tourette syndrome

Medical Cannabis, Tourette Syndrome, & Autism: Kyle's Story

Just before turning 3, Kyle Jr. was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. Within the last year, Kyle, who turns 8 this summer, was also diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, and Tourette Syndrome. Having tried 8+ different medications that either caused too many side effects or had no effect at all, his parents felt a wave of relief when they found out his Tourette Syndrome diagnosis qualified him for the medical cannabis program in Minnesota; they were out of options, and they so badly wanted to find relief for their eldest son.

Almost entirely non-verbal, Kyle Jr. would often get frustrated when he wasn’t able to communicate what he wanted or how he was feeling. “He was so angry all of the time,” his mother, Kassidy, remembers.

Sometimes, he would harm himself or others. The constant tics in various forms paired with anxiety and aggression left Kyle with little quality of life. Before medical cannabis, Kyle Jr. spent most of his time on the couch—playing or interacting with others was a rarity. Aside from bathing, there were few times he willingly left the couch—it was his safe spot. When he would leave, he would need to have someone’s hand to hold for even the simplest of tasks, like going to the bathroom. Car rides were hard, and going to the grocery store or any other kind of shopping was nearly impossible to do as a family.

Kassidy was pleasantly surprised at how quick and simple it was to complete the enrollment process and become a caregiver for Kyle. Once certified by a health care practitioner, it was only a matter of days until Kyle’s first visit at a LeafLine Labs patient care center. His family began to see a difference within days of his first dose of medical cannabis.

Today, 7 months after adding cannabis to Kyle Jr.’s health care regimen, his parents are astounded at the difference the medicine has made in not only his life, but their entire family’s. Kyle Jr.’s therapy team, dentist, and primary care physician have all remarked at the improvement in his behavior; during his last appointment to the doctor, he went with the nurse by himself for the first time to have his height and weight checked. His communication skills are vastly improving, he’s learning new letters and words, and he’s beginning to ask questions. His tics are less severe and less frequent. Harming himself or others is now rare. He plays. He smiles once again. He’s calmer. Most importantly, he’s joyful.

Kyle’s parents have a renewed sense of hope and are excited by the enormous impact and continuous improvements of medical cannabis on their son’s health and wellness. Kassidy wishes more people understood the benefits of medical cannabis. “It is medicine. They’re not getting high. They’re not getting drugged. There are pretty much no side effects… It’s safer [than other medications],” she says.

Medical Cannabis & Tourette Syndrome: TJ's Story

Meet TJ, an active 12-year-old boy who loves riding his bike, sports, and legos. In October, we had the pleasure of meeting TJ, his family, and their many furry friends - including a rabbit named Bunny Sanders. TJ is the youngest of four siblings.

TJ has a variety of medical diagnoses, including Tourette Syndrome. Due to constant physical and verbal tics, it was difficult for TJ to be in a classroom, play sports, or even relax. At times, the repeated movements from the physical tics would cause him extreme pain.

In 2015 when the Minnesota medical cannabis program began, TJ was enrolled and after consulting with a pharmacist at LeafLine Labs, started to take the medicine - his life changed completely. He went from 20-30 tics a minute to 20-30 tics per day, and also saw an incredible change in behavioral issues caused by his other diagnoses.

Today, TJ often goes months at a time free of tics. Although the medical cannabis is not a cure for his Tourette Syndrome, it has vastly improved his quality of life, as well as his family's, and has helped TJ find relief from pain.