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Study: Inhaled Cannabis Controls Tics In Patients With Tourette’s Syndrome

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 18, 2017

    Medical marijuanaInhaled cannabis is effective and well-tolerated in patients with Tourette’s Syndrome, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

    A team of researchers at the University of Toronto retrospectively assessed the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis in 19 TS patients.

    Researchers reported, “All study participants experienced clinically significant symptom relief,” including including reductions in obsessive-compulsive symptoms, impulsivity, anxiety, irritability, and rage outbursts. Eighteen of 19 patients experienced decreased tic severity. Cannabis was “generally well tolerated” by study subjects.

    They concluded: “Overall, these study participants experienced substantial improvements in their symptoms. This is particularly striking given that almost all participants had failed at least one anti-tic medication trial. … In conclusion, cannabis seems to be a promising treatment option for tics and associated symptoms.”

    Placebo controlled data has previously determined that oral THC dosing also improves tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior in TS patients. However, patients utilizing inhaled cannabis have generally shown greater overall improvement.

    An abstract of the study, “Preliminary evidence on cannabis effectiveness and tolerability for adults with Tourette Syndrome,” is online here.

    26 Responses to “Study: Inhaled Cannabis Controls Tics In Patients With Tourette’s Syndrome”

    1. Mark Mitcham says:

      Fuck yeah!

      But seriously, when I went from the black market to the Colorado state medical marijuana program, I found that the medical-grade cannabis to which I then had access was not only treating my qualifying conditions in spectacular fashion, but that I was also receiving health benefits in other areas, some of which I had never even considered.

      Like Tourette’s Syndrome. I’ve never been diagnosed, and I’ve never thought I had it. But I do cuss a lot! I always figured it was simply a natural byproduct of well-founded anger. Sometimes it’s deliberate free speech, George Carlin style. But sometimes it’s pure rage, and difficult to control.

      But I was surprised to find my profane outbursts were reduced dramatically when I got on the medical marijuana program; and this was not an issue I was even considering (although I was aware that cannabis had been used to treat TS clinically.)

      I had to ask myself: did I just treat my own TS?

      I can tell you this much, it has improved my emotional self-control significantly. Either way, it chilled me out, and that’s good for me and society.

      • TS Mom says:

        Listen kid, smoke up, but don’t pretend to have Tourette’s. That’s insulting to REAL sufferers, like my kid (who endures his symptoms like the stud he is). I don’t care what the hell you do, or why you do it, but don’t blame your bad behavior/manners on a REAL affliction.

        Jackass. (Apparently, pot doesn’t cure THAT.)

        • Soctt B says:

          Listen up, internet warrior lady. You are the one needing a smoke. No where in his post did he give any indication that he was pretending to have TS or blaming his behavior on TS. As a matter of fact, there was absolutely nothing insulting about his post at all, whether you have TS or not. Your message, on the other hand, was extremely offensive and condescending, and then you end it with name-calling. You should be ashamed and apologize. Have you seen your doctor about TS or anger issues? Maybe you should. (Pot cures both)

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          @ TS Mom,

          Read my comment more carefully. I said I have never been diagnosed with TS, and I said I never thought I had it.

          What I described was a reduction in involuntary expressions of profanity due to rage. I suggested that this may, or may not, be a related medical issue. I don’t know. But cannabis definitely reduced my Tourette’s-like outbursts.

          So, nobody’s pretending here. There’s no need for you to be judgemental and rude. Read more carefully. Best of luck.

          • mexweed says:

            Missed opportunities #138: while evidently inhalant bwdflower alone is medi(t)(c)ation enough in some cases against rage, cursing and profundity, in others it might pay to complete the circuit–by committing 129 choice minutes immediately after one’s two tokes to beneficent handwork activity which uses up the liberated energies that otherwise went to aughtpot outbursts.
            .
            Which is why God and/or Coevolution (see Wikiversity:Ethnobotany) contrived during the last 38,000 years or so to shape the cannabis handplant leaf to resemble what to human eyes looks like the human hand, can anysignal be more obvious?
            .
            Consider doing what Julian reported doing, make dozens or hundreds of birdhouses (cheaply from scrap wood, cardboard etc., a la Creative Reuse)– which can increase bird populations locally
            (birds eat bugs that eat foodgarden crops, if gardening is also one of the things you passionately do). Or make little handles for razor knives to cut the cardboard.
            .
            Yes as experienced users we know we have more things to do than pretend to be torrid tourists eating turds on a tourist outing or whatever the syndromees believe they’re enacting.

            • Mark Mitcham says:

              I’m a cartoonist. To your point, I’m working on a short political cartoon called “Fuck Trump.”

            • Julian says:

              I have no comment about TS, outbursts or whether marijuana mitigates cussing. I just want to clarify that when we had that conversation about “birdhouses” years ago Mexweed I was using them to disguise surveillance cameras. And yes I was stoned when I built them. 😉

            • Julian says:

              I agree with your concept of constructive creativity that cannabis inspires in us so well. But if I recall, Mexweed, I told you in that same post back yonder that if you want to increase bird populations forget about birdhouses and convince my wife to get rid of the damn cat! (Damnit… Cussin while stoned again… so much for THAT theory…) :-)

            • mexweed says:

              1. Thanks for that resounding alliteratative phrase Constructive Creativity, I think I’ll use it. 2. If your birdhouses enable 100 cheeplings to be fed and reared to maturity and the cat eats only ten, that’s a net service to gardeners, I say go for it. 3. Concerning sneak surveillance cameras, my first thought is, Shhhh! don’t give Republicans ideas, they’ll spy on my favorite toke johns.

            • mexweed says:

              @Mark, 1. just to be polite, title your drawings “Truckfump”, readers will get it.
              2. Cartooning is a great exercise, but make sure you do some two-handed stuff too. 3. If you have time, do one showing Trump serving a toke to Bob Marley on a two-stemmed flexdrawtube oneheater. I’ll tell my in-laws at the white house to pay you off good.

    2. Julian says:

      All we have to do is Youtube “turrets marijuana” and show the results to our legislators. In a society where capitalism Trumps government the number of hits on a Youtube post carry more weight from advertisements than the evidence we keep showing our Reps and Senators. (Not that we should stop debunking the false reports… good work Paul!)
      One of the most powerful tools we have as legalizers is a 3 minute video showing marijuana concentrate under the tounge cease a child from punching themselves in the head repeatedly, or stopping convulsive seizures, and the list goes on.
      Yes, I know 3 minutes is too long for the attention span of orange dictators who take finasteride. (Someone on his staff needs to sneak some marijuana concentrate into that extra scoop of ice cream before the fucknut gets deposed…)

    3. Voice of Reason says:

      I’m sorry, but this simply cannot be true. Didn’t you read the Schedule? Pot is a hallucinogenic or psychedelic substance which:

      1. Has a high potential for abuse.
      2. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
      3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

      You need to get with the programme.

      • mexweed says:

        How many Sessions will it take to complete and/or depose this particular Pogrom?

      • Dain Bramage says:

        You gotta be kidding. That’s sarcasm… right?

        • Julian says:

          Yeeees… its been a while since Voice has posted here but I’ll vouch for sarcasm. Careful Voice, remember that sarcasm is not so easily conveyed through words alone. We cant see our facial expressions. And were living during a time when our President is keeping up with what a “great job Fredrick Douglas is doing.” Throw in a wink or somethin 😉

    4. Matt says:

      Great to hear, yet another medical use for cannabis.

    5. Jason Lun says:

      Think how sick a person has to be, to go to another human being and to say “because you’re using this plant that I don’t approve of, I’m going to throw you in jail for a very long time!” – that’s the law…

      No, that’s [govern]mental illness!

    6. carl vagg says:

      todays understandings of brain chemisty including
      our endogenous cannabinoid system [one of our most influencial health/healing systems]
      means that, in laymans terms, natural cannabis
      its cbds and terpenes etc constitute a ‘god given’ wide ranging therapeutic substance
      which, along with now known brain plasticity
      [ability to heal] can and has been shown to
      influence positively, even cure, epilepsy
      and various other debilitating conditions..
      there is virtually zero information as to dose
      for cannabis [!] one reason people generally
      – overdose – thus making cannabis appear as
      if another form of drunken uselessness…

      • Julian says:

        You had me until “overdose.” Where in the universe are you getting the resemblance of evidence to support “overdose” in the consumption of whole plant cannabis? Please tell me you are not using big words to merge synthetic cannabinoids into the same group as whole plant cannabis?
        According to even the most purchased-by-prohibition institutions in the United States today such as the CDC and DEA director Chuck Rosenberg have admitted that “Marijuana has killed no one.” As in ALL recorded history since the earliest writings of medicine in ancient China.
        Youre not the only person or doctor that has made the false claim of overdose in whole plant cannabis or irroneously calling marijuana “toxic.”
        In order to be “toxic,” by definition, there has to be a natural dosage level leading to death. For good measure, “natural dosage” will not be defined here as “consumed so much marijuana smoke as to asphyxiate the lungs,” for then the cause of death would be… you guessed it… asphyxiation. Or lack of oxygen. But not overdose from weed.
        Marijuana in high quantities of THC can be called psychoactive, but not toxic. Even during the worst anxiety or “paranoia” experienced in high dosage of THC, (especially for first time consumers who have repressed emotions and take edibles with poor packaging warning labels) are receiving a nutritive and healing benefit. This means that although high dosage of THC can be temporarily impairing for the unprepared consumer, the benefits of THC (in synergy with other whole plant cannabinoids) as antioxidants and catalysts for homestasis outweigh any unexpected disadvantage of impairment.

      • Jason Lun says:

        Just to compare with beer and wine, which a lot of people seem to like…

        Alcohol (by definition) is a recreational, hard, drug – whether you call it alcohol, ethanol, methyl carbinol or anything else. The prevailing inebriate commonly found in non-medicinal “fizzy” and “fruit juice” beverages or in nature in rotting fruit, grain and other places – where it should remain.

        The only difference is in the language we use such that:

        – You get “high” on drugs, but “drunk” on alcohol.
        – Drug addicts need a “fix”, while alcoholics need a “drink”.

        To drink responsibly, in moderation is just a graceful term for not overdosing – sub-lethal consumption.

        Paradoxically, alcohol (unlike historically, entheogenic Cannabis) is incontrovertibly cytotoxic, carcinogenic, neurotoxic and objectively does damage to the brain, heart, liver and a lot more!

        It is known to cause at least 7 types of cancers and ~ 144 other health and social and domestic problems. Cannabis in contrast, is scientifically known to be anti-cancerous and is just as much a preventive medicine as it is a palliative or curative one, for all.

        To quote page 97 of “Drugs without the hot air”, by UK Professor David Nutt:

        “There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a toxin that kills cells and organisms, which is why we use it to preserve food and sterilise needles. Acetaldehyde, produced when the body breaks down alcohol, is even more toxic, and any food or drink contaminated with the amount of acetaldehyde that a unit of alcohol produces would immediately be banned as having an unacceptable health risk.”

        Acetaldehyde (a close relative of formaldehyde) is a poisonous byproduct of alcohol metabolism and is more toxic than alcohol itself.

        • Julian says:

          Not so with alcohol. Alcoholism is a painful imbalance in homeostasis which is treatable with marijuana consumption to moderate alcohol consumption.
          Beer and wine are nothing new to the human diet. Humans have developed a tolerance to alcoholic beverages and in better use, herbal tinctures in alcohol can preserve whole plant medicine for years. There are some exceptions to certain people, such as American Indians, who are often more susceptible to alcoholism because their livers were not traditionally exposed to strong dosage of alcohol. There was corn beer and a drink in Mexico called “pulque” from the maguey or sentry plant that is quite strong. But distilled liquors were not introduced to the Americas until Europeans began colonizing. The Puritans believed It safer to drink beer than water, (probably due to poor plumbing, drainage and water supplies in Europe until the 19th century). In fact the reason they landed at Plymouth instead of Virginia was because they ran out of beer.
          Too much of anything is bad for you. For marijuana, that amounts to a truck load.

    7. Julian says:

      We have to stop letting even well-meaning advocates get away with calling marijuana “toxic” or suggesting one can “overdose” from marijuana.

      For the emotionally repressed and depressed an episode of “paranoia” from a high dose of THC through whole plant marijuana consumption can often be perceived as a damaging anxiety attack, when in fact the synergy of cannabinoids are breaking down mental barriers to repressed memories and allowing us to review a recurring nightmare or traumatic memory from a more relaxed and pleasant perspective. In other words, even the most impairing aspects of consuming a high marijuana dosage are part of a powerful healing process. As N.P. Heather Manus says, marijuana turns “PTSDisorder” into “PTSGrowth.”

      More importantly, we dont die from marijuana consumption.

      An important comparison of toxic and psychoactive is alcohol and marijuana. We all know what alcohol poisoning is. First our brain cells go on code red, “shut it down! Shut it down! Were at our first keg party and the alcohol tsunami is coming!” The brain literally begins to turn off brain cells like lights going out in a house at bedtime in order to protect the cells from permanent alcohol damage. Too much alcohol? Alcohol dilutes the cerebellum and begins to dissolve the brain and bloodstream. Eventually the heart goes into cardiac arrest and dies.

      Too much marijuana? Depending on the strain, you either crawl up onto the couch and vegetate for a couple of hours or we eat an entire bowl of captain crunch and medidate on the neurogenesis taking place inside our brains. Something that nourishes the brain and creates brain cells cannot be considered toxic and most certainly does not cause death or “overdose.”

      • Jason Lun says:

        I really like your point on “toxic”, I’m going to need to borrow that analogy from you. 😉

        “Kathleen Harrison: Cannabis and Spirituality – Exploring the Plant Human Spirit Relationship” on MAPS (psychedelic studies as medicine) YouTube channel was recently was talking about those same sentiments, last month – along with a lot of famous scientists in that conference.

        Your commend just made me think of that, and I agree with you 100%!

        • Julian says:

          I really love what MAPS is doing. Theyre flipping everthything we thought was bad and lethal on its side, preparing a correct peer reviewed dosage and saving lives. LSD, even certain methamphetamines… if well regulated and properly dosed can not inly treat but help cure PTSD. But once again, we need registered nurse practitioners and doctors unafraid to lose their license to do this, which means rewriting the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
          Marijuana is the only plant I know that can have a seemingly unlimited variety of strains in jars on a wall, a budtender can recommend a strain for your ailment, you can consume as much as you want and worst case scenario you still have a good evening and a good life.

    8. mexweed says:

      “… people generally overdose…” —
      .
      to clarify, I think he’s referring to the hot burning overdose monoxide puffpaper Joint. The people “overdose” not on the cannabis but on the carbon monoxide and 4221 Friendly Tartoxins. And they “generally” do… there’s a diminishing but still huge majority of pot-“$mokers” hooked on joint, blunt, spliff etc. 500-mg serving formats.
      .
      Whereas a screened oneheater with a flexdrawtube attached to its butt (swcking) end can Vape 25-mg servings.
      .
      Wuntz oneheaters are standard instead of pufffags our cannabis will be free of “toxicity” slanders.

      • Julian says:

        You are correct Mexweed; There is a slight intake, that is a nonlethal amount, of toxins from the combusted carbon in smoked marijuana. And yes, these can be avoided by vaporizing or ingesting marijuana or using oils topically through the skin. I knew you would bring this up which is why I did not compare marijuana to tobacco, which continues to kill more than 450,000 Americans each year.
        What this brings up is our body’s natural tolerance to toxicity, and in light of DEA Chuck Rosenberg’s recent FDA-approved toxic statement that “marijuana is not medicine,” we should examine what “medicine” is by definition.
        For the majority of whole plant derivatives the difference between medicine and poison is simply dosage. An example is an ornamental flower called daturius stramonium or “angel’s trumpet.” A miniscule amount of extract can work as anasthetic and is known to ancient Cherokee medicine to cure asthma. Too much? Either an exruciatingly painful death awaits or a catatonic painful state of being declared dead and buried alive, as described in the book “Serpent & the Rainbow” by the ethnobotanist Wade Davis. My little sister inadverdently threw some in a camp fire recently and I lost three days of work from ingesting the smoke. I dont recommend playing with the dosage of this plant.
        Marijuana is very rare in that it can provide such a great synergy of treatment without overdose because it mimics our endocannabinoids so perfectly the excess compounds that dont match a neuroreceptor are metabolized safely through the bloodstream.

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