Marijuana and Tourette Syndrome: Is it Really Effective?
Cannabis and its cannabinoids and terpenes have been used to treat or alleviate the symptoms of many illnesses and conditions. Cannabis alleviates pain, anxiety and even nausea in many people. In addition, some studies claim marijuana is helpful in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Tourette syndrome. There are some methods you can try with your marijuana and Tourette syndrome treatment.
Some adults have reported reduced tics after using marijuana for Tourette syndrome.
What is Tourette Syndrome?
Tourette syndrome is a neurological condition, a type of tic disorder characterized by movements and vocal tics. According to the Tourette Association, there are three types of tic syndromes:
- Tourette Syndrome (TS), also known as Tourette’s Disorder: to be classified as Tourette syndrome, the patient must present at least two motor tics and one vocal tic. These tics can vary in frequency and they can occur for more than one year. Tourette syndrome appears before adulthood (18 years old) and these tics are not caused by any substance or medication.
- Persistent (Chronic) Motor or Vocal Tic Disorder: this type presents either vocal or motor tics and they are present for more than one year. Motor and vocal tics cannot be present at the same time.
- Provisional Tic Disorder: motor and/or vocal tics have been present for less than one year.
The causes of Tourette syndrome are unknown. However, it tends to occur in families, which means there is a genetic component. According to Mayo Clinic it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Risk factors for Tourette include sex (3 to 4 times more common in males than females) and family history.
Marijuana and Tourette: How Can Marijuana Help to Alleviate the Symptoms?
At present time, there are a couple of studies investigating the effects of cannabis (THC) in the treatment of Tourette Syndrome. THC is recommended when other treatments fail to show any improvements in Tourette’s syndrome. The relationship between marijuana and Tourette is that of a medicine intended to mitigate the tics.
Tourette is a complicated condition that is often associated with comorbidities. For example, many people with Tourette syndrome experience other behavioral conditions such as: ADHD, autism, depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, pain (some tics could cause injuries), anger, among others.
Marijuana and Tourette? How can marijuana help in the treatment of Tourette? Marijuana, at least certain cannabis strains, can alleviate anxiety and obsessiveness. In addition, cannabis does not exacerbate Tourette symptoms.
At this moment, there are four US states that have approved cannabis (THC) for the treatment of Tourette syndrome. According to Marijuana Doctors, these states are Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio.
It is believed that cannabis can reduce tics the same way it helps to mitigate the effects of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
Marijuana and Tourette: Which Intake Methods are Useful?
There are many ways to use marijuana. The most common methods are smoking, vaping and edibles. From all these methods, smoking produces the fastest effects, however, several studies have concluded that vaping offers a more intense “high” than smoking. In addition, vaping is much safer as it does not release carcinogenic substances such as tar.
Edibles are also a good method, but the effects take much longer as it is metabolized in the liver. In short, it does not enter the bloodstream as fast as vaping or smoking. There are many studies about marijuana and Tourette and how people with Tourette can benefit from it.
Why is Vaping a Good Method?
Inhalation methods are the fastest to show effects. Moreover, vaping is safe and effective. Furthermore, studies have shown that vaping is better than smoking for the inhalation of cannabis terpenes, which are destroyed when the plant material is smoked.
In addition, the vaporization process does not produce tar and other carcinogenic compounds.
There is no cure for Tourette syndrome and marijuana is commonly prescribed in adults when other medicines fail to alleviate Tourette symptoms. Usually, doctors do not prescribe any medicines for the treatment of Tourette. However, when the symptoms are very serious, there are several medicines used to mitigate it. According to Mayo Clinic, the following medicines are used to treat Tourette: medications to control dopamine, Botox injections (for vocal tics), ADHD medication (a Tourette syndrome comorbidity), medicines that help to control behavioral symptoms, antidepressants and even antiseizure medicines.
Marijuana can help to alleviate Tourette syndrome, especially certain cannabis strains that help patients to reduce anxiety and obsessiveness. Nonetheless, there is no cure for Tourette syndrome and medicines are just prescribed to mitigate Tourette symptoms.
Furthermore, THC is the most effective cannabinoid for the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome.