Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics. For the treatment of tics, behavioral therapy and antipsychotic medication are generally the first-line treatments. Therefore, many patients seek alternative therapies, including cannabis-based medicines. Cannabinoids have been studied as a possible treatment for easing symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome since 1989, with a growing curiosity about CBD in recent years.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in Cannabis Sativa plants. In the cannabis plant, there are more than a hundred different cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabigerol (CBG), etc., are a few cannabinoids that are currently gaining attention for their medical advantages as alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs.
How Can CBD Products Help With Tourette Syndrome?
Tourette syndrome is a neurological condition that induces people to cause unintended words, sounds, or body movements, known as tics. Tics may come and go over time, change from one tic to another, or sometimes may disappear for no apparent reason. Tics occur unexpectedly and may prevail from several seconds to minutes. Tourette’s has been linked to different brain parts, including the basal ganglia, which helps control body movements. Differences in these brain parts may involve nerve cells and the chemicals that carry messages. Researchers assume that trouble in this brain network might play a role in Tourette syndrome.
A study on a subject with Tourette’s syndrome marked improvement in vocal and motor tics after being treated with medication containing the combination of CBD and THC. Several anecdotal evidence has provided that cannabis may be an effective remedy to suppress tics and treat associated behavioral problems. Even though there is no medical-backed proof that CBD helps treat Tourette Syndrome, anxiety is well-known to increase the frequency and severity of tics. CBD is a cannabinoid that is known around the world for its anxiolytic properties.
How Does CBD Products Help To Manage Tourette Syndrome?
- CBD may reduce the frequency of tics.
The main symptoms of Tourette’s are the tics. Tics are typically worse during stressful or exciting times. Symptoms usually commence when a child is around 5 to 10 years of age.
Tics decrease during youth and early adulthood and sometimes may disappear entirely in most circumstances. However, many people with Tourette’s syndrome experience tics in adulthood, and, in some cases, they may become worse during adulthood.
There has been considerable interest in the potential for cannabinoids like CBD to decrease the frequency of tics in sufferers of Tourette’s syndrome (TS), and several research papers have been published on the subject. A study observed that 17 of 64 Tourette Syndrome patients reported using cannabinoids and that 14 of them experienced partial or total relief of tics following its use.
These researchers conducted several further studies into cannabinoids and their role in reducing tics, all of which found that most patients experienced significant relief after using CBD. They also discovered that very few patients underwent side effects. It’s thought that cannabis can similarly reduce Tourette Syndrome tics to other dystonia-inducing conditions, such as Parkinson’s.
- CBD may alleviate sleep troubles
According to studies, sleep problems are a common feature associated with Tourette Syndrome. Although there have been no research studies specifically into the influence of cannabinoids on sleep troubles in Tourette Syndrome patients, there’s plenty of anecdotal proof indicating that CBD can positively affect this negative aspect of Tourette Syndrome.
For instance, Tourette syndrome is known to cause raised sleep latency (delayed onset of sleep). At the same time, CBD has primarily been demonstrated to reduce sleep latency and ease the problem of falling asleep in many people.
Patients with Tourette’s have also been shown to have increased tic frequency during REM sleep. People suffering from Tourette Syndrome are also less able to stay asleep throughout the night, another issue with insomnia that CBD may help treat. In contrast, the use of CBD has been shown to reduce the duration of REM sleep altogether, which may help Tourette Syndrome sufferers to experience more relaxing and peaceful sleep.
- Reduced OCD tendencies:
Individuals affected by Tourette syndrome usually display Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or OCD-like symptoms. The intrusive thoughts and compulsions that are features of many OCD patients can be improved with CBD, which generally positively affects mental health.
Is It Safe For Kids To Consume CBD Products?
CBD is one of the cannabinoids which has less severe side effects when compared to the others. CBD does not produce any euphoric activity. This high feeling is caused by another cannabinoid called THC. Currently, only products with less than 0.3% THC are legal in the market. These products will not cause any psychoactivity to the user.
Some parents use commercially manufactured CBD to treat some conditions like anxiety and hyperactivity in children. Caregivers of children with the autism spectrum have given CBD to their children to try to reduce symptoms of autism, like co-occurring seizures.
The only problem faced by most parents is that CBD hasn’t been tested extensively for safety or effectiveness. Although there is promising research about CBD, much is still unknown.
If you’re in pursuit of a natural remedy to alleviate symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, you should definitely give CBD products a try. CBD achieved immense fame as a supposed “miracle cure” for a wide variety of health conditions, including anxiety. Although CBD research for Tourette’s syndrome seems promising, it’s limited by small samples and a lack of extra knowledge on its long-term effects. More research studies are required to determine whether it is an effective and safe treatment.
CBD is pretty easy to find and purchase, but one must be aware that it is not well regulated. The amount of CBD and ingredients on the label outside may not always match the contents inside the container. Since its legality is also not clear, you may want to research the laws in your state about its possession and possession.