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Research finds that inhaling cannabis could help Tourette’s patients

A new study has revealed that inhaled cannabis could control tics in Tourette’s Syndrome patients, making a huge difference to those suffering from the condition. The research published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience looked at 19 patients with TS and tested whether or not ‘inhaled cannabis’ had a positive effect on their condition.

Tourette’s Syndrome is a tic disorder and those who have the condition will experience involuntary repetitive movements like eye blinking, head bobbing, arm jerking, and/or vocal tics such as throat clearing, grunting, or shouting. It can make normal day to day tasks difficult and some sufferers with severe symptoms can struggle with isolation, anxiety, and even depression. It is estimated that one out of 160 children in the US suffers from TS, and the traditional way of tackling the condition is with prescribed pharmaceuticals, which often cause serious and harmful side effects.

Research findings

Research findings were impressive and the study reported that all participants experienced clinically significant symptom relief. This included a reduction in obsessive-compulsive symptoms; impulsivity, anxiety, irritability, and rage outburst. 18 out of the 19 participants also found an astonishing 60% decrease in the severity of their tics. It is important to also note that the doses of cannabis given were “generally well-tolerated” by the study subjects. Suggesting that this type of treatment may be a lot safer than that of pharmaceuticals.

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The researchers from the University of Toronto concluded the findings to be substantial, “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.”

Future looks promising

Similar research has also found that reported oral doses of THC have had a positive impact in controlling tics and obsessive-compulsive disorder in TS patients. Interestingly those who inhaled the substance rather than receiving an oral dose, have seen greater improvements overall.

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Although it may still be early days the future looks promising for medical cannabis and these findings will provide a sense of hope and positivity for those suffering from severe forms of Tourette’s Syndrome, as well as their families.

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