Two new medical conditions, anxiety and Tourette syndrome, were added to Pennsylvania’s list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis last week on July 11.
According to a recent notice, the Pennsylvania Department of Health approved the new conditions, which are set to go into effect on July 20. This increases the number of current qualifying conditions from 21 to 23.
The decision to include two new conditions followed recommendations from the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board as well as a “careful review” from Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. “I do not take this decision lightly, and do have recommendations for physicians, dispensary pharmacists and patients in terms of the use of medical marijuana to treat these conditions,” she said in a statement. “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.”
These conditions were added was because new studies suggest that cannabis can be used to assist in treatments for a variety of medical conditions. Recent research shows that medical cannabis can be beneficial to those who suffer from Tourette syndrome. One study found that patients with Tourette syndrome who used 10mg of THC and 10mg of CBD daily experienced an “improvement in the frequency and severity of motor and vocal tics post-treatment,” according to the study results. The National Institute for Mental Health estimates that 19 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, which have also found to be treatable with medical cannabis.
Every new medical condition being added to the qualifying conditions list is a reason for patients to celebrate, but recreational consumers also have things to look forward to. A bill that would legalize recreational cannabis was introduced in March, and several medical schools in the area have been approved to study cannabis.