cbd for ocd

Using CBD for OCD: Why (and How) It’s Effective

In recent years, scientific research has been able to confirm that the anxiety disorder Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) is more common than originally thought. According to recent reports by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1.2% of all US adults have been diagnosed with OCD – with over 80% of the affected suffering moderate to serious impairment.

As cannabis and hemp are legalized in a growing number of states, many people are turning to CBD oil to ease OCD symptoms.

Looking for our comparison table of the best CBD oils for OCD? Read on or click here to go straight there.

What We Know About CBD for OCD Research

  • Anxiolytic CBD oil has already been used to treat depression in animal testing, even treating insomnia and stress in children with PTSD. The use of CBD is also shown to significantly reduce symptoms of other anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, general anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
  • Anti-Epileptic strains of medical cannabis high in CBD have successfully been used in treating conditions that cause convulsions, seizures and muscle spasms. Because of its neuroleptic effects, CBD is able to reduce the severity of obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors in children, adults and even pets.
  • Antipsychotic CBD is also shown to effectively reduce the symptoms of more chronic conditions such as schizophrenia, manic depression and bipolar disorder. Studies show that CBD medication is not a suitable replacement, but a viable addition to existing antipsychotic treatment.

In combination, CBD’s anxiolytic, anti-epileptic and antipsychotic qualities make it a good choice for treating a broad spectrum of anxiety disorders. More importantly, supplementing with CBD may reduce risks associated with the neurological and genetic/hereditary aspects (discussed above) of OCD.

CBD for OCD Thoughts: Does It Really Help?

The viability of cannabidiol in treating symptoms of OCD is more than speculation in the medical community. A 2015 neurotherapeutics study by Esther Blessing and Maria Steenkamp provides plenty of evidence that CBD for OCD is effective. Other supporting studies include Boshuisen et al (2002), Bystritsky et al (2001), Osuch et al (2001) and Schneider et al (1999).

Because they affect the limbic region of the brain, the symptoms from disorders like OCD, epilepsy, dementia and ADHD can all be improved with cannabidiol supplementation. CBD also increases production signalling while inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide. Anandamide is a natural antidepressant named after the Sanskrit for Divine Joy and is commonly known as the “happiness hormone” because of its ability to regulate mood as well as sensations of fear, stress and happiness.

Which CBD Oil Should You Buy for OCD?

The CBD industry relatively new industry, picking a CBD oil for the symptoms of OCD can feel a bit like it’s the wild west out there.

We’ve put together this list of our top three CBD oils from companies that we trust, and we’re sure you’ll be satisfied with.

Our Top Choices: CBD for OCD*

Koi Naturals: Our Number 1 Choice

Joy Organics: Our Runner-Up

CBDfx: Best Value

Not only super-affordable, CBDfx also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

A Brief Look at OCD’s Root Causes and Effects

In a nutshell, OCD is a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted or intrusive thoughts, or memories and images that trigger feelings of distress. The resulting compulsions are various behaviours an OCD individual engages in to control the obsessions and/or cope with feelings of distress.

Because OCD often occurs with other disorders, it has been challenging for the scientific community to study and diagnose. As of now, there are two main theories regarding its origins:

Neurological medical journals show that OCD patients respond to Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (or SSRIs) with some consistency, leading researchers to suggest that OCD is largely a neurological disorder. However, it’s widely accepted that there are likely other contributing factors.

Genetic OCD has an increased rate of occurrence among first-degree relatives, supporting the idea that there are genetic and hereditary aspects to the disorder. According to the NIMH, individuals with a diagnosed sibling or parent are at significantly higher risk of developing OCD.

The degree of impairment caused by obsessive-compulsive disorder varies by personality type. Obsessions can be irregular or constant, with the potential to seriously harm one’s productivity and reputation in the workplace, university or neighborhood. In either case, it isn’t hard to imagine how excessive compulsive behavior can disrupt daily routines and social interactions.

Natural Medicine is The Best Medicine

More specialized research will be needed to highlight CBD’s viability in tackling OCD specifically. However, there’s an abundance of mainstream and independent material (as well as anecdotal evidence from OCD patients themselves) showing CBD to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms brought about by anxiety. Fortunately, obsessive-compulsive disorder is no exception, as it falls well within the spectrum of genetic and neurological anxiety disorders.

*These products have been independently chosen and reviewed. We may earn a small commission if you click to one of their websites and make a purchase. Please note that Dopa continues to run (without a profit) from the small number of hand-picked affiliate programs we join.

Many OCD-diagnosed individuals are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) in a bid to self-medicate. Why?

Best CBD For OCD 2021 – Dosage, Side Effects & How To Use

CBD is growing in popularity among people with OCD. We reviewed the top 5 best CBD oil products for OCD to help you make an educated choice.

These days, cannabidiol (CBD) products are widely used to help with common health issues and support overall well-being.

CBD seems to be beneficial for many conditions, including mental health issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders.

But not all CBD products are made the same and there are thousands of products to choose from.

As a result, it’s not necessarily easy to find the right CBD oil for relieving OCD symptoms. To make your choice easier, we looked at many different brands to try and find the best products, according to their quality, strength, formula, price, third-party testing, and other factors.

Read on for our list of the best CBD oil for OCD and a guide with helpful tips.

best options CBD Oil on the market in (February. 2021)

  • Spruce CBD – Editor’s Choice
  • Medterra – Best THC-Free
  • Joy Organics – USDA Organic
  • CBD Pure – Best for Beginners
  • Lazarus Naturals – Best Overall


Cannabidiol (CBD) is growing in popularity as a natural treatment for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

This isn’t all that surprising since OCD is considered an anxiety disorder and CBD is perhaps best known for its ability to relieve anxiety symptoms.

Although there isn’t much research looking at the use of CBD for OCD, studies suggest that it may be helpful.

For example, studies have shown that CBD can have beneficial effects on anxiety, fear, and repetitive behavior — three major components of OCD.

There’s also growing evidence that the body’s endocannabinoid system regulates all three of these processes.

Another reason many people are using CBD is that it’s a natural compound that’s been found to be relatively safe and well-tolerated in research studies.

In contrast, medications used for OCD treatment, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), come with serious side effects.

In A Hurry? Here’s The Winner

Spruce CBD

Why is it better?

  • Family-run business
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • High-quality, unique strain of hemp

Free Shipping and 15% Off Coupon: HEALTHCANAL

The Lineup At A Glance

Best THC-Free

  • Broad-spectrum CBD formula
  • Exceptionally low prices
  • U.S. Hemp Authority Certified

15% Off Coupon: “OFFER15”

USDA Organic

  • USDA Organic Certification
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Four potencies and flavors

20% Off Coupon: “HEALTHCANAL”

Best Reputation

  • Family-run business
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • High-quality, unique strain of hemp

Free Shipping and 15% Off Coupon: “HEALTHCANAL”

Best Overall

  • Exceptionally low prices
  • Grows most of its hemp
  • Comprehensive third-party testing

Top 5 Best CBD oil for OCD and product reviews

Spruce CBD

A family-run brand, Spruce CBD is a reputable choice for high-quality CBD oil.

  • Family-run business
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • High-quality, unique strain of hemp
  • Not as cheap as some competitors
  • Few strength and flavor options

Free Shipping and 15% Off Coupon: HEALTHCANAL

Spruce CBD was founded in 2018 in North Carolina and quickly developed a reputation for selling high-quality CBD oil.

Its products are sourced from a unique, two-hundred-year-old strain of hemp grown organically in Kentucky and North Carolina. They’re tested by a third-party lab to verify their potency and safety.

Spruce’s CBD oil uses a full-spectrum formulation containing all of the plant’s beneficial compounds.

It comes in two strengths: A regular peppermint-flavored tincture with 25 mg of CBD per ml and 750 mg total, and a max potency option, with 80 mg per ml and 2400 mg in total.


Medterra is a solid pick for THC-free CBD oil that provides the full range of hemp’s beneficial phytochemicals.

  • Broad-spectrum CBD formula
  • Low prices
  • U.S. Hemp Authority Certified
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Multiple flavors and potencies
  • Quite expensive

15% Off Coupon: “OFFER15”

One of the top-tier American CBD brands, Medterra is known for offering high-quality products at low prices.

Medterra holds U.S. Hemp Authority Certification, which means compliance with strict hemp manufacturing standards. All of its products are free from THC and sourced from organic, non-GMO hemp plants grown in Kentucky. They’re backed by extensive third-party lab testing.

If you’re looking for an effective CBD oil with no THC, Medterra’s ultra broad-spectrum tincture is an excellent choice. It’s rich in multiple minor cannabinoids as well as terpenes and other active hemp compounds that amplify the beneficial effects of CBD.

This 30 ml CBD oil has a strength of 33 mg/ml or 66 mg/ml and three flavors (unflavored, citrus, strawberry mint) with a total of 1000 or 2000 mg of CBD.

Joy Organics

Joy Organics is one of the few American CBD brands offering USDA organic-certified CBD oil.

  • USDA Organic Certification
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Full-spectrum and THC-free formulas
  • Four potencies and flavors
  • Lacks extra high potency options

20% Off Coupon: “HEALTHCANAL”

Colorado’s Joy Organics was founded by Joy Smith and her family in 2018. This popular brand offers a comprehensive lineup of CBD products sourced from organic, Colorado-grown hemp.

It also provides detailed third-party lab test reports for all products and stands out for being one of the only CBD brands to offer USDA organic-certified CBD oil.

If you want to be 100% sure that your CBD oil is made from organically grown ingredients, USDA certification is your best bet.

Joy Organics’ CBD oils are available in broad-spectrum and full-spectrum formulations, which means they provide a wide range of beneficial hemp phytochemicals that boost the benefits of CBD.

They’re available in three strengths: 15 mg/ml (450 mg total), 30 mg/ml (900 mg total), 45 mg/ml (1350 mg total) as well as five flavors: unflavored, fresh lime, tranquil mint, orange bliss, and summer lemon.


CBDPure is a great pick for people new to CBD because its products have relatively low potency and are made with whole-plant hemp extract.

  • Low-medium potency
  • Full-spectrum formula rich in minor cannabinoids
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Basic website that lacks detailed info
  • No flavored options

Free Shipping and 15% Off Coupon: “HEALTHCANAL”

Washington’s CBDPure has been offering simple, effective CBD products since 2016. The company uses only whole-plant extract derived from organic Colorado and Washington-grown hemp.

CBDPure also doesn’t add any flavoring or additives to its products, preferring to keep them as close to natural as possible.

CBDPure is a solid pick for people new to CBD. Its CBD oil comes in three low-to-medium strengths: 5 mg/mg, 10 mg/ml, and 17 mg/ml with 300-1000 mg of CBD in total.

Better yet, it’s made with full-spectrum hemp extract providing all of the plant’s phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds that amplify CBD’s effects.

This is a great product for getting introduced to the effects of CBD.

Lazarus Naturals

Lazarus Naturals is not a highly popular and respected CBD brand but also one of the cheapest.

  • Exceptionally low prices
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Grows most of its hemp
  • Full-spectrum and THC-free formulas
  • Multiple potencies, sizes, and flavors
  • Lacks extra high potency (80+ mg/ml)
  • Lacks 30 ml bottle size

Lazarus Naturals is one of the best CBD brands in the United States. Since 2014, it’s been offering high-quality CBD products at some of the lowest prices available.

A company with a strong sense of ethical responsibility, Lazarus Naturals not only has exceptionally low prices but also provides a 60% discount to veterans, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals.

Unlike most CBD companies, Lazarus Naturals is owned by its employees and grows the majority of its hemp rather than buying it from other producers. All of its products come with comprehensive third-party lab test reports to confirm their quality and safety.

The company’s full-spectrum CBD oil is an excellent option for OCD. It comes in two strengths: standard (20 mg/ml) and high-potency (50 mg/ml) and three sizes (15, 60, 120 ml) with a total of 750-6000 mg of CBD.

Lazarus’ CBD oil is available in unflavored, chocolate mint, French vanilla mocha, and Yuzu citrus flavors. If you prefer to avoid THC completely, Lazarus Naturals also has CBD isolate tinctures.

These flavor, size, formula, and strength options make it easy to find the tincture that suits you best.

Medical Cannabis and CBD Oil for OCD

Cannabis and CBD oil are popular alternative treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For example, some people find that taking CBD oil or smoking marijuana relieves OCD symptoms.

Unfortunately, few human studies have looked at the use of cannabis or CBD for OCD.

However, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that CBD can be beneficial for the condition, particularly by helping with anxiety, repetitive behavior, and something called fear extinction.

First and foremost, CBD may help by reducing anxiety, which is the main symptom of OCD. Research has shown that CBD may be a promising treatment for many anxiety disorders:

  • A 2011 Brazilian study found that CBD lowered anxiety [1] induced by public speaking in people with social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • A similar 2019 Japanese study reported that CBD oil reduced anxiety [2] in teenagers with SAD
  • A 2019 study reported that CBD improved symptoms [3] in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Several studies [4] have also found that CBD reduces marble-burying [5] in mice, which is used as a model for repetitive and compulsive behavior.

Another less obvious way that CBD might relieve OCD is by helping with fear extinction [6] — learning to let go of a conditioned fear of something.

Conditioned fear plays a major role in OCD, whereby neutral things (like a door handle) become associated with unwanted outcomes, such as the risk of being contaminated with germs.

Multiple studies [7] have shown that CBD can reduce the effects of this kind of learned fear and promote its extinction.

CBD may also improve mood as it’s been reported to have antidepressant effects [8] in animal studies. Depression is the most common comorbid condition [9] in people with OCD.

On top of that, there’s evidence that your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) may play a role in OCD.

For example, research has shown that the ECS regulates fear, anxiety, and repetitive behaviors, and that cannabinoid CB1 receptors are abundant in areas of the brain [10] involved in the condition.

We know that CBD works at least partially by reducing the breakdown of the endocannabinoid anandamide, which is how it can support the ECS and relieve OCD symptoms.

CBD dosage for OCD

There’s no official recommended CBD dosage for OCD. The right amount of CBD to take depends on many factors like your body weight, body chemistry, OCD severity, and the kind of CBD product you’re using.

That’s why the optimal CBD dosage can vary greatly between individuals. The best way to find your ideal dose is to follow the “start low and go slow [11] ” approach.

Begin with a small dose of CBD (10-15 mg), wait for two hours to see how you feel, and slowly up the dose over time until you start to experience the desired effects.

Can You Use CBD for OCD?

CBD may help relieve the symptoms of OCD, such as unwanted thoughts, fears, and anxiety. It may also improve mood.

While there’s a lack of research looking at the use of CBD in this condition, there are many anecdotal reports of its effectiveness.
Considering that CBD is a remarkably safe substance [12] with few and minor side effects, it’s worth giving a try, especially for people who failed to find relief with standard treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid compound found in cannabis. Unlike its close cousin THC, CBD is non-intoxicating and appears to have a wide range of potential health benefits. CBD can interact with your body in many ways, such as influencing the endocannabinoid system.

CBD oil contains CBD-rich hemp extract mixed with a plant carrier oil like coconut MCT oil for better absorption. It’s used by placing oil drops under the tongue, allowing the CBD to absorb directly into the blood vessels. This method is more effective than simply swallowing CBD.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much human research looking at the use of CBD for OCD. However, there’s some evidence that CBD can help with the symptoms and mental processes involved in OCD, such as anxiety and repetitive behavior. There are also many anecdotal reports of its effectiveness.

It varies by individual. The best approach is to start with a low dose such as 10 mg, wait a few hours to see how it affects you, and gradually increase as needed until you achieve the desired relief.

According to decades of research, CBD is a well-tolerated substance with a good safety profile. Although it may cause some side effects, they’re relatively minor and have only been reported by studies using high doses of pure CBD.

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Mateus M Bergamaschi, Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas, Danielle Chaves Gomes de Oliveira, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis, Flávio Kapczinski, João Quevedo, Rafael Roesler, Nadja Schröder, Antonio E Nardi, Rocio Martín-Santos, Jaime Eduardo Cecílio Hallak, Antonio Waldo Zuardi & José Alexandre S Crippa. (2011). Neuropsychopharmacology. 36(6): 1219–1226.Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients. Available from:
  2. Nobuo Masataka. (2019). Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders. Available from:
  3. Lucas Elms, Scott Shannon, Shannon Hughes & Nicole Lewis. (2019). Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. Available from:
  4. Plinio C Casarotto , Felipe V Gomes, Leonardo B M Resstel, Francisco S Guimarães. (2011). Cannabidiol inhibitory effect on marble-burying behaviour: involvement of CB1 receptors. Available from:
  5. Mirella Nardo , Plinio C Casarotto, Felipe V Gomes, Francisco S Guimarães. (2011). Cannabidiol reverses the mCPP-induced increase in marble-burying behavior. Available from:
  6. Joseph F. McGuire, Scott P. Orr, Monica S. Wu, Adam B. Lewin, Brent J. Small, Vicky Phares, Tanya K. Murphy, Sabine Wilhelm, Daniel S. Pine, Daniel Geller & Eric A. Storch. (2016). Fear Conditioning and Extinction in Youth with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Available from:
  7. Regimantas Jurkus, Harriet L. L. Day, Francisco S. Guimarães, Jonathan L. C. Lee, Leandro J. Bertoglio & Carl W. Stevenson. (2016). Cannabidiol Regulation of Learned Fear: Implications for Treating Anxiety-Related Disorders. Available from:
  8. Amanda J Sales , Carlos C Crestani, Francisco S Guimarães , Sâmia R L Joca. (2018). Antidepressant-like effects induced by Cannabidiol are dependent on brain serotonin levels. Available from:
  9. Ebru ALTINTA & Nilgün TASKINTUNA. (2015). Factors Associated with Depression in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Cross-Sectional Study. Available from:
  10. Reilly R. Kayser, Ivar Snorrason, Margaret Haney, Francis S. Lee & H. Blair Simpson. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System: A New Treatment Target for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?. Available from:
  11. Catherine J Lucas, Peter Galettis, Jennifer Schneider. (2018). The pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. Available from:
  12. Mateus Machado Bergamaschi , Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, Antonio Waldo Zuardi, José Alexandre S Crippa. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Available from:
About Gleb Oleinik, CBD Journalist

Gleb Oleinik is a CBD journalist from Vancouver, Canada with a passion for educating people about the benefits of CBD. He’s read thousands of research studies about CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex scientific ideas into plain language. When he’s not writing, Gleb likes to spend his time in the gym, out in nature, and working on his website projects.

Since OCD is an anxiety disorder, some studies suggest that using CBD oil helped to relieve anxiety. Find out the top 5 best CBD for OCD 2021