Tourette’s syndrome is a nervous system problem that makes it possible for people to make sudden movements or sounds known as tics that they are unable to control. For instance, it is common to see people with Tourette’s syndrome either blink or clear their throats over and over again. Also, some people with Tourette’s syndrome find themselves blurting the words they can’t control. It should be noted that this condition is more serious in some people than others and even though there are treatments that can control tics, people with milder symptoms don’t need this treatment.
An estimated 100,000 Americans have full blown Tourette’s syndrome. This condition typically starts from childhood and more boys are reported to be diagnosed with it than girls. In some people, the symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome improve as they grow older, whereas it completely disappears in others. Even though the cause of Tourette’s syndrome is yet to be known, many researchers have attributed it to genetic and environmental factors. Tourette’s syndrome is also known to have some health conditions associated with it. These conditions include behavioral issues, learning disorders, anxiety, mood stabilization issues, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) etc. Some of the symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome include blinking, shoulder shrugging, mouth blinking, facial distortion, sniffing, shouting, grunting, and swearing.
There is no cure for Tourette’s syndrome even though there are therapies as well as medications that can help manage the condition. It should be noted that some patients are offered no treatment at all, whereas others receive counsel on how to manage the condition. In more severe cases, doctors could prescribe medications such as Haldol, and Catapres to help control the tics that affect the life of the patient negatively.
Some scientists have argued that CBD could be effective in the treatment of certain symptoms of Tourettes syndrome, including muscle spasms, and seizures. The reason is that CBD is an anandamide reuptake inhibitor, which prevents the reabsorption of anandamide, which in turn increases the endocannabinoid levels. It is worthy to note that anandamide is an extremely powerful cannabis-like chemical in the brain. Thus, when CBD inhibits the absorption of amandine, it builds up inside the brain’s synapses, which is known to have neuroprotective effects against muscle spasms, tics and seizures, which are also symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome. This attempts to explain why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CBD for the treatment of epilepsy. Of course, aside the anti-seizure properties of CBD, it is also known to bring about little or no adverse side effects.
Even though several studies have been done on the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating Tourette’s syndrome, most of those studies were centered on THC and not CBD. However, a few studies also pointed out to the direction that CBD could be effective in treating Tourette’s syndrome. A study that was conducted in New Zealand’s Tauranga Hospital supported the claims that CBD could be an effective, safer treatment option of more resistant cases of Tourette’s syndrome. During this study a medication known as Sativex which is reported to contain both CBD and THC was administered to test subjects in a bid to reduce the frequency and intensity of both vocal and motor tics. The findings of this study reported a remarkable improvement in the patients who had been administered this medication.
There are also insinuations that people suffering from Tourette’s syndrome could experience relief when CBD oil is used in conjunction with other traditional forms of cannabis. For instance, the drug Sativex which has an equal dosage of both CBD and THC showed a positive result, thereby indicating that CBD plays an active role in reducing the frequency and severity of tics associated with Tourette’s syndrome.
Very limited research has been conducted on CBD and Tourette’s syndrome. Thus, there is a need for more research through which the exact extent to which CBD could treat Tourette’s syndrome could be ascertained. Researchers should also be ready to explore and investigate whether or not using CBD to treat Tourette’s syndrome could result in long term negative consequences.
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