Can CBD oil help with the symptoms of ocd

Some studies suggest that CBD oil could ease OCD symptoms, but they are largely anecdotal. More studies featuring large populations are needed before recommending CBD oil for OCD symptoms. This article details all you need to know about CBD oil and OCD.

OCD is a mental illness that makes one have the urge to do something repeatedly (compulsions) and intrusive thoughts (obsessions). This illness affects many people globally, and about 2% of every population suffers from it. It mostly affects children, but it can carry on way into adulthood. Sometimes, it can end, but in most cases, it is lifelong. Meanwhile, the hype around CBD oil increases daily, and it seems like there is nothing that it cannot help with. Can CBD oil help with symptoms of OCD? CBD studies are limited, and there is insufficient evidence to prove that it can treat OCD. Still, some anecdotal evidence that OCD might improve some OCD symptoms, and this article explores all you need to know about this.

The Basics of CBD Oil

It is critical to have good background information about CBD oil before exploring how CBD oil helps with OCD symptoms. CBD oil is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid from cannabis plants. There are more than 113 cannabinoids, but CBD oil is abundant and does not make one 'high,' making it popular. It is available in different forms, including tinctures, topicals, edibles, vapes, smokes, and capsules. Whichever product you want, you may have it in one or more of the following CBD formulations;

- Full-spectrum CBD oil; boasts a whole range of cannabinoids other than CBD and contains THC, terpenes, and flavonoids.
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil; is more like full-spectrum CBD oil in composition but does not contain THC. Still, it has terpenes and flavonoids, making it great for whoever wants non-THC whole-range CBD oil.
- Isolate-based CBD oil; is pure CBD without any other compound from cannabis plants.

What Is OCD, and Why CBD Oil for It?

OCD is a mental condition that predisposes a person to strong urges to do something in a particular way and have intrusive and unreasonable thoughts. Although it is not fatal per se, it lowers one quality of life because of compulsions and obsessions when he cannot do things as he should. The conventional treatment methods for OCD include medication or therapy, but they can include both. Common medications include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) which last about six weeks. However, not everyone finds improvements in SRIs, hence the interest in CBD oil. The cannabinoid is touted as safe and well-tolerated in appropriate dosages, so many OCD patients would like to try it. What does the research say about OCD and CBD oil?

OCD and CBD Oil- What Does Research Say?

Generally, CBD studies are limited, and so is research on CBD oil for mental illnesses such as OCD. There is insufficient evidence to prove that CBD oil can treat OCD, although anecdotal evidence shows that CBD oil could help reduce compulsions, obsessions, and anxiety that accompany OCD and related symptoms. For instance, Kayser et al. (2019) reported cases where OCD patients used CBD oil and experienced improvements in their OCD symptoms. While this is promising, there is a need for more in-depth studies, especially featuring large-scale that can offer statistically significant findings to prove the efficacy of CBD oil for OCD symptoms.

Furthermore, Kayser et al. (2020) found that CBD oil greatly reduced anxiety, compulsions, and intrusive thoughts in people with OCD. The study examined 87 patients with OCD for compulsions, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts after administering CBD oil. It was noted that 52%, 49%, and 60% experienced reduced intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and compulsions, respectively. Still, 87 is a real-life figure but not statistically significant, bearing the total world’s population. Without an overemphasis, though, the study shows that CBD oil could help with OCD symptoms.

Dose-Effect Relationship in CBD Oil for OCD

Most anecdotal reports show that how CBD oil can affect OCD symptoms takes the dose-effect relationship. This basically means that larger doses might lead to better improvements. However, not every study agrees with this. For instance, in a study by Broke& Hany (2020), 14 OCD patients given a placebo or cannabis with varying amounts of THC and CBD did not show a dose-effect relationship. In fact, cannabis with different THC and CBD levels resulted in only little acute improvements in OCD symptoms.

Which CBD Deliverable Method is Best for OCD Symptoms?

CDB oil is basically administered sublingually for faster absorption and increased bioavailability. However, CBD oils and tinctures are not the only way to enjoy CBD; there are many other deliverable methods, including;

  • Vapes; You can vape CBD oil using vape equipment such as vape cartridges, pens, and tanks. While this is the fastest delivery method for CBD oil into the bloodstream, it can trigger reactions in the lungs for hypersensitive people.
  • Capsules; You can swallow CBD capsules, especially if you want to mask the earthy taste of CBD oil. However, the capsules need time for digestion and absorption before expressing the expected results.
  • Topicals; CBD oil is available in balms, patches, and creams that you can apply topically.
  • Edibles; Are yet another way to mask the earthy taste of CBD oil and still benefit from it. While they may be sweet and flavored and feature multiple options, they are not easily absorbed since they need time for digestion and absorption before they can get to the bloodstream. CBD edibles include mints, lozenges, and gummies, all of which you can explore.

There is no better CBD delivery than the other. However, most OCD patients looking for remedy in CBD oil opt for CBD tinctures, patches, and edibles. Still, capsules would be great. However, there are no studies involving CBD in vapes for OCD patients.


There is insufficient evidence to prove that CBD oil can treat OCD symptoms. However, anecdotal studies show that CBD oil might help with some OCD symptoms, including compulsions, intrusive thoughts, and anxiety. Still, more research featuring larger populations is needed before recommending CBD oil for OCD symptoms.


Brock H. & Hany M. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. [Updated 2022 Feb 10]. In: Statpearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): Statpearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available From: Https://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Books/NBK553162/

Kayser, R. R., Snorrason, I., Haney, M., Lee, F. S., & Simpson, H. B. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System: A New Treatment Target For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research, 4(2), 77–87. Https://Doi.Org/10.1089/Can.2018.0049.

Kayser, R. R., Haney, M., Raskin, M., Arout, C., & Simpson, H. B. (2020). Acute Effects Of Cannabinoids On Symptoms Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Human Laboratory Study. Depression And Anxiety, 37(8), 801–811. Https://Doi.Org/10.1002/Da.23032.