Patients with Tourette syndrome (TS) experience reductions in tic severity and improvements in their overall quality of life following cannabis treatment, according to trial results published in the journal Behavioral Neurology

Israeli researchers assessed the use of medical cannabis products in 15 patients with Tourette syndrome over a 12-week period. 

Subjects experienced, on average, a 38 percent reduction in their tic severity – as assessed by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. A significant percentage of study participants also reported improvements in mood, sleep, and sexual function. 

Patients were most responsive to formulations high in THC and low in CBD and they favored inhaling cannabis flowers over consuming sublingual oil extracts.

The most commonly reported side-effects from cannabis were dry-mouth, fatigue, and dizziness.

Authors concluded: “From our data, it is suggested that MC [medical cannabis] might be a treatment option for resistant TS patients, and MC has a significant effect on tics, premonitory urges, and patients’ overall quality of life.”

Separate trials have similarly reported that the administration of either whole-plant cannabis or oral THC mitigate symptoms in patients with TS, including those with treatment-resistant forms of the disease.

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis for Gilles de la Tourette syndrome: An open-label prospective study,” appears in Behavioral Neurology. Additional information on cannabis and TS is available from NORML.

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