Could Cannabis & CBD Be Used To Treat Tourette Syndrome?

December 27, 2017

Cannabis may help with various symptoms of Tourette’s, including reducing  anxiety and frequency of tics.

Tourette Syndrome is a type of Tic Disorder. Tics are repetitive movements and vocalization, all of which are involuntary. Individuals living with Tourette’s typically have two or more motor/physical tics and at least one vocal/phonic tic. These symptoms need to be present for over one year for a diagnosis to be made. Typically, Tourette Syndrome is treated with a combination of therapy and anti-psychotic medications.

The Research

According to highly specialized medical cannabis doctor Dr. Bonni Goldstein, ”There are many patients who suffer with Tourette syndrome (TS) who are finding relief of symptoms with cannabis.” Goldstein further added, “A large percentage of people who have been diagnosed with TS also suffer with other significant conditions, such as OCD, ADHD, mood disorders and anxiety. The conventional medications used to treat these conditions are not always helpful and often cause a wide array of unwanted side effects.”

Researcher Kirsten Müller-Vahl and her team at Germany’s Medical School of Hanover completed an initial study on the effects of cannabis on TS in 1998. They determined that 82% of TS patients who reported using cannabis experienced “reduction or complete remission of motor and vocal tics and amelioration of premonitory urges and OCD symptoms.” She continued her studies and published additional research in 2003 and 2013which confirmed her original findings that cannabis can be effective in suppressing tics and behavioral problems associated with Tourette’s. She also proved that just one-time use of cannabis by adults with TS provided a significant improvement of tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior compared to the placebo group. Another more recent study completed earlier this year came to the same conclusion as Muller-Vahl’s multiple studies.

States That Allow Cannabis to Treat Tourette Syndrome

So far, Illinois, Arkansas, Minnesota and Ohio have all approved medical marijuana specifically for the treatment of Tourette syndrome. Multiple other states allow cannabis prescriptions for the treatment of Tourette syndrome if it’s recommended by a physician. These states include: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington, and Washington D.C.

[Image credit: Pixabay]

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