Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder. While the exact cause is unknown t is most likely the result of genetic and environmental factors. The neurotransmitter chemicals, dopamine and serotonin play a role. The symptoms of Tourette syndrome include simple and complex “tics, both motor and vocal in nature. Simple motor tics include excessive eye blinking, head jerking, shoulder shrugging, eye darting, nose twitching, mouth movements. Simple vocal tics include grunting, coughing, throat clearing and barking. Complex motor tics include touching objects, smelling objects, walking in a certain pattern, obscene gesturing, jumping and twisting and bending. More complex tics include repeating words or phrases and using vulgar language. These tics appear involuntary and can increase in severity when individuals are stressed, excited or tired. Males are 3 times more likely than women to suffer from Tourette Syndrome.
How can Medical Marijuana Help Patients with Tourette’s Syndrome?
Medical marijuana has two primary chemical components: Delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Medical marijuana and cannabis-based medications that include THC and cannabis extracts have been reported to reduce symptoms of Tourette Syndrome in small scientific studies, patient reports, and anecdotal case reports. They are currently used to treat adult patients in Germany, Israel and Canada. There is insufficient data to support that CBD, without the addition of THC, is an effective treatment for Tourette Syndrome. The symptoms that can be improved through the use of medical marijuana are tics, insomnia, anxiety, obsessive compulsive behavior and anger.