Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements or sounds called “tics.” Tourette’s is a very complex disorder thought to be caused by abnormalities in certain brain regions, the circuits that interconnect these regions and the neurotransmitters responsible for communicating among nerve cells. The tics associated with Tourette’s syndrome can come on very suddenly and may be repetitive. These tics can motor controlled such as blinking, shrugging or twisting or they can be vocalized or produced by moving air through the nose, mouth or throat. These tics occur intermittently and are very unpredictable, sometimes occurring in bouts. Tourette’s syndrome usually appears more commonly in males and symptoms begin to show between the ages of 3 and 9. These tics can have a dramatic impact on quality of life for a patient. It may become difficult to work and engage in social activities additionally these tics can prevent patients from sleeping and staying asleep through the night. Some tics can be extremely painful or even self harming. Experts estimate that 100,000 Americans are afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome
Medical Cannabis and Tourette’s Syndrome
Research has shown that THC found in cannabis can be beneficial in helping reduce the severity and frequency of the tic’s associated with Tourette’s. A study published in 2003 involved 24 patients monitored over a 6-week period who were given a daily dose of 10mg of THC. Researchers reported that subjects experienced a significant reduction in tics following the study and suffered no negative cognitive effects. Other studies have shown that THC reduces the frequency and severity of tic’s. Sativa Dominant high THC strains are recommended for tourette’s patients because of their uplifting qualities. Indica strains can be very beneficial in calming down tic’s but can be too sedative at times. Because of their anti-convulsive properties, products rich in CBD and CBN can also be beneficial for Tourette’s patients. When first line treatments fail to reduce symptoms, cannabis can be an excellent treatment option for Tourette’s patients.