It’s been more than a year since medical marijuana became available to patients in Pennsylvania. Now, officials want the state to become a leader in medical marijuana research.
A research summit for medical marijuana was held today. As part of that summit, two new conditions were added to the list of those approved in the medical marijuana program.
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced that effective July 20, anxiety disorders and tourette syndrome are being approved as serious medical conditions in the state’s medical marijuana program.
“I do not take this decision lightly,” said Dr. Levine. The approval came with recommendations from Doctors, pharmacists, and patients. Dr. Levine said medical marijuana should not be first line treatment for anxiety disorders, and should be used alongside counseling and therapy.
“Patients with anxiety disorders should continue to pursue counseling and therapy to manage their condition,” said Dr. Levine. She also said medical marijuana with low THC and high CBD levels would work best for treating anxiety disorders.
“A key component to approving conditions, is to stimulate research on medical marijuana,” said Dr. Levine. Researchers from eight universities and three clinical registrants were on hand for the research summit on medical marijuana.
“Despite the growing interest in medical use of cannabis, data with strong clinical evidence remains limited,” said Dr. Wei Du, Drexel University College of Medicine.
Moving forward, experts will be conducting research in hopes of answering questions like correct dosing, safety, and how effective marijuana is in treating each condition.
“I believe this puts us, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, at the forefront of supporting research into the potential benefits of medical marijuana,” said Dr. Kent Vrana, Penn State.
Tourette syndrome and anxiety disorder will be approved conditions effective July 20, 2019.