Tourettes is a difficult condition for which there is little to nothing in the way of a cure. While medication has been shown to relieve symptoms, even this is uncertain, with many patients struggling to find the right treatment for them.
Is cannabis the answer? In this article, we take a sweeping look at the possible pros and cons of using cannabis to treat Tourette’s syndrome.
Before we get too far into the weeds with this article, it’s important to keep in mind that the officially approved medical applications of cannabis remain very limited. Even common medical applications for cannabis—pain management, sleep treatment, anxiety, or depression relief—are all applied to relieve symptoms.
There are currently no significant, medically approved situations in which cannabis is viewed as a reliable cure for a condition.
The same goes for Tourettes. While our article will soon show that there are a variety of different perspectives on this issue, the official medical opinion is that cannabis is not an approved cure for any aspect of Tourette’s syndrome.
The potential to relieve tics
For years, people suffering from Tourettes have been exploring ways that cannabis can help. A survey taken in 1998 evaluated this question by taking a long look at the symptoms of 64 people who had Tourettes.
The participants in this study were given cannabis and then evaluated over several months to see how the THC would impact their various symptoms, including but not limited to their ticks.
The results were…mixed. Of the sixty-four, fourteen reported total relief from their symptoms. Great, right? However, compared to already existing Tourettes medications, these results were hardly enough to get everyone to switch over to cannabis.
Subsequent studies have produced a wide range of different results, and the conclusion many have made is that cannabis will over most patients at least a degree of relief from their symptoms—even if the benefits will be quite small for some people.
While the majority of people will not experience total relief, there are other reasons to consider cannabis as a valuable supplement or alternative to existing medication.
Little to no side effects
Tourette’s medication can come with unpleasant side effects that are largely absent from cannabis. In fact, this is one of the main reasons that patients continue to reach for TCH and CBD as a replacement for their existing medications. While cannabis-derived medicine may not be as specifically geared toward their condition as the medicine their doctor prescribed is, it’s usually much gentler.
Reduction in obsessive tendencies
Many people who suffer from Tourettes have experienced obsessive tendencies. The actual way that these compulsions play out will be as unique as the individuals suffering from them. It could mean experiencing the compulsion to touch certain objects or have things in a very specific way in the spaces that they occupy.
Regardless of how the condition plays out, it is almost always uncomfortable for the person suffering from it.
Cannabis is particularly effective in reducing obsessive side effects in Tourette’s patients.
Pairs well with other Tourettes medication
Though not shown to be a cure-all for managing Tourettes-related symptoms, cannabis has demonstrated impressive efficacy when it comes to managing symptoms with the help of other drugs. Patients wishing to supplement their existing Tourettes medication with small amounts of cannabis may experience a reduction in ticks, while also relieving some of the side effects they were experiencing with their former medication regimen.
Reduction in insomnia
Many people with Tourette’s experience high rates of insomnia—typically associated with an inability to manage their ticks when they go to sleep at night. Cannabis has long been used as a way to treat insomnia and has a strong association with helping Tourette’s patients experience relief with this aspect of their condition.
Not only is it often hard for Tourette’s patients to fall asleep, but their rest is often interrupted. People with Tourettes often experience high tick occurrence during their REM cycle. This means that even though the person may have experienced a full night’s sleep, they didn’t get as much rest as they should have.
People wishing to experience relief from insomnia can take a dose of THC or CBD approximately one hour before they intend to go to sleep to experience the best results.
Reduction in aggression
Tourette’s is also associated with a heightened level of aggression. People with Tourettes often display aggressive outbursts that are significantly disproportionate to the observed offense. These reactions are most prevalent amongst children but are also frequently observed in the adult population as well.
THC and CBD have been shown to alleviate feelings of aggression, making it easier for Tourette’s sufferers to have healthy, safe interactions with themselves and the general public.
Forgetting that cannabis is not currently an approved treatment for Tourette’s it’s important to keep in mind that it does have its own shortcomings. Most notable among these is the simple fact that many people will not find cannabis byproducts to be an appropriate fit for their lifestyle.
While the stigma surrounding cannabis has diminished significantly in the last twenty years, there are still many people who will decide it isn’t a good fit for them.
This is particularly true in cases where the recommended treatment comes with psychoactive side effects. There are, of course, both private and practical reasons a person may not be interested in a treatment that alters their perception.
Working people probably cannot justify taking high doses of THC before they go about their day. And children shouldn’t take it at all.
Fortunately, there are many cannabis-derived chemicals—CBD perhaps most notable among them—that do not have psychoactive side effects. Scientists learn more and more about what these chemicals are capable of every day. For now, however, the cannabis-related options for Tourettes sufferers remain relatively narrow and limited.
If you are interested in exploring cannabis as a way to treat this, or any other condition, it’s vital that you speak with your doctor before doing so.
Credit: Source link