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Cannabis: How It Affects Tourette’s Syndrome

By estimate, there are over 100,000 people in just the United States suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome, a neuropsychiatric disease that is distinguished by involuntary tics.  Those who suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome (also known as TS) run the risk of causing serious damage to themselves due to the unpredictable and uncontrollable tics and spasms. There is currently no known cure for this disorder, but it has been noted that the symptoms can be reduced with age.

In 1997, a study was conducted in Germany that showed a reduction in symptoms in patient with TS who were administered THC while not showing any signs of cognitive impairment. More recently, an even more complex study was conducted in 2003 that again studied the effects of THC being administered to patients suffering from TS. Subjects were recorded to have reduced frequency of tics with no observable negative effects. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and concluded that THC should be used as a possible treatment for TS in adults.

Tourette’s is not an officially mandated condition for the use of medical cannabis in many states, but the traditional treatments for TS can often fail to be effective or contain severe side effects (such as heart problems). In these cases medical marijuana use for relief from Tourette’s is supported by both clinical and anecdotal evidence as a viable health option.