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Health-LiveI am a 21 year old girl taking medical marijuana for my Tourette Syndrome, AMA!

Sep 1st 2017 by alliegrace95 • 13 Questions • 8319 Points

Hi Reddit, I'm a 21 year old girl from Australia and I've had Tourette Syndrome my whole life. I have also struggled with severe depression and anxiety. Even though its still technically illegal here I've been medicating with marijuana for almost 2 years, both in oil form and smoking/vaporising. It's changed my life in a massively positive way. AMA!

Proof: Proof 1 Proof 2

EDIT: Going to bed but will be back when I wake up to answer more questions :)

Q:

How hard it is to hold a tic? How does it feel when you are about to have one?

A:

Reaally hard, I can hold them back for about 20 seconds but it will just build up and make it 10x worse. It's like this unpleasant urge I get under my skin that feels like a weird tingly buzzy sorta feeling. It's super hard to explain, but you know when you're having a staring contest with someone and your eyes start start screaming at you to close them and blink? It feels almost exactly like that, but all over my body, all the time haha


Q:

I feel like that's pretty much the same thing as going through opiate withdrawal. When you get the muscle aches you can't sit still. You can try and sit still but that same feeling tingles through your body making you move or stretch. Happens constantly. To the point I couldn't sleep at all.

How do you find it affects your sleeping?

A:

Yeah exactly! The sleeping is the worst part about it, I can live with the tics and all the rest during the day but when it effects my sleep it destroys everything. I couldn't function like a normal person and even had to be home schooled for my final year of high school because I couldn't get out of bed. I would tic all through the night so I could never fall into a deep sleep and would always be half awake. It was horrible and that's the side of tourettes no one really knows or thinks about


Q:

Piggyback: Do the tics happen when you're unconscious, or are they just so frequent that it's very hard to fall asleep?

A:

They happen constantly when i'm unconscious as well


Q:

Do you feel you've had any negative impacts from medicating from Marijuana? Do you think you could live without it now?

A:

I haven't experienced a single negative impact since the day I started using it, it's been nothing but positive! There's no way I could live without it now. I would never want to go back to the way it was before. Without it I couldn't sleep, I couldn't work, go to school, drive, at one point it got so bad I could barely even eat or drink without knocking everything over in the process. Now I can do all that with no problem and people I meet daily would never even guess I have Tourettes at all. I passed my driving test without a single minor strike whereas before my tics were a serious safety hazard. My friends and family can't believe the change it's had on me, it's something we never thought was possible and I wish I knew about it much sooner!


Q:

Without it I couldn't ...drive.

...I passed my driving test without a single minor strike whereas before my tics were a serious safety hazard.

You're allowed to drive while using medical marijuana?

A:

I take it at night before I go to bed so when I wake up the next day I'm completely sober but its CBD effects are still preventing my tics from coming through, so its safe for me to drive :) If I was caught with a roadside drug test though i'd lose my license and probably get a criminal record. I just have to be extremely careful.


Q:

Do you ever get high from marijuana anymore? I've heard miracle stories of certain doses of it helping children with life threatening seizures. Does it completely negate your Tourette's tics?

A:

Yeah I still do get high from it, the high is what helps me the most at night but there are some medicinal strains that have the high taken out of it. It all just depends on your personal needs, I don't think i've developed much of a tolerance for it yet as far as I know. At first the oil I was having did successfully get rid of my Tourettes but it changes every time I go back to refill so right now its not completely gone, I still have some tics here and there but its still a massive improvement so i'm happy. Would love to work on finding that perfect strain once it becomes legal tho! And yeah it without a doubt helps with epilepsy, i've seen people who's kids used to have 600+ seizures a day go down to 0 for months or years at a time because of it... It's crazy


Q:

Do you use marijuana daily? Like when you get home at the end of the day, or do you ingest it (in whatever way) at the start of the day? What's the rough dosage that keeps your symptoms under control?

Edit - Followup: do you take this concurrently with other medicine or do you only medicate with marijuana? How do you feel about people using the drug recreationally?

A:

Yep I use it every night before I go to bed, I started off taking 2mls of it in oil form with an eyedropper and that helped me a lot, but because its illegal here it's hard to keep it consistent and every time I need to restock it's always different. At the moment i'm not entirely sure about the science behind it all but I have capsules with cannabis oil in them that I take daily, and I smoke or vaporise most nights as well just to be sure. Usually a couple of cones will be enough but when I have a good oil formula with high CBD and THC potency I don't even need to smoke/vaporise it. I do take official prescription medications at the same time, but only because I've been on them for 14+ years and have horrific withdrawals if I don't have them 😩
Personally I don't really care about people who use it recreationally, I mean its fun and harmless so I have nothing against it as long as its responsible. And its beneficial to so many different illnesses that I wouldn't be surprised if it helps everyone in some way or another. I only hate when recreational users do stupid things that spreads stigma and sets the medicinal movement back, like getting high and crashing the car while driving or something like that.


Q:

Yeah that's what I was going for with the word pipe. Dry or wet, they tend to have the cone shaped piece. But I've gathered that there's some regional variation in how people smoke out of bongs. Sometimes it's a large, full bowl that's good for several hits and sometimes it's a small bowl that's taken in one hit. I was curious if a couple of cones meant two hits or like 10-15.

A:

The one I have is just a small cone piece on the end of the stem you can take in one hit, not a bowl with multiple. So just a few single hits is all I need :)


Q:

How do you get your supply if it's illegal? I'd like to use it more often for my severe anxiety/depression but I have trouble finding reputable sources in my area.

A:

I have a specific contact that makes medicinal strains and gives it out for free to sick children with cancer/epilepsy/etc, and I was super lucky to even get anything from them. They have a wait list of over 10,000 people but I think they wanted more Tourettes representation. Sorry I couldn't be of more help there, I also just get the normal stuff that goes around from friends and whatnot. It's illegal but everyone knows someone who can get it.


Q:

You take it via your eyes with an eyedropper?

A:

Hahahahaha no I just use the eyedropper to put drops between my gums, it absorbs into your bloodstream faster that way :P


Q:

You've given a good description of your symptom severity (BTW, I imagine a lot of people will want to know this; you might consider putting an abbreviated version in the top post); how much does the cannabis help? Do you need to be truly stoned for it to be effective or does a light buzz do the trick?

A:

I answered a bit about how much its helped me in another question but it's honestly helped me so much that I still can't believe it. To help give a bit of background and perspective, when I was 11 years old my biggest wish in life was to undergo deep brain stimulation surgery, which is where they insert wires in the middle of the brain and run it down your neck into a neurostimulator pacemaker device implanted in the chest. It sends electrical impulses to the brain to stop the tics. Obviously that's a super risky and intrusive procedure but I didn't even care because I just wanted it to stop. Fast forward to today, the medical cannabis I take does all that and more, is completely safe and has had 0 negative side effects to date!

For Tourettes i've found out that a high content of CBD and THC is best, because the CBD helps mellow me out and stop the tics, and the high THC keeps me asleep. I need to be pretty zoned out when I go to bed. A light buzz wont be enough to hold out through the entire night, not in my case anyway :p Thanks for the question!


Q:

I use the strain Jack Herre for anxiety and Girl Scout cookies for help with PTSD. What strains do you find work best for you ?

A:

At the moment its been kinda hard to come by so I take what I can get, I haven't been able to experiment with different strains and such yet but i'm hoping to in the future to find the perfect strain for tourettes!


Q:

What was the most awkward moment you had a tic?

A:

I have this weird one where I have to kind of rub my neck on my shoulder to crack it, and sometimes the skin rubs together in a way where it makes a little squeaky fart noise. Thats always super awkward and hard to explain. I also have one where I have to push all the air out of my nose so sometimes i'm having a deep and meaningful conversation with someone and they mistakenly think i'm laughing or scoffing at them!