The Potential Role of Cannabis in the Treatment of OCD Symptoms

January 20th 2021
Contemporary Clinic Staff

Contemporary Clinic ® interviewed Carrie Cuttler, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Washington State University, on a recent study she co-authored on the use of cannabis in treating symptoms of OCD.

Contemporary Clinic® interviewed Carrie Cuttler, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Washington State University, on a recent study she co-authored that was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders on the use of cannabis in treating symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Alana Hippensteele: So Dr. Cuttler, I understand that your prior research has examined the effects of cannabis on various mental health conditions. What led you to investigate the use of cannabis in treating OCD?

Carrie Cuttler: Yes. thank you. Before I started studying cannabis, I was actually studying links between memory and OCD, as it's a condition that has always been of interest to me. Also, my PhD student, Dakota Mauzay, who is the first author on this manuscript, he also has strong interests in OCD and spends a lot of time treating OCD as a clinical psychology graduate student.

Also, while many studies have examined cannabis in relation to various mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and psychosis, we found that very little research had actually examined either links between cannabis use and OCD, or the effects of cannabis on OCD. And to us, that represented a significant gap in the research that we thought really needed to be filled. Also, we knew that cannabis has effects on anxiety and, given the role of anxiety in OCD, we figured there would be good reason to suspect that cannabis may have some effects on this condition.

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