Treating Tourettes Syndrome with Marijuana
Tourettes Syndrome is a somewhat infamous inherited neuropsychiatric disorder, with the onset of symptoms appearing as early as childhood. Although the symptoms generally gradually get better with age progression, there is no known cure. It is estimated that roughly 100,000 Americans live with Tourettes Syndrome. The syndrome was named after a french physician who published ‘a Study of Nervous Affliction’.
Some people may have the misconception that people with Tourette’s syndrome are consistently made to say obscenities. Coprolalia is the involuntary and repetitive use of obscene language, as a symptom of mental illness. In reality, only a small fraction of people living with Tourettes syndrome have Coprolalia. Tourettes syndrome is defined by having multiple physical tics, and at least one vocal tic. The range of these tics can be extremely varied, from odd sounds or full words to blinking or twitching etc.
There are few treatment options for those afflicted with TS. Most commonly people with TS are treated with either various psychological and behavioral therapies or medication. However, there are currently no medications out that work universally for all individuals. In addition to this, every TS medication that is available has adverse side effects.
Many people have reported that marijuana can help reduce the severity of their various tics. While many states with medical marijuana bills allow citizens to treat their TS conditions with cannabis, not all do. People living with TS are also more likely to have insomnia, as well as anxiety, ADHD, OCD, etc. Marijuana has been proven to help with all of these ailments.
Although not a widely known fact, many children living with TS can be over aggressive or be induced into ‘rage bouts’. Generally, these specific symptoms go away as the person ages, but occasionally they can persist into adulthood. Significant research has yet to be done into the subject, but anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis can be helpful when dealing with aggression caused by TS. Cannabis has been proven to help with aggression caused by the closely related disorder ADHD, which is often comorbid with TS.
Research has shown that ingesting as little as 10mg of THC can decrease tic intensity and frequency for up to 7 hours. Researchers at Germany’s Medical School of Hanover, Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, then confirmed these results. They did so by conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, single dose trial of THC on 12 adults who have TS. Their conclusion of the study stated “significant improvement of tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior after treatment with THC compared to placebo.” They went on to note that one of the subjects tic severity scores dropped to 7 from 41, within two hours of ingesting THC.
Marijuana can be an effective Tourette’s syndrome treatment, and has far less negative side effects than any other TS medication.