This 10-year-old boy says CBD helps ease his symptoms of Tourette Syndrome

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A 10-year-old boy with Tourette Syndrome says CBD has helped him and he’s wondering if it could do the same for others.

Bryson Jones recently released a video, marking Mental Health Day, in which he details his experience with Tourette Syndrome and how CBD has worked for him.

The affable and active Oklahoman, a patient with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) who has his licence, relays that he uses CBD before going to school and before karate and boxing classes.

The 4:1 medication he takes “does not make you high,” he emphasizes in the video. “What it actually does, it makes you not nervous, it makes you calm and it doesn’t make you tic.”

Making clear that he’s 10 years old and not a doctor, he says medical marijuana may not be for everyone.

In a video posted on YouTube last year, Jones explains how there still seems to be a misunderstanding about CBD. The link to being high, he notes, relates to THC, not CBD.

Since he’s been taking the medication, “I really don’t twitch as much, blink as much, move around, get, like, shaky,” he says in the YouTube video. “This really, really helps me.”

Tourette Syndrome involves repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics) that can’t be easily controlled, according to the Mayo Clinic. These tics include repeatedly blinking eyes, shrugging shoulders or blurting out unusual sounds or offensive words.

Mayo Clinic notes tics typically surface from ages two to 15, and males are “three to four times more likely than females to develop” the syndrome.

study published in 2013 reports that “several anecdotal reports provided evidence that marijuana might be effective not only in the suppression of tics, but also in the treatment of associated behavioural problems.”

That said, the American Medical Association carried out a meta-analysis that considered 79 trials testing the benefits and negatives of using marijuana to treat conditions, including Tourette Syndrome. Published a few years ago, researchers concluded evidence of positive effects was weak for Tourette Syndrome, according to Tourette Canada.

The OMMA oversees Oklahoma’s program for medical marijuana, which was legalized in the state two years ago. The group is responsible for licensing, regulating and administering the program to ensure safe and responsible practices, notes the OMMA website.

Recreational cannabis remains illegal in the state. “No fewer than three petition drives were underway to put an adult-use measure on the ballot in Oklahoma in 2020. But coronavirus social-distancing measures curtailed all efforts to gather signatures and the petitions were withdrawn,” WeedMaps reports.

A study published in 2013 notes that “several anecdotal reports provided evidence that marijuana might be effective not only in the suppression of tics, but also in the treatment of associated behavioural problems.” / Photo: Getty Images / Photo: Getty Images

Penalties for possession are not as tough as in a number of other U.S. jurisdictions, with possessing weed (either for a first or subsequent offence) bringing with it a misdemenour charge, up to a year in jail and as much as a US$1,000 fine, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

All that said, Jones also has some advice for people who have Tourette Syndrome and for people who don’t understand it. “If someone walks up to you, saying why are you blinking so much, I’ll walk away just saying that, ‘Yeah, ticks, you can’t help it.’ And if they’re still being mean to you after that, probably not your friend anyways.”

He reiterates the message in his video. “If you get knocked down, you get back up,” Jones says, smiling and offering a thumbs-up.

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