The People Say THC Calms Tics in Tourettes, What Does Research Say?
While the research is sparse and inconclusive on cannabis for Tourette’s Syndrome, anecdotal reports are all positive.
Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) is a highly misunderstood condition that faces minimally effective treatments. Use of cannabis for TS has often been tossed aside as an ‘excuse’ for recreational use. It’s never been taken seriously, even if anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly positive. The truth is, there is minimal research in all aspects of cannabis medicine due to its Schedule I status and we all need to reconsider the perceived gold standard of “double-blind-placebo” studies.
TS is often characterized in popular culture as something that makes a person scream out violent or aggressive language. However, it’s a lot more complicated than that and, like most conditions, Tourette Syndrome has a spectrum of severity.
Tourette’s is a neurological disorder that affects an individual’s ability to fully control movements and sounds. These involuntary actions are called ‘tics’ and differ from person to person, appearing as motor or vocal tics. These tics can be completely debilitating.
Currently, treatment for TS is, to put it bluntly, disappointing. These include cognitive or comprehensive behavioural intervention therapy, massage and chiropractic therapy, and some medications, like botox injections, that aim to reduce tics and the pain associated with them.
These do work for some people, but it’s a trial and error game and some people never really find a treatment that works well. If you’re interested in learning more about specific treatments, see Tourette Canada.
Cannabis for Vocal and Motor Tics
We won’t pretend that current studies (like this one from 2005, from 2013, and another from 2017) have conclusively proven that cannabinoids (THC) are effective for everyone who has TS. What the research does prove, however, is that cannabis and THC treatments can help a large percentage of those with TS without negative side effects.
At its worst result, cannabis still wasn’t deemed completely ineffective. This is a major contrast to current treatments, which have side effects like stiffness, fatigue, weight gain, social withdrawal, and restlessness, while still failing to eliminate tics.
While the opinion of research professionals is torn on the efficacy of cannabis for treating Tourette Syndrome, you also need to do what your body tells you. If you know it helps with your tics, then it could be worth exploring. Cannabis has a wide range of medicinal value, so consuming won’t harm you and may actually help. After all, studies seem conclusive in the fact that use of cannabis doesn’t have negative side effects in those with TS. That seems worth it to us.
Have you tried cannabis for your TS? Please share your story in the comments to help our readers in making their decisions.