Tics Driving You Crazy? This Is How CBD Oil Fights Tourette’s
Tourette Syndrome (TS), or simply Tourette’s, is a relatively rare neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and/or vocalizations. These movements and vocalizations are called tics. It is unknown exactly how many people suffer from Tourette’s, though studies suggest one out of every 162 children have the disorder.
However, it’s estimated that roughly half of the children with Tourette’s are undiagnosed. Thirty-seven percent of children properly diagnosed with TS are reported as having moderate to severe forms of the condition. In addition, boys are three to five times more likely to have TS than girls, although all racial and ethnic groups are affected.
While a number of medications commonly are prescribed to those with TS, many come with several unwanted and potentially dangerous side effects. This has driven many people to search for alternative therapies to help fight the disorder and mitigate the symptoms. One of the most popular alternative therapies that has begun showing incredibly promising potential is CBD.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp plants. It is one of the two main cannabinoids, the other being THC. These cannabinoids work with a large regulatory system within the body called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS.
The ECS is made up of a multitude of receptors that are spread all throughout the body. These receptors can be activated either by the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids or by cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. CBD and THC primarily interact with two receptors in the ECS: CB1 and CB2.
However, unlike THC, CBD does not directly bind to these receptors. This is the major defining difference between these two cannabinoids. Because CBD does not bind to the receptors, it does not produce any psychological effects and, therefore, is non-psychoactive. Instead of binding to the receptors directly, CBD stimulates the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids to activate the receptors. This simply encourages them to do more of what they normally do.
How Does CBD Fight Tourette’s?
Numerous studies have shown CBD may have the powerful ability to reduce the frequency and severity of tics and other TS symptoms:
- A study conducted in 1998 by Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany found Tourette Syndrome patients who used cannabis experienced an incredible 82 percent reduction in tics and various other obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
- Another study from 2002, conducted by the same school in Germany and published in the Pharmacopsychiatry journal, found THC alone provided similar effects. However, THC can produce a few unwanted side effects, such as anxiety, paranoia, and general motor impairment.
- A 2003 clinical trial published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reported similar findings. After researchers administered cannabinoids to 24 patients with TS, a “significant” improvement in tic severity was observed.
- Another similar study from 2005 published in the Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy found roughly the same results.
- TS patients in a study conducted in early 2017 and published in the Fall issue of the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences found TS patients’ tics decreased by more than 60 percent due to cannabinoids. Of the 19 patients, 18 said their symptoms were “much improved.”
- A case study of two patients with TS conducted in 2017 and published in the August issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences found cannabinoids provided significant relief from vocal-blocking tics and were tolerated much better than commercial pharmaceuticals.
It’s thought that cannabinoids are so beneficial to neurological disorders such as TS because of the numerous ECS receptors located in the brain. Because CB1 receptors primarily are found in the brain and nervous system, cannabinoids are able to directly impact the functioning of the nervous system and help to balance it out, thereby reducing tics.
Other Related Disorders CBD Fights
Not only does CBD fight TS, it also fights a number of other related disorders:
- Transient tic disorder
- Chronic tic disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
→ To read more about CBD’s antipsychotic potential, click here.
→ For more information about how CBD can support neurodegenerative disorders, click here.
The following is a promising testimonial from the parent of a patient with a severe case of TS:
“Lincoln takes one veggie-cap (15 drops) of CBD oil a day. The facial tics, eye rolls, and motor tics have essentially dissipated. He has not had an elongated episode in almost two months. His teachers have stated that they have really noticed a difference as well. I couldn’t be happier! An added bonus of not having my son on some medication to treat his symptoms and add toxins to his system, is that the CBD oil was half as much in cost and four times the usage.” - J.R. Glymph
Numerous studies have shown CBD has a powerful effect on reducing the severity and frequency of involuntary tics caused by Tourette Syndrome. The evidence is extremely promising, though more research is needed before any concrete conclusions are drawn. CBD could be the next major alternative therapy for patients with TS and other related disorders.
→ For 10 additional medical applications for CBD, click here.