Public Comment Sought For Adding New Qualifying Conditions to Ohio Medical Marijuana Laws
Updated: Apr 6
The medical board responsible for overseeing the addition of new qualifying conditions to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program has accepted three petitions to add qualifying conditions and requested that a subpanel of medical experts review the available studies and make a recommendation.
Before the subpanel has their say, however, medical marijuana patients can make their voices heard as well.
The State Medical Board of Ohio has been tasked with reviewing Anxiety, Autism, and Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome to determine if it is appropriate for these ailments to be added as qualifying conditions for treatment for those who get an Ohio Marijuana Card.
If approved, the addition of these qualifying conditions would bring the total number of qualifying conditions up to 24.
Anxiety and Medical Marijuana
Affecting nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives, Anxiety Disorders are the most prevalent category of psychological disorders. Business Insider reported in April of 2021 that while many marijuana users report using it to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, there has been little in the way of scientific examination of marijuana’s efficacy at doing so.
The authors attribute this to heavy-handed regulations under which marijuana researchers still must operate.
Lack of scientific findings aside, there is some reason to be optimistic about marijuana’s anxiety-abating properties. The aforementioned Business Insider article notes:
A 2016 survey found that 58% of medical marijuana patients use it to alleviate anxiety
A 2012 study found that two-thirds of people with high social anxiety reported using marijuana to help manage social situations
A 2015 review of 40 preliminary studies on CBD that found that it “may play a key role” in reducing anxiety and “could be an effective treatment for a host of anxiety disorders including: generalized anxiety disorder; panic disorder; social anxiety disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Treating Anxiety with Marijuana: It Isn’t for Everyone
Business Insider also reports that at least one study has found evidence that Marijuana has no therapeutic benefits as an anxiety treatment and that THC has been linked to increased anxiety for some users. The authors quote James Giordano, a professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center, as saying: "Some are overly sensitive to the 'activating' effects of THC, and this can induce anxiety, rather than reduce or relieve it."
It’s worth noting, however, that there are a number of factors that affect the efficacy of cannabis in treating anxiety, including strain, setting, and dosing.
Autism and Medical Marijuana
As with the relationship between marijuana and anxiety, there is much that is still uncertain about the drug’s efficacy in treating autism.
The Autism Science Foundation has noted that “Anecdotal reports [among the Autism Community] tout improvements in anxiety, depression, and restlessness,” but that “In the absence of results from well-designed and carefully conducted studies there is no clinical guidance on the use of cannabinoids in people with autism spectrum disorder.”
Nevertheless, the Foundation noted that in the past it has funded research into marijuana and its effect on those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and that it looks forward to continued research along this line. The Foundation also encourages the DEA to reclassify marijuana so that more avenues for research may become legally available.
Marijuana and Cachexia
Cachexia, or the depletion of body fat and muscle due to an underlying illness such as cancer or AIDS, cannot be treated with nutritional supplementation. We all know the anecdotal-evidence about marijuana-induced munchies, but that hardly serves as medical proof that it benefits cachexia sufferers. Fortunately, however, there is evidence to suggest that marijuana can help maintain and increase body weight, leaving some chronically-ill people with one less front to fight in their battles for their lives.
How You Can Help Expand Medical Marijuana Access
A sub-panel of the State Medical Board of Ohio is expected to make a recommendation to the full Board sometime around June of this year, with a vote from the full Board coming sometime later in the summer.
The good news is that patients aren't being left out of this process! The board is currently accepting public written comment through the end of the month, so you can make sure your voice is heard!
If you support the addition of these new qualifying conditions, we urge you to click this link and complete the easy and simple form to send a letter to the board urging them to approve these conditions.
UPDATE: Unfortunately for those who believe medical marijuana could be the relief they seek from the symptoms of anxiety disorders or autism, the State Medical Board voted in July of 2020 not to grant qualifying condition status to those conditions. At the same meeting, the Board voted unanimously to allow medical marijuana to be used to treat Cachexia.
The Board will accept petitions to add new qualifying conditions to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program from November 1 to December 31, 2021. Written public comments on the petitions will be accepted for a period of time to follow.
Cachexia is just one of 22 qualifying conditions from which Ohioans can legally seek relief. Give us a call at (866) 457-5559, or schedule an appointment online today, to start getting the natural relief you deserve tomorrow.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.