cbd and tourettes

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.

    CBD oil could help reduce the severity of involuntary tics caused by Tourette Syndrome. SOL*CBD explains how CBD may become the next major alternative therapy.

    Best CBD Oil for Tourette’s Syndrome – November 2020

    Can CBD Help With Tourette’s Syndrome ?

    • CBD ( cannabidiol ) is believed to have antipsychotic properties (1) that may benefit individuals with mental health disorders, such as Tourette’s syndrome (TS).
    • A study published by the journal Brain Sciences revealed that a combination treatment of CBD and THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol ) resulted in significant improvements in tic severity and premonitory urges in a TS patient (2) .
    • Another study on a subject with Tourette’s syndrome demonstrated marked improvement in vocal and motor tics after being treated with medication containing the same cannabis combination (3) .
    • Although quite limited, these findings provide hints that CBD may be a therapeutic agent that could benefit people with Tourette’s syndrome .

    Best CBD Oils for Tourette’s Syndrome

    Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil

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    NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

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    Sabaidee Super Good Vibes CBD Oil

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    cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg

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    cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures are made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp and MCT oil as a carrier oil. Tinctures are offered in orange, mint, natural, and berry flavors. Safe for daily use, the oil tinctures are packaged with a built-in rubber dropper to adjust CBD dosage easily. The packaging is made to be easy to transport and discreet to use.

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    Why People Are Turning to CBD for Tourette’s Syndrome

    Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is a mental disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations known as tics. The motor tics represent a cardinal symptom traditionally linked to a dysfunction of the basal ganglia (4) .

    Some examples of simple tics include eye blinking, facial grimacing, and head or shoulder jerking (5) .

    The onset of TS usually occurs before the age of twenty-one, and its cause is relatively unknown (6) .

    Cannabidiol ( CBD ) is believed to cause antipsychotic effects (7) , which may benefit people with mental illnesses, such as Tourette’s syndrome .

    CBD is a chemical compound acquired from cannabis plants that have shown potential therapeutic applications in neuropsychiatric disorders (8) .

    CBD is the opposite of tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), another cannabis constituent, in that it does not cause mind-altering effects upon use.

    A study published by the journal Brain Sciences analyzed the effects of nabiximols, a combination drug containing THC and CBD , on a TS patient . The twenty-two-year-old male subject was given a daily dose of the medication for two weeks.

    Researchers discovered that the treatment resulted in significant improvements of both tics and premonitory urges in the patient (9) .

    They also noted that CBD ’s presence might have made the combination a more effective treatment , due to its ability to mitigate THC ‘s psychotropic effects.

    These findings are similar to a 2016 study wherein a TS patient demonstrated marked improvement in movement and vocal tics after treatment with Sativex (10) , the trade name for nabiximols.

    This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Sativex when applied to a treatment-resistant TS . The subject was given a daily dose containing 10.8 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD for several weeks.

    Based on subjective and objective measures, the Tourette’s syndrome patient displayed significant improvements in the frequency and severity of motor and vocal tics post-treatment (11) .

    The study’s authors concluded that their results support the suggestion that cannabinoids, like CBD , may be used to treat Tourette’s syndrome .

    Although the data on CBD for Tourette’s patients are minimal, these findings hint that the cannabis compound may be a potential therapeutic agent for the mental disorder.

    How CBD Oil Works to Help with Tourette’s Syndrome

    To understand how CBD may benefit people with Tourette’s syndrome , learning about its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is essential.

    The ECS is a part of the human body that researchers believe regulates a variety of crucial bodily functions. There is evidence implying that the endocannabinoid system is involved in the cause, symptomatology, and treatment of mental illnesses (12) .

    The CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, the primary transmitters used by the ECS, are said to be involved in neurodegenerative disorders (13) .

    This idea may stem from findings, particularly of CB1 receptors, which are found to be abundant in areas associated with movement and mental processes.

    Cannabinoids, such as CBD , are believed to have neuroprotective properties based on their interaction with these ECS receptors (14) .

    CBD is also reported to modulate various receptors outside the ECS. For instance, the compound is said to exert its neuroprotective effects based on how it engages with adenosine receptors (15) .

    The compound is reported to increase adenosine levels in the brain. Increased adenosine has been linked to neuroprotection (16) .

    The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Tourette’s Syndrome

    The Pros
    • CBD may benefit individuals with Tourette’s syndrome . Early studies have shown that taking a dose mixed with cannabidiol improved motor and vocal tics in TS patients .
    • People in the United States can purchase CBD in most places. In states where cannabidiol is allowed, users can buy CBD products even if they do not present a doctor’s prescription.
    • CBD is a non-euphoric substance that does not cause a person to feel “high” after intake, unlike THC . CBD is also thought to counteract the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol .
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) published a report stating that they found CBD to be well-tolerated in humans. The subjects that they assessed from past clinical trials did not seem to develop substance dependence after CBD use (17) .
    • CBD ‘s potential therapeutic applications have been acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) (18) . The FDA supports medical research concerning the use of cannabis and its derivatives.
    • The United States 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp and the sale of hemp-derived products, so long as the items are produced in a manner consistent with the law (19) .
    The Cons
    • Human studies on CBD ‘s efficacy for Tourette’s syndrome have been carried out on individual patients. The lack of more in-depth studies has made it difficult for experts to determine if CBD can effectively treat the condition.
    • Many CBD products sold today are prone to mislabeling (20) . Buying cannabidiol online and in some physical dispensaries puts people at risk of consuming more or less of the compound.
    • A study in 2017 assessed the safety and potential adverse reactions of using CBD . Although considered safe, CBD can still interact with other prescription medications and cause harmful side effects to users (21) .
    • Epidiolex, a drug used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy, is the only CBD product that has been approved by the FDA thus far (22) .

    How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Tourette’s Syndrome

    Hypnotherapy is considered an alternative treatment of Tourette syndrome for managing tics. The approach is meant to provide relaxation and concentration so that undesired thoughts are eliminated (23) .

    Antidepressants have also been reported as treatment options that help control symptoms of anxiety and sadness.

    For instance, a dose of imipramine (Tofranil) was found to improve depression and behavior in a patient with Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome (GTS) (24) .

    Similarly, cannabidiol is said to have properties that can reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

    One case report on a patient with post-traumatic stress disorder revealed that CBD improved the quality and quantity of the subject’s sleep. It was also found that CBD oil treatment resulted in a sustained decrease in anxiety (25) .

    A clinical study published by The Permanente Journal analyzed evidence concerning CBD ‘s supposed effects in sleep and anxiety.

    The researchers assessed seventy-two adult patients and learned that more than half of the subjects experienced improvements in anxiety and sleep scores (26) .

    These findings suggest that CBD may be useful for people with Tourette’s syndrome .

    How to Choose the Right CBD for Tourette’s Syndrome

    Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates are the three types of CBD available today.

    The full-spectrum CBD oil is considered to be the most popular among the three. It contains all of the naturally-occurring compounds of cannabis plants, such as flavonoids, terpenes, and THC .

    Full-spectrum CBD products are high in cannabidiol and only contain small amounts of the other compounds.

    Full-spectrum CBD is perhaps the most potent and effective form of CBD oil due to the cannabinoid synergism known as the “entourage effect (27) . ” This effect is a proposed mechanism wherein cannabis compounds are more effective when consumed together.

    The second type of CBD is known as broad-spectrum. This variant is similar to full-spectrum, except that it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol .

    THC is a psychoactive compound that is often associated with medical marijuana . Some users prefer to use broad-spectrum CBD oil because of its lack of THC content.

    The third option when buying cannabidiol products is CBD isolates. This CBD variant is often sold in powdered or crystalline form.

    Users who want to take only pure CBD can purchase isolates. CBD products that only contain cannabidiol do not have a distinct taste or smell.

    No matter the type of CBD one decides to purchase, it is essential to choose the best quality product all the time to maximize its supposed health benefits .

    Below are additional tips that can help users select the best CBD oil for Tourette’s syndrome :

    • Acquire a laboratory report or a certificate of analysis (COA) of the chosen CBD product . This document indicates that the item has undergone strict testing and contains the exact specifications listed on its label.
    • Select and purchase only CBD derived from hemp. Industrial hemp is the most reliable source of obtaining top-quality cannabidiol .
    • Make sure to read up on product and shop reviews before buying from an online CBD store. When purchasing from a physical dispensary, ensure that the establishment has the authorization to sell CBD products .
    • Be aware of the legalities concerning the purchase and application of CBD in the state where one plans to consume it.
    • Consult a healthcare professional, particularly someone with experience in using medical cannabis , before using any CBD product .

    CBD Dosage for Tourette’s Syndrome

    At the time of writing, the FDA has not approved any CBD product for treating patients with Tourette’s syndrome . Therefore, no official dosage guidelines are available.

    However, studies on CBD showed that doses of 300 mg to 600 mg of CBD were able to reduce anxiety in human subjects (28) .

    A single dose of 160 mg of CBD reportedly improved sleep duration in a crossover case study with nitrazepam, a medication for anxiety and insomnia (29) .

    Meanwhile, doses reaching 1,500 mg of CBD per day have repeatedly shown to be well-tolerated in human participants (30) .

    How to Take CBD Oil for Tourette’s Syndrome

    Users who want to measure CBD hemp oil they take accurately may benefit from CBD tinctures. This delivery format allows a person to apply the cannabidiol oil sublingually.

    CBD as tinctures come with droppers, making it easy to measure and apply the compound under the tongue.

    For those looking to use CBD for relaxation, topicals are the most recommended choices. CBD in topical form is available as balms, creams, and salves and may be used in massage therapies.

    Meanwhile, CBD is also sold as edibles or capsules. These products are the most straightforward way of taking cannabidiol and are great for those using CBD for the first time.

    CBD gummies can be found in different shapes and sizes. The most common flavors are apple, blueberry, and watermelon.

    Symptoms of Tourette’s Syndrome

    Tics are the main symptoms of people with TS. These symptoms often show up when a child is between five to ten years of age.

    Motor and vocal are the two types of tics.

    Motor tics are the involuntary movements of the body, such as jerking an arm or shrugging the shoulders.

    Vocal tics are the sounds that a patient makes with their voice. Some examples of vocal tics include humming, yelling, and throat clearing .

    Typical initial symptoms of TS are motor tics that occur in the neck and head area. These tics usually become worse when the individual becomes stressed or excited but tend to improve when they are calm or focused.

    In most cases, Tourette’s syndrome tics decrease once a person reaches adolescence and sometimes disappear entirely. However, many individuals with TS retain their tics in adulthood and, in some cases, become worse (31) .

    Besides tic disorders , people with Tourette’s syndrome can also exhibit other symptoms.

    They may have obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD ), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other significant learning difficulties (32) .

    Excessive foul language and swearing ( coprolalia ) are rare and only affect about one out of ten people with Tourette’s syndrome .

    Repeating sounds, words, or phrases ( echolalia ) is also another symptom of TS.

    Tourette’s syndrome patients may also display behavioral problems, such as antisocial behavior, rage attacks, and inappropriate behavior.

    Most people with TS experience a strong urge before a tic. Known as premonitory sensations, they are often relieved once the movement has been carried out.

    Some examples of premonitory sensations include a burning feeling in the eyes before blinking, a dry or sore throat before grunting, and an itchy muscle before jerking.


    The nervous system disorder known as Tourette’s syndrome is characterized by repetitive, involuntary motor and vocal tics . Some examples include facial grimacing, muscle spasms , head or shoulder jerking, and eye blinking.

    CBD is believed to have antipsychotic properties that may be beneficial to people with neurological disorders , like Tourette’s syndrome .

    Researchers in follow-up studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC was able to significantly improve both tics and premonitory urges in patients.

    Cannabidiol is believed to interact with the endocannabinoid system through the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Studies have also shown that CBD engages with other receptors outside of the ECS.

    Although the data on CBD Tourette’s syndrome is quite limited, these findings suggest that the medicinal cannabis compound may be used as a treatment for Tourette’s syndrome .

    There are various types of CBD products sold today. One can purchase edibles, topicals, and tinctures, depending on their preference.

    CBD use is legal in most states. The United States Farm Bill of 2018 allows the sale and transport of CBD products, provided t hey are made in a manner consistent with the law.

    Interested individuals should seek advice from a doctor before using a CBD product for their condition.

    CBD (cannabidiol) is believed to have antipsychotic properties(1) that may benefit individuals with mental health disorders, such as Tourette's syndrome (TS). ]]>