Treating Tourette’s With Marijuana – Does It Work?

Source: woodcock Psychology

Like many other disorders, Tourette’s syndrome affects millions around the world. Though there are some treatment options available, they don’t improve the symptoms as one would expect them to. However, with increasing research in the area of cannabis potential, people have started considering this supplement as a new remedy to alleviate the symptoms of this disease. In the last few years, a lot of people have adopted medical marijuana to treat a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Anecdotal evidence reports relief from pain, epilepsy, inflammation and even cancer with the use of this herb. The list of benefits it offers grows longer each day and Tourette’s can be the next addition.

What is Tourette Syndrome?

Though this name is quite popular, there is some confusion about what it is actually. Basically, it refers to a neurodevelopmental disorder involving unwanted sounds or repetitive movements that are difficult to control. Examples include blinking eyes repeatedly or making unusual sounds. Tics show up in the age group 2 to 15 years and males are more likely to develop this disorder than females. While research has not yet found the exact cause, environmental and genetic factors are known to be responsible. It is also reported that most cases are hereditary.

Tourette Syndrome Symptoms

The most obvious sign of TS is tics – the short, sudden sound or movement ranging from mild to intense. When symptoms are serious, they can interfere with daily function, communication and quality of life. The majority of patients exhibit a combination of vocal and motor tics. While they can vary to a great extent, a lot of the symptoms can go unnoticed. If the person presents motor tics like eye rolling or blinking, they are often passed off. Vocal tics like coughing and throat clearing also go without annoying anybody. But more serious tics like touching nearby people or things and vocal tics like repeating phrases and making animal noises can make other people uneasy.

Treatment of the Disorder

There are numerous treatments available for this disorder and they work to different levels. Most patients are treated with behavioral therapies while the most advanced remedy is habit reversal that works on the fact that a preceding urge results in a tic. This therapy involves training the patient to respond to the urge in such a way that the tic is combated. This treatment is one of the most effective ways to deal with this disorder. This is a first-line treatment that does not work for people with more serious symptoms. TS does not have specific medicine but doctors prescribe some to deal with the symptoms. They are mostly antipsychotics that work by blocking dopamine receptors and come with many undesired side effects including depression, weight gain, kidney stones and drowsiness.

Does Marijuana Work?

It is important to know that a disturbed endocannabinoid system can be responsible for this problem. Applying the science behind the working of cannabis, we can easily understand that it is possible to treat TS with weed. It was long back in the 1990s that researchers had carried out a study on TS patients to find that those smoking marijuana reported partial or total relief from tics. Moreover, it is not just the tics that trouble. A lot of people suffering from this disorder deal with sleep problems. Cannabis can be a highly effective way to help people get a good sleep. When sufferers find it difficult to stay asleep, this supplement helps them get a good night’s sleep. Apart from this, it also reduces anxiety and depression that people with TS often suffer from.

Marijuana Dosage for Tourette’s Syndrome

Those looking to consider this supplement for dealing with the symptoms of TS can choose from a wide variety of delivery methods available. People who are new to cannabis can start with a small dose of 2.5mg every day and increase by 2.5mg after 3-5 days. The dose can be incremented up to 30mg per day until desired results are seen. It is seen that inhalable products deliver quicker and stronger relief from symptoms. As there is no much information available on the effects of these methods on the results, users can do some experimentation to see how it works for them.