The best strains for OCD: Find your perfect match

OCD is one of several mental health conditions eligible for medical cannabis prescription. OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder; it’s a fairly standard, chronic disorder characterised by uncontrollable obsessive thoughts and behaviours. Often, people with OCD feel the urge to repeat actions an excessive number of times. For example, they have to wash their hands eight times to think that their hands are clean or check that they locked the door multiple times before they can leave the house.

OCD can be extremely difficult to live with and severely affects a person’s quality of life. Fortunately, there are treatments and medical interventions to ease the severity of symptoms, with one such treatment being medical cannabis. It works by interacting with a substance in the brain called anandamide, which has a calming effect. This can reduce the anxiety OCD sufferers experience and facilitate their compulsive urges.

However, not all cannabis strains are optimally effective at achieving this. Some strains work much better for OCD sufferers than others, so opting for the right one is essential. This article will explain how cannabis can improve OCD symptoms and some of the best strains for treating the condition.

The science behind cannabis and OCD

The cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa, contains over 60 cannabinoid compounds. The most well-known of these are tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is psychoactive, and cannabidiol, or CBD.

When we inhale or ingest cannabinoids, they bind to our brain’s cannabinoid receptors and affect our mood – often leading to calmness and contentment. It also leads to the release of dopamine and serotonin – often lacking in those suffering from anxiety disorders, depression and OCD. These hormones play an essential role in being able to feel joy and pleasure as well as handle stress. Therefore, consuming medicinal cannabis – which can elicit the release of dopamine and serotonin – can be very helpful for OCD sufferers.

Best strains for OCD

When it comes to managing OCD with cannabis, not all strains are maximally effective.

There are two primary forms of cannabis: sativa and indica. Sativa is known for having a stimulating effect or causing a ‘head high’, which can help increase focus and reduce stress. Indica, meanwhile, is credited as giving a ‘body high’. It allows you to wind down, relax and quickly fall asleep. You’ll also find hybrid strains that combine the effects of both sativa and India.

Due to India’s calming and soothing impact, it tends to be the go-to recommendation for anxiety and OCD sufferers.

THC vs CBD

Recently, in the cannabis industry, there’s been a move away from using the terms indica, sativa and hybrid to refer to different strains. Instead, they prefer to categorise strains as high in THC, high in CBD or a balanced mixture of both. THC and CBD are cannabinoids that bind to the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, which elicit specific effects. THC is the one that makes you feel ‘high’ as it’s psychoactive. CBD doesn’t cause intoxication but can still positively affect your mood and well-being.

Note, too, that many experts in the industry prefer to use the term chemovars (chemical varieties) instead of strain. This is simply because we’re accustomed to hearing strains that describe viruses and bacteria, which is not a pleasant association!

Generally speaking, cannabis is linked to both improving anxiety and worsening it. Typically, high THC strains are associated with increased levels of anxiety. CBD, however, is thought to have anxiolytic – or anti-anxiety – effects. Therefore, for OCD sufferers, high CBD strains are recommended. However, this is not always the case, as some THC-rich strains are prescribed for treating OCD and other mental health disorders.

It’s best to speak to your doctor or a cannabis expert to gauge which strains will work best for you. However, as a general rule for treating OCD, you should look for high-CBD indica strains.

Top strains for OCD

Venture into an enlightening exploration of some of the most revered strains – or as they are contemporarily termed, chemovars – each meticulously curated and heralded for their potential in navigating the stormy seas of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This journey unveils a realm where botanical essence intertwines with neuroscience, unveiling promising harbours for those sailing the tumultuous waters of OCD.

Granddaddy Purple

This charismatically named strain is often referred to as GDP. It’s got a distinctive purple tint to the buds, has a sweet red berry scent and is known to produce a feeling of relaxation. For this reason, it’s best advised to consume it in the evening before sleep.

Endo Kush CBD Flower

This CBD-rich strain has bright orange tints to the bud and an earthy scent and flavour. Very low in THC, this flower will help you to wind down and feel calm.

Purple Punch

This violet, grape-scented strain is another excellent choice for those seeking soothing effects.

Purple Punch on Strains

Northern Lights

This indica strain is perfect for taking in the evening to help you nod off. Reviews say it helps relax the body and mind and helps restore restfulness.

Northern Lights on Strains

Mendo Breath

Mendo Breath is an excellent option with a sweet caramel scent and flavour for a relaxing, calming feeling.

Bubba Kush

Of all the strains on this list, Bubba Kush has the most potent effects, so if you’re a cannabis debutante, this is not the strain to start with. While it’s an indica chemovar known for its relaxing effects, it does contain a high percentage of THC.

Tips for using cannabis to manage OCD symptoms

As with a lot of medication, it’s typically recommended that you start with a low dosage, see how you respond and then increase if necessary. You may also want to test different strains before finding the best for you and your needs.

When using cannabis to help treat OCD, you must consult with a professional who can talk you through your options and what’s worked with patients in the past.

A healthcare professional can also discuss other strategies for managing OCD symptoms, such as therapy and lifestyle changes.

Conclusion

Certain strains of medical cannabis can help improve the quality of life of those with OCD by alleviating their symptoms. Please speak to a medical professional to determine how it could help and which strains are optimal for your condition.