Dr. Tod Hiro Mikuriya was one of the so-called “pot docs” of California. He was a psychiatrist and a strong advocate for the safe use of medical marijuana. He noted that the potential risks of using medical marijuana were so mild compared to other prescription medications that it should be easier for suffering patients to obtain the medication. Before his passing, he wrote a book about the numerous conditions he observed medical marijuana helps. Among these conditions was stuttering. As a cancer patient, Mikuriya was a medical marijuana user himself. Therefore, he is better equipped than most to comment on the safety of marijuana versus the risks for stuttering.
A Showtime documentary called “In Pot We Trust” is a chronicle of the lives of four individuals who need to use medical marijuana for various conditions. One of the documentary’s participants is a woman named Jacqueline who was born with cerebral palsy. This causes severe stuttering for Jacqueline. She uses medical marijuana to control her stuttering, which interferes with her communication abilities a great deal. Her stuttering presents as drawn out syllables and long intervals were she makes one sound.
In the documentary, Jacqueline clearly exhibits relief of her stuttering symptoms when under the influence of medical marijuana. While this is only one patient, she makes an excellent case for the efficacy of medical marijuana to treat stuttering. Her stuttering is caused by an irreversible and established medical condition. If it were not controlling the cause in some way, she would not exhibit fewer symptoms. This makes it unlikely that her relief is a placebo effect. Her stuttering is obvious to observers, as is the difference in her stuttering when she takes her medicine. This is by no means a medical study. However, patient histories and experiences are very helpful in evaluating the efficacy of any drug, including medical marijuana.
Unfortunately, there is no clinical research published on the topic of stuttering and medical marijuana. There are numerous doctors who support its use for patients who stutter and several states label it a condition that can warrant legal marijuana treatment. Countless sufferers have testimonies of their own to share from both sides of the relief spectrum — some experiencing total relief, others experiencing none. More research is necessary for any hope of FDA approval specifically for stuttering.
This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.