Tourette's Cannabis
Tourette's Cannabis

Cannabis For Treating Tourette’s Syndrome

Medical Marijuana Helps Tourette's Patients

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Monday Sep 26, 2016

Cannabis For Treating Tourette’s Syndrome


Medical Cannabis For Tourette's Syndrome Patients from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


Tourette’s syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system which is characterized by tics, which are uncontrollable movements or sounds. Tics vary from person to person; it may be in the form of involuntary sounds, blinking, throat clearing, repeating what someone else says, sniffing, or other kinds of unusually repetitive movements.



Around 1% of the population has Tourette ’s syndrome. It usually starts during childhood and for some people, Tourette ’s syndrome goes away completely later on. Symptoms can be mild to severe, and while it isn’t a fatal condition it can severely affect one’s quality of life especially for those who have a severe form of the disorder.  Excitement, stress, or sickness can make the symptoms worse. The causes of Tourette ’s syndrome still remains unknown although doctors agree that most of it has to do with genetics.



There is no cure for Tourette’s syndrome, but there are treatment options for those whose conditions get in the way of living a normal life. Medications for Tourette’s syndrome often has side effects including fatigue, weight gain, social withdrawal, and restlessness. However, studies show that cannabis is a viable and effective treatment option for those who want a natural and healthy alternative to pharmaceutical medications.



There are limited clinical trials examining the effects of cannabis in reducing Tourette’s syndrome. The most famous of these studies were conducted in Germany led by a medical scientist named Kirsten R. Müller-Vahl. Their 1998 study showed that 17 patients out of 64 participants used marijuana. 14 out of the 17 reported total or partial relief from the symptoms. The German researchers decided to investigate the findings more closely and conducted additional studies which revealed that a majority of participants who used cannabis enjoyed significant relief and only a few patients reported experiencing any side effects. Because of the status of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, studies investigating the benefits of cannabis for Tourette’s syndrome is still limited although it’s possible that it does work well as a treatment because there are numerous cannabinoid receptors in the basal ganglia as well as the hippocampus, parts of the brain that are responsible for controlling movement. These parts of the brain are affected in those who suffer from Tourette’s.



Aside from the symptoms involved, many patients with Tourette’s have comorbid conditions, the most common of which is obsessive-compulsive disorder. Individuals with Tourette’s also display repetitive behaviors such as counting obsessively and are found to be more aggressive. The Germany studies show that there was a decline in OCD symptoms as well as tics among those who used cannabis.




Another comorbid disorder associated with many individuals with Tourette’s syndrome is insomnia and difficulty sleeping. Cannabis has long been recognized for its ability to help induce relaxation and better sleep particularly the well-loved indica strains.  Administering cannabis through your method of choice can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. People with Tourette’s syndrome also suffer from an increase in tics during REM sleep which is also another area where cannabis can help.



Cannabis is also a viable complementary treatment with existing medications. A 2002 study of a 24 year old woman with Tourette’s syndrome, also conducted by the German researcher showed that cannabis use may have helped make her medications more effective. The efficacy of cannabis for Tourette’s has actually been known as early as 1988 especially for individuals who weren’t responsive at all to conventional medications.



The current medications available for the treatment of Tourette’s have so far proven insufficient. Currently, only Minnesota and Illinois list Tourette’s syndrome as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana prescriptions although other states are already working on including it to their lists.



Do you know of someone who uses medical marijuana to treat Tourette’s syndrome? Share with us in the comments below.










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