Medicinal cannabis reduced treatment-resistant stuttering in a 20-year-old male patient. The case study was published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research by researchers from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland and Hannover Medical School in Germany.
Speech disfluency, commonly known as stuttering, is a speech disorder present in around 5% of children. While symptoms improve in most patients once they reach adulthood, in some, the condition persists and impairs quality of life.
Treatments for the disorder include speech therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques. However, a significant number of these patients don’t significantly benefit from these methods.
Although previous studies have shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may improve symptoms of Tourette Syndrome, until now, there had been no case reports on the effects of cannabis on stuttering.
In the current case study, researchers describe a case of a 20-year-old male with treatment-resistant stuttering who began treatment with medicinal marijuana, vaporizing plant cannabis daily.
They noted that the treatment improved his speech fluency as assessed by different phoniatric tests. They also noted that the treatment put his social anxiety into remission, improved his mood, reduced stress, and resulted in overall improvements in his quality of life.
The patient also noted no side effects, as well as improved attention, concentration, sleep, self-confidence, and a better social life.
“[T]his is the first case report of a patient suffering from impairing and treatment-resistant stuttering, who markedly improved after treatment with medicinal cannabis,” reported the study’s authors.
“Based on patient’s self-report and reports of family and friends, as well as several established assessments, use of cannabis resulted not only in an improvement of stuttering but also remission of (social) anxiety, and reduced depression and stress, as well as improved sleep, attention, concentration, self-confidence, social life, and overall quality of life without any side effect. Importantly, treatment effects did not decrease over time,” they continued.
“Medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering, but these preliminary data have to be confirmed in controlled studies,” they concluded.