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420 with CNW – Marijuana Could Alleviate OCD Symptoms, New Research Suggests

As cannabis becomes more mainstream, news about its medical capabilities are almost a daily occurrence. While the hype surrounding the controversial plant has definitely outpaced the science, preliminary findings have been encouraging. Plenty of people have used cannabis to manage everything from chronic pain and inflammation to stress and anxiety. According to new research, cannabis may be able to alleviate symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well.

OCD is a mental illness that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or fears that lead to compulsive behaviors. According to the new study published in the “Journal of Affective Disorders,” inhaling cannabis may yield temporary relief from the symptoms of OCD. Researchers with Washington State University worked with 87 individuals self-identifying with OCD. The participating patients “tracked the severity of their intrusions, compulsions, and/or anxiety immediately before and after 1,810 cannabis use sessions spanning a period of 31 months,” reports a study abstract.

According to the researchers, “patients reported a 60% reduction in compulsions, a 49% reduction in anxiety from before to after inhaling cannabis. Higher concentrations of CBD and higher doses predicted larger reductions in compulsions. The number of cannabis use sessions across time predicted changes in intrusions, such that later cannabis use sessions were associated with smaller reductions in intrusions (unwanted thoughts or impulses). Baseline symptom severity and dose remained fairly constant over time.

“Using a large dataset of medical cannabis users self-medicating for symptoms of OCD, we found that for the vast majority of cannabis use sessions, individuals reported reductions in intrusions, compulsions or anxiety,” researchers wrote. “Results indicated that after inhaling cannabis, ratings of intrusions were reduced by 49%, compulsions by 60%, and anxiety by 52%.”  The authors surmised that although inhaling cannabis may, in fact, reduce the symptoms of OCD, “results indicate that cannabis may have short-term, but not long-term beneficial effects on symptoms of OCD.”

The authors of the study say they sought to discover three things in their research: whether symptoms of OCD significantly reduced after inhaling cannabis; predictors (gender, dose, cannabis constituents, time) of these symptom changes; and “potential long-term consequences of using cannabis to self-medicate for OCD symptoms, including changes in dose and baseline symptom severity over time.”

However, the researchers concede that their study had its weaknesses, including the fact that the 87 participants were “self-selected, self-identified as having OCD, and there was no placebo control group. The study has still been met with support from cannabis advocates as it adds to the growing body of cannabis research. Few studies have assessed the potential efficacy of cannabis for the mitigation of symptoms of OCD,” says NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano.

“As such, these findings, though somewhat limited by the study’s design, indicate that cannabis, and in particular, varieties high in CBD, holds promise as a therapeutic option for OCD patients and should be examined in a more rigorously designed controlled setting.”

The blossoming cannabis sector has resulted in the creation of numerous companies to address the needs of consumers and patients. One interesting company to watch in this space is Pac Root Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR), which focuses on using high-end genetics to make premium products in the marijuana and hemp space.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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