CANNA-TICS: Efficacy and safety of oral treatment with nabiximols in adults with chronic tic disorders - Results of a prospective, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, phase IIIb superiority study

Psychiatry Res. 2023 May;323:115135. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2023.115135. Epub 2023 Feb 28.


Preliminary data suggest that cannabis-based medicines might be a promising new treatment for patients with Tourette syndrome (TS)/chronic tic disorders (CTD) resulting in an improvement of tics, comorbidities, and quality of life. This randomized, multicenter, placebo-controlled, phase IIIb study aimed to examine efficacy and safety of the cannabis extract nabiximols in adults with TS/CTD (n = 97, randomized 2:1 to nabiximols:placebo). The primary efficacy endpoint was defined as a tic reduction of ≥ 25% according to the Total Tic Score of the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale after 13 weeks of treatment. Although a much larger number of patients in the nabiximols compared to the placebo group (14/64 (21·9%) vs. 3/33 (9·1%)) met the responder criterion, superiority of nabiximols could formally not be demonstrated. In secondary analyses, substantial trends for improvements of tics, depression, and quality of life were observed. Additionally exploratory subgroup analyses revealed an improvement of tics in particular in males, patients with more severe tics, and patients with comorbid attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder suggesting that these subgroups may benefit better from treatment with cannabis-based medication. There were no relevant safety issues. Our data further support the role of cannabinoids in the treatment of patients with chronic tic disorders.

Keywords: ADHD; Cannabis-based medicine; Nabiximols; OCD; Randomized-controlled trial; Tics; Tourette syndrome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Tic Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Tics*
  • Tourette Syndrome* / drug therapy


  • nabiximols