Pennsylvanians With Anxiety and Tourette Syndrome Now Qualify for Medical Cannabis

As of Saturday, July 20, Pennsylvania residents suffering from anxiety and Tourette syndrome can legally seek out medical cannabis treatment, as the PA Department of Health has officially added the two conditions to the eligibility list. 

Among the already existing list of conditions applicable for medical cannabis treatment are cancer, epilepsy, PTSD. Now, with federal illegality causing a lack of research on cannabis, Pennsylvania is becoming one of just three states to include anxiety and Tourette’s on that list. 

With many people in legal starts already turning to cannabis to ease anxiety, and research proving its effects on Tourette Syndrome, this is promising news for what the future of “traditional” medicine will hold. Not to mention, with anxiety being the most common mental illness in the U.S. and 29% of PA high school students reporting depression symptoms in 2017, it’s about time we start digging deeper for solutions. 

According to Penn Watch, Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine decision to vouch for these conditions was certainly not an easy one, stating “After a careful review of the medical literature available about these conditions, I have decided to approve this recommendation.” 

Based on the review and recommendation of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, Levine expects that cannabis will provide additional aid for those already using physician recommended options. Noting, though, that cannabis should not replace traditional treatment. Patients should consult with their health care provider to see if medical marijuana will be beneficial for them. “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,” Levine adds. “For both conditions, medical marijuana is not [the] first-line treatment and should not replace traditional therapies but should be used in conjunction with them, when recommended by a physician.”

However, with nearly 111,000 PA residents and 1,600 physicians already approved for the medical program, which is likely to rise with the new additions, hope is high for other states to promote similar motions or at least further research.

Emerald contributor since June 2019


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