People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) report that the severity of their symptoms was reduced by about half within four hours of smoking cannabis, according to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
The research analysed data inputted into an app (Strainprint) by people who self-identified as having OCD.
After smoking cannabis, users with OCD reported it reduced their compulsions by 60 per cent, intrusions by 49 per cent and anxiety by 52 per cent.
The study also found that higher doses and cannabis with higher concentrations of CBD were associated with larger reductions in compulsions.
As people continued to use cannabis, the associated reductions in intrusions became slightly smaller suggesting they were building tolerance, but the relationship between cannabis and reductions in compulsions and anxiety remained fairly constant.
"The results overall indicate that cannabis may have some beneficial short-term but not really long-term effects on obsessive-compulsive disorder," said Carrie Cuttler, the study's corresponding author and assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University in the US. "To me, the CBD findings are really promising because it is not intoxicating. This is an area of research that would really benefit from clinical trials looking at changes in compulsions, intrusions and anxiety with pure CBD."