Cannabis OCD Treatment
4 min

Cannabis As An OCD Treatment?

4 min
News Research

There is no doubt about the medicinal benefits of cannabis for treating many different ailments. Sufferers of chronic pain, anxiety and depression have long been using the herb, sometimes with astonishing results. What about OCD? Can cannabis be an effective treatment for this understudied disorder? Let’s find out!

As scientific research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis continues, attention has turned to whether the plant can improve the symptoms of OCD. While anecdotal claims of its effectiveness are many, the science behind this phenomenon is less clear, and thus the topic is fiercely debated. At the end of the day, does cannabis have the potential to alleviate the symptoms of OCD?


Alongside cannabis, psychedelics have been studied for their possible role in treating mental disorders such as OCD. While this research is in its infancy, positive claims on the subject are growing significantly. And, there's certainly no denying that psychedelics are capable of sustaining some major effects on mood and perception. With that in mind, it stands to reason that psychedelics may have a place in experimental OCD therapy.

Naturally, this leads us to question how cannabis stacks up as a potential future OCD treatment. But, before we delve further into this matter, let's take a look at what OCD actually is.


What Is OCD

Today, it is not uncommon for someone to refer to themselves or others as “being OCD.” Contrary to the actual disorder, these individuals are usually referencing a dedication to cleanliness and order. In actuality, “real” OCD isn’t just a quirky personality trait. In fact, it can be quite a serious condition, massively interrupting the lives of its sufferers.

OCD often comes along with a number of symptoms including obsessive behaviour, compulsions, and severe anxiety. For some OCD sufferers, obsessions (continuous ruminations on triggering thoughts) can become so severe that they are unable to work or engage in relationships and social interactions.

Irrational obsessions are one thing, but the resulting compulsions are the way the disorder is most recognised. These include repetitive behaviours that are believed to serve as coping mechanisms for troubling obsessions. Many times, the underlying instigator of OCD is fear, or rather, feared consequences. For example, someone may be obsessed with germs and disease, fearing it could harm them or their loved ones. This fear frequently leads to compulsive hand-washing and a fear of touching door knobs.

Another example concerns the OCD sufferer plagued with morbid thoughts who lives in fear of accidentally hurting themselves and others. This can be equally as taxing on the sufferer’s lifestyle. Today, OCD is normally treated with a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy and medication. Doctors often prescribe anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants since OCD is technically considered to be an anxiety disorder.


How Can Cannabis Help?

Let us start out with some caveats: Not all people who suffer from OCD find cannabis helpful. OCD manifests uniquely on different personas. While many people with OCD find that cannabis helps them to relax and enjoy a break from their obsessions, others find their symptoms to remain unchanged or even worsen with use.

It can be helpful to understand that experience level and patience play a role in any medication, prescription or cannabis, to work efficiently. Some strains have entirely different effects than others, which is why it is important to determine the right combination of cannabinoids to treat one’s OCD effectively.


Indica Vs. Sativa

At the root of this disorder are anxiety and fear. Unlike being chased by a wild animal or being physically ill, OCD is perpetuated by irrational thoughts, ones that do not serve its sufferers. As such, the types of OCD triggers are unpredictable and vary from person to person. In such cases, relaxing indica strains can possibly provide relief.

Sativas produce a strong cerebral high that can at times provoke or exacerbate anxiety and paranoia. This is why sativas are normally not recommended.

Indica strains sustain unique effects as compared to sativas. These varieties produce a relaxing body stone that “slows you down,” rather than stimulating your mind as a sativa would.

But with indicas as well, not all circumstances are ideal. Potent strains can at times cause sleepiness, making them not necessarily optimal for those who want to medicate during the day.



One other difference among cannabis strains is their THC and CBD content. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that’s responsible for inducing psychoactive effects. CBD, a similarly powerful yet non-psychoactive cannabinoid can work in synergy with THC to mediate its psychoactive outcomes. 

THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis and the most abundant cannabinoid produced in the plant. THC is responsible for encouraging the typical “high” experienced when you smoke weed. Regarding THC and anxiety however, research hasn’t come to a conclusion just yet. Some people say that THC helped them with their anxiety while others report that it made their symptoms worse. Just like with prescription medication, not every option is ideal for all patients.

Time-tested advice to start with low doses of THC doesn’t just apply to those who are new to cannabis. Some of the research concerning cannabis’ interaction with anxiety suggests that dosage plays a large role. Low doses of THC can be very anxiolytic while higher doses can have the opposite effect.

High or frequent doses of THC may desensitize cannabinoid receptors, making its relaxing effects less noticeable. So start with low doses and don’t go for the strong “hardcore” stoner strains if you want to treat your OCD.



For medicinal cannabis users, edibles maintain some advantages over smoking marijuana. The effects of this consumption method result in more sustained effects to lengthen the time between medicating. Smoking provides faster relief, but the effects of the cannabinoids may only last an hour or two at most. Without having to light up numerous times throughout the day to get a potent dose of cannabinoids, simply use edibles to avoid unnecessary interruptions in your schedule.


Before we get into our recommendations, it is worth noting that the below strains are all very potent. They are anecdotally reported to help with the condition, but due to their potency, should be dealt with in low doses. Of course, due to the nature of the condition, effects will likely be specific to the individual.


Querkle is an indica-dominant strain with a very high THC content that reaches concentrations up to 26%. This strain grows robustly and is recommended for those seeking above-average THC levels.


White Rhino is a hybrid packed with staggering amounts of cannabinoids, which makes her a strain with huge medicinal potential!


Critical Kush is an indica-dominant strain with tons (25%) of THC that can produce a very strong and very relaxing stone for OCD sufferers who know how to handle strength.

There is still a lot of room for development when it comes to scientific research on the effectiveness of treating OCD and anxiety with cannabis. However, with so many cannabis strains available to choose from, patients can experiment individually with different varieties of cannabis to best fit their needs.



Written by: Georg
Based in Spain, Georg spends a lot of his time not only geeking out at his computer but in his garden as well. With a burning passion for growing cannabis and researching psychedelics, Georg is well versed in all things psychoactive.

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