EducationHow to take CBD oil for OCD symptom relief 

How to take CBD oil for OCD symptom relief 

7 min read

Sam North

How to take CBD oil for OCD symptom relief 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects around 1.2% of the UK population, with approximately 750,000 of us affected by the illness at any one time. This mental health condition can be challenging to live with, resulting in extreme anxiety and dread, intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours that feel necessary to keep these thoughts and anxieties at bay. The condition can be incredibly disruptive to one’s professional, personal and social life, with symptoms proving difficult and sometimes debilitating.


Although OCD is no longer characterised as an anxiety disorder, studies have shown that the medical cannabis plant compound cannabidiol (CBD) use may be effective in mitigating the symptoms that typically go hand in hand with OCD. These include anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and compulsive behaviours.

However, those planning to use CBD can benefit from a bit of research and planning to ensure that they get the optimal benefit from this increasingly popular plant derivative. And before we dive any deeper, we need to reiterate that while CBD may offer potential benefits for OCD sufferers, it should never be seen as a ‘magic cure’. With that said, let's have a look at what the current medical research is showing.

Can CBD oil help relieve the symptoms of OCD?

CBD oil has exploded in availability and popularity in recent years, playing a significant role in normalising medicinal cannabis administration and removing the social and political stigma from a plant that has been used medicinally around the world for over 6,000 years. It is an affordable, versatile, and potentially extremely effective supplement that can aid existing cognitive treatments for OCD.

The symptoms of OCD stem from interactions between the signals and receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), at least to a certain extent. This complex ‘master regulatory’ neurotransmission system is responsible for many bodily processes, including regulating mood, appetite, sleep and immune function. There is evidence to suggest that CBD interacts with this system to help regulate mood and potentially mitigate the symptoms of OCD.

What’s the best CBD dose for OCD?

Because every individual body is unique, it is difficult to offer an optimal dosage that will be suitable for everyone. The human body’s tolerance for CBD is generally very high. Most of us can safely tolerate up to 1,500 mg of CBD daily without any noticeable negative side effects.

That said, in a 2015 review of studies in the US, an orally-administered dose of 300-600 mg proved the most effective in treating anxiety. Those who experience stress associated with OCD might consider building gradually to a dosage within this range.

How to use CBD oil for OCD the right way

Although there is evidence to propose that CBD may be effective in managing the symptoms of OCD, a personalised and individual approach is essential to ensure that you get the most from CBD therapy. It is a journey that requires planning, patience, research and a little experimentation.

Here are some tips to help you use CBD the right way.

Manage your expectations

It’s important to note that CBD is a supplement and should be treated as such. Companies cannot market CBD as a cure for OCD or any other condition. Likewise, patients should consider it an aid for managing the symptoms of OCD alongside other therapies like counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), as well as a healthy diet, and active lifestyle.

It may take time for the body to acclimate to CBD oil. Some feel the effects in a few minutes, while others can take several weeks to notice any discernible benefit.

Know what makes a good quality CBD oil

While CBD oil (and products that use it) are subject to General Product Safety Regulations, there is no specific legislation regarding CBD products outside of the permitted THC content, which must be below 0.2% or no more than 1 mg per bottle.

Therefore, there is significant variation in the quality and integrity of CBD oils on the consumer market. Look for the hallmarks of quality CBD oil for maximum safety and efficacy. These include:

  • Clear marking of CBD content (either in mg or as a percentage)
  • Certificate of analysis to back up any claims made on the packaging or marketing materials
  • Clean extraction. CO2 supercritical extraction preserves all the terpenes and cannabinoids, while butane or alcohol extraction can leave traces of harmful chemicals.
  • Full spectrum CBD - All of the plant is used and there will be sufficient terpenes, cannabinoids, and other nutrients

The medicinal cannabis sector is governed by much more stringent and overarching regulatory processes, so you can always trust that any CBD oil (or any other medicinal cannabis products) prescribed to you are of the highest standard.

Find a way to dose that works best for you

While one study found an optimal dosage range for its sample to be 300-600 mg per day, this does not necessarily mean that users should start within this range, even at the lower end. CBD is biphasic, meaning it will act differently as the dosage increases. Therefore, it is best to start at a low dosage of 10–20 mg 2–3 times per day and gradually increase your dosage over time.

For optimal results, administer drops of CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue), and wait 30 to 60 seconds before swallowing. By seeking the prescription and advice of a doctor that is registered to prescribe medicinal cannabis, you will set yourself up for the best chance at finding your optimal dose quickly and effectively.  

Experiment with different ways of using CBD oil

Lifestyle changes can often be difficult for those with CBD oil. Even when those changes are for the better. Fortunately, CBD oil is highly versatile, making it easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. It can be added to baked goods and dropped into tea, coffee and soft drinks. A range of products on the market is already infused with CBD oil.

This makes experimenting easier to find the best way to incorporate CBD into your life.

Monitor your progress

Because memory alone is not always the best indicator of progress, monitoring your progress on your CBD oil therapy journey is a good idea. Make note of days and times when you take CBD oil, doses, and effects.


CBD oil may be effective in mitigating the symptoms of OCD, however, it should not replace traditional therapies like counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, lifestyle changes, and regular exercise. Finding the optimal dose for your individual body is essential to get the most out of CBD therapy, and by speaking to a doctor and experimenting with different methods, you can find the best way to incorporate CBD into your lifestyle. Keep in mind that monitoring progress is an important part of making sure that you get the most out of your CBD therapy journey.

At Releaf, we understand that any form of cannabis therapy is an inherently personal and individual journey. That’s why we tailor every subscription to the patient's unique needs, regularly monitoring their progress and making tweaks and changes to ensure that they get the most from their experience.

Accessing medical cannabis can be challenging due to the stigma surrounding it. However, Releaf makes it simple with our tailored monthly packages, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection, all based on your cannabis prescription.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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Sam North, a seasoned writer with over five years' experience and expertise in medicinal cannabis, brings clarity to complex concepts, focusing on education and informed use.

Our articles are written by experts and reviewed by medical professionals or compliance specialists. Adhering to stringent sourcing guidelines, we reference peer-reviewed studies and scholarly research. View our editorial policy.

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