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Marijuana & Tourette

Can marijuana be used to treat Tourette Syndrome? This question is asked more often than you might think. It may come from a parent whose teen claims to be self-medicating. Or perhaps it comes from an adult with TS who has heard claims that smoking up can help.

The use of marijuana for medical treatment is a complex and controversial subject. In case of TS, there is shutterstock_284571200currently no strong evidence that marijuana is an effective Tourette treatment, says the American Medical Association on Tuesday. Their recent meta-analysis sifted through 28 databases to find a total of 79 trials that tested the benefits and negatives of using marijuana to treat a number of conditions including Tourette. The authors concluded that there is moderate quality evidence that medical marijuana helps with chronic pain and with muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis. Evidence of positive effects was weak for sleep disorders, nausea due to chemotherapy, weight gain due to HIV, and Tourette Syndrome.

A 2013 study published in Behavioral Neurology examined two studies on this subject. Both studies found significant tic reduction after treatment with medical marijuana compared with a placebo, with no significant negative effects. The authors concluded however, “definite conclusion cannot be drawn, because longer trials including a large number of patients are missing”.

In 2010, TS experts Drs. King and Leckman told the New York Times that some individuals with TS say that regular marijuana use calms their tics. They also explained that while some investigators are convinced that it is a good treatment, others remain skeptical. Finally, the doctors pointed out that regular use of marijuana could have side effects like apathy, depression or even psychosis (in vulnerable individuals). They caution, “we certainly wouldn’t recommend it for adolescents”.

What do you think about the use of medical marijuana for tics? Tell us down below.


A New Use for Medical Marijuana? March 30 2010: The New York Time: available online: http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/a-new-use-for-medical-marijuana/

Muller-Vahl KR. “Treatment of Tourette Syndrome with cannabinoids” Behavioral Neurology 2014 27 (1) 119-24 available online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23187140

Whiting, P. et al. “Cannabinoids for Medical Use” The Journal of the America Medical Association June 23/30 2015. Available online: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2338251


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    • Brett Beard says:

      Canibas helps my turrets beyond a dault which helps my behaviour issues depression anxiety and isolation I hate my life and the medicine I’m told to take it’s killing me from the inside why do they do this I don’t understand I just wanna die already

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  6. I suffer from Tourette’s (as well as severe depression, anxiety, chronic pain and anger issues). I can tell you unequivocally that marijuana works for Tourettes (as well as the other listed issues). It gives me enough relaxation time that I can actually feel normal and fall asleep.

    Unless you suffer from an illness you have no idea how the benefits outweigh the risks (which are minimal). The feeling of being able to function is something that cannot be quantified to people who don’t suffer, especially scientists and doctors.

    I was on 5 medications, 4 of then twice a day and 1 of them once. 2 of those were opioids and one was a pill to settle my stomach because they made me sick. After years of suffering I went to a specialist in marijuana. The past 4 months have been the best I have felt in 30 years. I am only on 1 pill a day and my doctors are amazed at how I have progressed. I only use at night occasionally and will never have to take an opiate again.

    If that isn’t enough in itself then you have no idea what you are talking about. Go prescribe opiates to someone unintelligent enough to take them in this day and age.

    Open your minds and sometimes go beyond the science and in to how a person feels, it matters most to those of us that suffer day.

    • Can you take it during the day?

    • The reverse is true in my household. I have a 23 year old living here with severe Torrett’s and medical weed or otherwise makes it worse in that of CHS. He has been smoking and ruining his life since 16 as his parents were stupid enough to let him smoke it. Smoking while your brain is developing as a young teen directly affects it’s growth in a negative way. Clinical studies on that, validate. Three Dr’s have told him to stop smoking for life as he pukes constantly, from time to time when he smokes. And a few time it’s off to the hospital as he dehydrates and electrolytes get low. He is very thin. So, here’s a case where weed is harming a person. CHS is getting more popular as it gets legal in the states. One more vice getting available to make people like stumps.

      • This sounds like he is smoking synthetic marijuana, not regular marijuana. They are 2 completely different drugs despite the name. Synthetic marijuana is more like heroin or crack.

      • Just let him take oil then. Or pills.

  7. It definitely helps! I have been on many different medications for Tourettes and none of them worked as well. Some of them made me feel so bad I did not even want to live. Tourettes is now one small part of my life, rather than this cruel monster that used to control everything.

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  12. Marynell Nadeau says:

    what marijuana are you using for tourettes? CBD oil? THC? Smoking the stuff you get on the street? My child has severe tics with her tourettes and I am desperately looking for something to help calm them so she can go to school and survive life.

    • Deanne Adams says:

      Hi. There are different combinations of product for different times of day. I recently was diagnosed with Tourette’s. I have severe muscle tics and cognitive tics. I have experienced a range of symptoms my entire life and a recent abrupt turn in symptoms and coming across someone else who is living with Tourette’s and managing their symptoms prompted diagnosis and medication. I have had immediate relief with a 50 mg once a day dose of Topiramate added to my daily regimen of Wellbutrin 100 mg twice a day. I’m not a child anymore so that may have needed to have been halved when I was young. I now know what I was suffering with and needed help with to feel okay so long ago. For marijuana I discovered it when 18 and attempted to self-medicate for a long time before finding what works for me. I’m an odd duck- stimulants tend to make me drowsy and bed-time stuff keeps me up. So. Sativas chill me out for day-time focus. CBD is in nearly every strain of marijuana to some degree or another. 15 to 20 percent on average. I’m not looking for psycho-active effects of THC-however-the resulting effect of calming my nervous system at the distress of feeling off or different from others has been a benefit from marijuana. At nighttime an indica-sativa hybrid. I should add- I vape a CO2 distillate pen locally bought from discreet delivery company I can privately refer you to if you DM me. I also find calming relief from Nicorette inhaler stop-smoking cessation 10mg cartridges as needed. I had been dealing with this condition undiagnosed for years, I’m 41 now, until 4 days ago. Tears of relief to know finally what is going on with my body and mind, and to have medication so things can’t get any more manifested hopefully. Just sharing what has brought marginal relief over the years- I have no idea what pain barriers and immunities and coping mechanisms I have built up or tolerances as I’ve dealt with this unaided, so be wary and start small. I also get relief from the anti-inflammatory keterolac. I’ve not had a steady worsening but I’ve certainly not had an abatement or lack of worsening either. To me it has been progressive but it may have been also triggered by other factors.

      • Deanne Adams says:

        Sorry, some of that may not have made sense lol. I don’t mean to say indica stimulates me before bedtime. I mean to say in any other case besides marijuana, the opposite holds true for stimulants and depressants. But marijuana seems to get through to me and reset what should happen naturally with the more stimulating and cerebral effects of a sativa dominant strain and the calming and more body relaxing effects of an indica dominant strain. Also, might need to fact check my nicorette dosage; I don’t remember what they are, but there are two strengths sold, and it’s the stronger one. Pleasant menthol taste.

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  14. Bella Dushner says:

    I am worried what’s happening to me these past few days. I’m in the right mind to think now so i take this opportunity to ask for some help. I read along the way this article https://www.worldwide-marijuana-seeds.com/blogs/marijuana-news/how-high-can-you-go that maybe CBD can help me. I am experiencing a behavior where i feel like i am alone but i am not. I’m stressing myself with no reason, i over think with small things, i feel like im too emotional everytime someone says something about me. I know i need a professional opinion about this but i just want to have an alternative solution and i read that CBD can help me. I am not sure if this thing works. So does anybody tried it? I need a help. Please..

  15. Darren Wright says:

    I have Tourette’s, 39 years old, got first tics around 7 years old.
    I have recently tried RIck Simpson oil, in small doses. (Never used cannabis previously in my life) it definitely helps me in a few ways.
    It calms tics down (seem to get worse for 10mins just as it’s kicking in, but then gets better)
    Relaxes my mind, as anxiety is part of Tourette’s, ease anxiety, ease Tourette’s
    Relaxes my muscles which are usually tense from twitching/ticcing giving them a break
    Kills aches & pains from twitching & ticcing all the time
    Helps focus my mind on one thing, almost curing my adhd while the RSO effects are being felt. ADHD or ADD are also part of the wonderful bundle that is Tourette’s!
    Helps me sleep. When I’m tired my tics get worse so getting a good sleep is vital

  16. I think i have tourette syndrome i am not able to keep still i twitch a lot and makes a lot of sounds i went to the doctor about this got mediation but i hear that marijuana can help how does that work I need some advice about this condition.

  17. I have vocal, facial, and gasping tic. Cannabis does help me.

  18. Hi,

    People, it’s not enough to say it help…
    Please give other what you are take and in which form, Oil or Dry.
    people here are also looking for some direction and a starting point.
    Communication, without detail really helps no one…

    Maybe together we can pinpoint strains the help the most by sharing more information.
    Isn’t that why we are here?


    • I was interested and in your thoughtful comments Michael. I’m 68 and have experienced most of the elements of Tourette’s since a child. Regrettably I was never properly identified as had I been my life could have been easier. It has only been with the recent diagnoses of my grandson that I have come to understand I have been dealing with Tourette’s all these years.

      I’m a strong believer in the scientific method and look forward to specific, meaningful research being done now that marijuana prohibition has come to an end in Canada. In the meantime I have begun a procedure using both CBD and THC oils under the guidance of a doctor who has incorporated the use of cannibis into her practice with a number of patients. We are taking a guided approach using increasing doses interspersed with observation and recording the effect. This is a thoughtful, incremental approach and while not having the benefits of a full blown, operational defined study should tell me if there are any benefits to me in using cannibis to better live with Tourette’s.

      So I appreciate your concerns and your hope for meaningful direction about how to proceed. As I am just starting this procedure I don’t have anything to share at present but this will change in the next few weeks. If you like I will update you as to my progress.



  19. al dussault says:

    I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in 1957 while Sputnick was circuling the globe. I am 73 years ol and a hate “my” Tourette’s…More than anything. BUllied in Gramma school fely laughed in highschool and was in adequate feeling because…Every Doctor that I saw paid no attention to the Toiurette’s and treated it as a volutional disorder…

    I get tremendous relief from marijuana…I do ediabkles and oils….Some times while coming down from the “high” feeling I feel the return of the tics….So while I am on the substance, I feel much freer, more able to ignore the tics. I think it is a winner…And I advocate the use of it for treatment of this condition….

    Thank You
    Dr. Albert Dussault

  20. Whoever wrote this article clearly didn’t spend much time reading. My FIRST search brought up several articles stating there is plenty of evidence that marijuana is very effective in treating tourettes.
    Here’s the first article in my search results
    There are studies going back over 30 years to support the efficacy of marijuana in not only tourettes, but schizophrenia, adhd, and the like!

  21. Me and my Mrs have read your article with great interest.

  22. I wish to thank everyone who took the time to share their experience.
    My 28 year old daughter was diagnosed with TS when she was 10 she has been such a trooper as everyone is living with TS. She about to graduate college and start hopefully a new career. She wants help with her verbal tics (stutter & physical). She said to me “I want to be normal ”
    It broke my heart to hear her say this.
    i’m looking for a natural help for her. We are going to see our family Dr. But would love some options that we can discuss with him, from people with TS that have had success with some non med. Medications.
    I want to take her to a TS group meeting when in our area.
    So any suggestions are welcome.
    thank you in advance.

  23. I’m jealous of those that get symptom relief from marijuana use. After roughly 20 minutes post smoking, I begin to twitch uncontrollably. My symptoms become much more prevalent, and I can barely function. My gait becomes something probably entertaining to watch and I twitch uncontrollably. Interestingly enough, once I’ve smoked everyday (love the euphoria more than I hate the twitching, sue me) for about a week, then go without for a day, my twitches and that building urge to submit to the Tourette gods are basically non existent. My understanding about marijuana is it’s a “dopamine stimulant”. Tourette’s is linked to an abnormality in dopamine and treatment usually consists with “dopamine blockers” like anti psychotics. Odd that so many who suffer with Tourette’s get such relief from it.

  24. Trevor Mellon says:

    I have a 15 year old son who has Tics an he uses a small amount of cannabis twice a day to control his tics….
    He uses one graham a week so a very small amount in the big picture…
    His mother is dead set against it!!!!!!
    An absolutely refuses to to hear anything about him doing it to control his tics…
    My Question is?????
    Have any of you or your loved ones used the THC pills an if so did they work?
    How well did they work?
    Or if you can recommend a Medicine like the thc pills that work

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