People suffering from Tourette Syndrome or anxiety can now legally use medical marijuana in Pennsylvania to treat their conditions, according to the state Department of Health.
Growing evidence that cannabis can be an effective treatment for traditional anxiety and Tourette Syndrome, led Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, to add these conditions to the list of legal uses for medical marijuana in the state.
Researchers found that a combination of 10.8 mg THC and 10 mg CBD taken twice daily reduced the frequency and severity of motor and vocal tics in patients’ with Tourette Syndrome. Other studies have shown the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD for generalized anxiety, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety-induced insomnia.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting more than 18 percent of the adult population, and studies show that 1 of every 162 (0.6 percent) children in the U.S. lives with Tourette Syndrome, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new regulation will go into effect no later than July 20, according to Dr. Levine. The addition of these two conditions brings the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana treatments to 23.
“For both conditions, medical marijuana is not first line treatment and should not replace traditional therapies but should be used in conjunction with them, when recommended by a physician,” said Dr. Levine during a press conference.
Receiving treatment with cannabis in Pennsylvania is an extensive process to ensure that only those with debilitating medical conditions can purchase medical marijuana from a registered state dispensary. It requires that patients create a profile in the medical marijuana registry, get certified by a physician, and purchase an ID card.
Governor Wolf legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania in 2016, and the list of qualifying conditions has continuously grown each year.
The list of qualifying medical conditions and a guideline for getting medical marijuana can be found on Pennsylvania’s state website https://www.pa.gov/guides/pennsylvania-medical-marijuana-program/