Medical Marijuana and Tourette’s Syndrome
For those of you who suffer from Tourette’s syndrome, the idea of using medical marijuana may seem like an odd choice, especially when there are more traditional, pharmaceutical options available. However, the research surrounding medical marijuana has been coming out in favor of its positive effects, and patients suffering from Tourette’s are looking to weed as a potential treatment option. Let’s take a look at what science says about using marijuana to treat Tourette’s syndrome and how it might affect your symptoms.
What You Need to Know About Marijuana and Tourette’s
Marijuana can be an effective treatment for a number of medical conditions. But many people are starting to wonder about marijuana’s potential for treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or Tourette’s syndrome. So far, researchers know very little about how marijuana may affect or benefit those with neurologic disorders. However, some studies suggest that cannabis could be a viable treatment option.
Additionally, many people with Tourette’s syndrome, which is a condition characterized by involuntary facial tics, involuntary noises, and involuntary movements (such as blinking, twitching, or jerking limbs), have found that medical marijuana can help treat certain symptoms of their condition. Marijuana is a mood-altering drug made from dried flower buds of cannabis plants. It has different chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, that have a variety of effects on people. One cannabinoid in particular—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—is thought to reduce motor tics in people with Tourettes syndrome when taken in small doses. Many studies done over decades have shown promising results from using medical marijuana to treat muscle spasms, pain, vomiting, and other conditions associated with TS. Although research into marijuana use for the treatment of tics is limited, there are many positive results to demonstrate its potential effectiveness for those living with tic disorders such as TS.
Should You Try Marijuana for Tourette’s?
According to one study, patients with mild or moderate tics who smoked weed daily had a more than 60 percent reduction in Tourette’s symptoms. But don’t think of weed as an instant cure. Marijuana also has a host of side effects that may make it difficult for some people to use it on a regular basis. If you do decide to try medical marijuana for your tics, know that treatment is still new and evolving, so proceed with caution. You should also make sure your doctor knows you’re using marijuana so they can properly monitor your progress while taking it.
Is Marijuana Effective at Treating Tourette’s?
A study in 2006 found that marijuana helped improve tics (the involuntary movements or sounds associated with Tourette’s) when used along with other medications, but was more effective when used alone. Some doctors have also found marijuana to be effective for treating nausea, stomach pain, anxiety, depression, and weight loss among those living with Tourette’s syndrome. Although these benefits are consistent in the research done so far, more studies need to be conducted to really know if cannabis is effective in treating Tourette’s.
How Do I Start Using Marijuana to Treat My Symptoms?
The first step is to talk to your doctor about medical marijuana. Doctors are legally bound to keep your discussions confidential, so there’s no need to worry about them telling anyone else. They’ll want you to explain how marijuana might help with your symptoms, which can be a good thing—many people aren’t aware of all of marijuana’s potential benefits. (For example, several studies suggest that marijuana can help with sleep.)
Getting a valid medical marijuana prescription from a doctor is sometimes the hardest aspect of treatment for most Tourette’s patients. This is because there are only a limited number of physicians who are licensed to prescribe medical marijuana as an alternative treatment for their patients. There is also an overall lack of training for doctors when it comes to medical marijuana. According to one study, 90 percent of doctors surveyed said they didn’t feel adequately trained in recognizing cannabis-related conditions or complications such as addiction.
The second challenge some patients might face is not having access to medical marijuana distributors in their area. If you do get a prescription for medical marijuana and you don’t have access to it locally, you may be able to order some products online from other dispensaries.
Possible Negative Effects
Although weed can be incredibly helpful to those who suffer from Tourette’s syndrome, it can also have some side effects. For example, THC has been shown to trigger tics when consumed in higher doses. Other side effects can include dizziness, fatigue, and a change in appetite. It’s important to understand that using medical marijuana doesn’t remove Tourette’s syndrome—but it might offer symptom relief that could improve quality of life. If you are considering using medical marijuana to treat your symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, don’t do so without talking with your doctor first. Make sure to ask them about any possible side effects associated with treatment options. In addition, you should make sure you understand how much of each ingredient is contained in each dose before consuming any form of cannabis.
Although marijuana can’t cure Tourette’s, it can help. However, in some cases, cannabis can ease symptoms of tics and tremors associated with it. If you suffer from Tourette’s, marijuana might be worth a try—it could be just what you need to get relief from your condition without resorting to pharmaceutical drugs or invasive procedures. Since medical marijuana is legal in many states, it can also help to obtain a prescription through your doctor—many insurance companies cover cannabis for medicinal use.
If you or a loved one have Tourette’s and want to see if you qualify for a medical marijuana card, contact us now to talk to one of our experts. We’ll help you get started on the process and provide guidance to make it fast and easy.