Tourette's Syndrome & Medical Marijuana

Tourette Syndrome is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by vocal and physical tics.  The majority of cases are relatively mild with physical symptoms of blinking, sniffing,  throat clearing, and facial tics. In "Classical" Tourette's, sufferers involuntarily blurt out swear words, or bizarre nonsensical terms that have little real aggressive meaning.  Fortunately, Tourette's does not significantly affect intelligence nor longevity.


It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have full-on Tourette's, with 1% of the population exhibiting milder symptoms, such as chronic motor and vocal tics.


"Suddenly, I developed an acute case of Tourette's syndrome, Fuck! that fucking shit son-of-an-ass monkey-dick-weasel!"

--  Christine Zolend, Author

Co-Occurring Conditions

Medical Marijuana (MMJ) is commonly indicated in Tourette's, as well as its associated conditions.  See MMJDOCTORONLINE conditions section for details on each of the following:

  • ADHD
  • Behavioral or conduct problems
  • Anxiety problems
  • Depression
  • Autism spectrum disorder

MMJ and Tourette's 

MMJ Doctors across the country find that the herb and its derivatives can deliver outstanding relief to Tourette's sufferers.  In many Marijuana States, Tourette's may not be mentioned directly as a qualifying condition, however, its symptoms and co-occuring conditions often are. 

Bill 420 and Tourette's

In California, a prescription for Tourette's is allowed with Physician interpretation of  Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420.  Medical Marijuana may be prescribed to treat: 

  • persistent muscle spasms
  • any other chronic or persistent medical symptom


Dr. Dustin Sulak, D.O., Osteopath, Licensed General Practitioner, outlined a number of case studies that shows MMJ treatment of the Tourette's is one of the safest and most effective medications for this condition.

Dr Sulak wants to ensure patients can have access to MMJ treatment legally.  He wants state lawmen to clearly (without interpretation) write the law so that physicians can explicitly prescribe Cannabis for Tourette's.


"We know it's the safest and one of the most effective treatments for this condition. I want to help patients use the most appropriate treatment legally and I want to protect physicians who recommend Cannabis for Tourette's. 

Some Tourette's patients might be considered to have severe and persistent muscle spasms (and legally qualify), but that indication does not clearly cover all patients with Tourette's, and it's not an accurate description."

--  Dr. Dustin Sulak, D.O.

THC is an Effective and Safe Treatment of Tics   

A six week study at the Medical School of Hannover, THC, a component of Medical Cannabis was found to be effective in the treatment of Tics in Tourette's. The research group found the central cannabinoid receptor system likely plays a central role in TS pathology. 

Known as "the body’s own cannabinoid system", the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of receptors located in the brain, central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.  These receptors play an integral role in physiological processes; autonomic nerve function, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.


"There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the consumption of marijuana clearly and continuously benefits Tourette patients. There is also a strong suggestion that the plant Cannabis is more effective than synthetic THC, and that patients taking the mixture experience fewer unpleasant side effects."

--  Kirsten Müller-Vahl, MD, Director of Tourette Syndrome Clinic, Hanover Med School

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes:  If you have any questions about MMJ and Tourette's, a medical doctor can provide a Medical Marijuana Recommendation, here online.  We specialize in 420 evaluations, Medical Cannabis Cards and try to provide our clients with be latest and best information about Medical Marijuana.

Further Reading 

Cannabinoids Reduce Symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome, Expert Opinion on Pharmacology, Oct. 2003

Delta-9 THC is Effective in the Treatment of Tics in Tourette Syndrome: a 6-Week Randomized Trial, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Apr. 2003

Combined Treatment of Tourette Syndrome with Delta-9-THC and Dopamine Receptor Antagonists, Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 2001

Senate Bill 420

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