over the death of loved ones, or over-exhaustive worrying about personal hygiene. Compulsions to neutralise their fears, such as repetitive hand-washing, are regularly employed by individuals with OCD.
What are current treatments for OCD?
Currently, treatment for OCD centres around pharmacological treatment, and forms of behavioural therapy. One interesting form of treatment is ‘exposure therapy’, where a fully-trained medical professional will enable a patient to face their fears. By dealing with their obsessive thoughts in a controlled environment, individuals may be able to rid themselves of compulsions.
However, there is a minority of patients who struggle with exposure therapy, and have had bad experiences with anti-depressants and SSRI medication. Alternative behavioural therapies may be more appropriate for these individuals.
How can CBD help treat OCD
OCD is surprisingly common. Around 1.2% of the UK’s population is suspected to have OCD. Not all of these people will engage with traditional methods of treatment, leading to a demand for alternative OCD therapy.
CBD is well-studied in the field of mental health, and scientists are beginning to understand its potential to treat OCD. CBD is well-known for its anxiolytic properties.
CBD can also act as a natural antidepressant – keeping it in line with the current treatment for OCD. The pharmacokinetics of CBD are fascinating. CBD prevents the breakdown of ‘anandamide’ which is a happiness-promoting neurotransmitter in the brain. This helps to reduce the feelings of sadness and fear associated with OCD.
CBD has also been shown to reduce obsessive behaviour in animal trials. Nardo et al. found reduced compulsive behaviours in mice following the administration of CBD. The anti-compulsive effects should be studied before conclusions can be drawn, but these developments are certainly promising.
CBD has been linked with reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and potentially can reduce compulsive behaviour. While the results of many of these studies are tentative, the potential for treating OCD with CBD one day is very exciting.
What can CBD do for my organisational skills?
CBD is renowned for its mood-boosting properties, and can help treat insomnia and anxiety.
Organisational skills are often linked to sleep quality, as studies show that intelligence and focus is boosted by sleep. If CBD can improve the sleep quality of a patient struggling to get good rest, it is clear that their organisational skills will feel the benefit. The effects of fatigue are no joke, and have been linked with diabetes, heart problems and even depression.
CBD can also improve mental clarity and focus, as evidenced by a 2014 study, which published findings that showed CBD having anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Anxiety clouds productivity and has a negative effect on your state of mind. Supplementation with CBD may one day be a recommended treatment to improve cognitive and organisational skills.
Many studies have centred on ADHD and CBD, finding that the symptoms of lack of focus and memory disturbance have been somewhat remedied by CBD. ADHD requires specific and complex treatment under the supervision of a medical professional. However, research suggests that perhaps one day CBD may factor into the treatment of ADHD patients.
CBD protecting your brain
CBD has promising pharmaceutical applications that cannot be ignored. Cannabidiol is currently being study for its role as a neuroprotective agent.
Scientists believe CBD can prevent damage to the brain by neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. Research suggests that it has the potential to protect brain tissue and prevent breakdown of the nervous system. Find out more about the brain-boosting potential of CBD here!