Study Reveals Cannabis Benefits for Tourette Syndrome

Study Reveals Cannabis Benefits for Tourette Syndrome

Recent findings from an Australian clinical study suggest that medicinal cannabis may significantly alleviate the challenging symptoms of Tourette syndrome. This condition, which typically begins in childhood, is characterised by rapid, repetitive, and involuntary muscle movements and vocalisations, commonly referred to as tics.

Although previous research has indicated that cannabinoids could potentially treat Tourette syndrome, a trial funded by the Wesley Medical Research Institute in Brisbane and the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at Sydney University has provided robust evidence supporting this claim. The trial, which started in 2019, has recently published its results.

Innovative Clinical Study

This double-blind, crossover study involved participants with severe Tourette syndrome. They were assigned to a 6-week treatment period with an oil containing equal parts of THC and CBD, followed by a 6-week placebo period, with a 4-week washout period in between.

Notable Outcomes

Dr. Philip Mosley, the neuropsychiatrist leading the trial, stated, “This is the first comprehensive and methodical study of medicinal cannabis conducted on a sufficiently large group of individuals to draw definitive conclusions about its efficacy.”

He further explained, “Our findings show that medicinal cannabis can substantially reduce tics, significantly improving the lives of those with Tourette syndrome and their families.”

The trial also observed reductions in other symptoms associated with Tourette syndrome, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. Participant Chris Wright noted a 50 percent reduction in his tics due to the cannabis oil.

However, the presence of THC in the oil means that patients must refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery, which is a considerable limitation despite the therapeutic benefits.

Adverse Effects and Tolerability

The most frequently reported side effects included cognitive issues such as slowed thinking, memory problems, and decreased concentration, affecting eight participants.

Professor Iain McGregor, a co-author of the study, remarked, “While THC's cognitive and mental health side effects are well-known, this study shows that carefully dosed THC is well tolerated by a relatively young group of patients.”

Potential for Improved Tourette Treatment

With Tourette syndrome affecting about one in a hundred people, having an effective and relatively safe treatment option could significantly improve patient outcomes. The study's results have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine: Evidence, highlighting the promising role of medicinal cannabis in treating this neurological disorder.

Personal Perspective

In my view, the results of this study are highly encouraging. The potential for cannabis-based treatments to provide substantial relief for individuals suffering from Tourette syndrome marks a significant advancement in the field.

While the cognitive side effects and impact on daily activities such as driving are noteworthy concerns, the overall positive impact on symptom management is profound. It will be interesting to follow future research in this area and see how medicinal cannabis may further benefit patients with neurological conditions.

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Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

About the author:

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of CBD and hemp production. With a career spanning over a decade in the cannabis industry, he has dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of these plants and their potential benefits to human health and the environment. Over the years, Robin has worked tirelessly to promote the full legalization of hemp in Europe. His fascination with the plant's versatility and potential for sustainable production led him to pursue a career in the field.

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