Science: THC Effective In Tourette Syndrome In A 6-Week Trial

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A double-blind placebo-controlled study with 24 patients suffering from TOURETTE syndrome was conducted at the Medical School of Hannover, Germany. The 6-week trial confirmed results of two earlier short-term studies by Dr. Kirsten Mueller-Vahl and colleagues that THC is effective in the reduction of tics.

The TOURETTE syndrome is a complex neurological-psychiatric disorder characterized by motor tics (sudden spasms especially in the face, the neck and the shoulders) and one or more vocal tics. In many cases, it is associated with behavioural problems or psychopathologies (autoaggression, disturbed attention, etc.). Presently, neuroleptics are the most effective drugs. However, neuroleptics are not effective in all patients and in many cases, are not well tolerated.

Patients were treated over a period of 6 weeks. The dosage was titrated to the target dosage of 10 mg THC. Starting at 2.5 mg/day, the dose was increased by increments of 2.5 mg/day every 4 days. Tic severity was rated using several established scales.

Seven patients dropped out of the study or had to be excluded, but only one due to side effects. Application of THC resulted in a significant improvement of tic severity. No serious adverse effects occurred. Authors concluded that the "results provide more evidence that THC is effective and safe in the treatment of tics."

Source: International Association for Cannabis as Medicine