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State panel says pain, autism, PTSD should be added to medical cannabis oil list
The Chicago Tribune reports that an Illinois state panel has voted in favor of recommending that medical cannabis oil should be made available to patients suffering from pain, autism and PTSD. Officials say that medical cannabis cards can be obtained by those seeking to use cannabis as a treatment for these conditions.
These additions by the Medical Cannabis Advisory board will extend the list of ailments for which patients may obtain cannabis to a total of 39. Although this may sound like a long list, 11 recommendations were rejected by the board which says it does not want to move too fast. The board hopes to create a safe framework for the use of psychoactive cannabis when THC-rich cannabis oils are used, but does not focus on cannabis oil from hemp. The Board is open to receiving petitions from interested parties who would like to obtain marijuana cannabis oil to medicate themselves for their conditions.
Medical cannabis oil patients who want to take advantage of the new opportunity to include cannabinoids in their treatment range from osteoarthritis sufferers to irritable bowel syndrome patients.
Controversy and concerns
Although it is moving ahead with approving the use of cannabis oil as a treatment, board members caution that more research evidence is needed and that randomized controlled trial results are still lacking in many instances.
This has resulted in a degree of controversy with some board members saying that using cannabis oil to treat autism or IBS is not supported by enough evidence at this time. However, with cannabis (including non-psychoactive CBD oil) having been classified as a schedule 1 drug, research progress has been slow owing to difficulty in obtaining permission for trials. The boards says that it will be ‘compassionate’ and that doctors will be called on to oversee medical cannabis oil use.
Too much or too little?
There are also those who fear that having a medical cannabis program, or having one that is too broad, may lead to the promotion of recreational cannabis use. One particular doctor is responsible for writing nearly one third of the state’s medical cannabis prescriptions making lawmakers wonder whether recreational use is the real motivation for his patients.
On the other hand, the newly licensed providers for the cannabis program are concerned for a different reason: they fear that their operations will not be viable if insufficient patients are allowed to use medical cannabis in the form of marijuana.
Is all the controversy necessary?
There are also those who feel that many of the patients approved for medical marijuana use could be using cannabis oil in the form of non-psychoactive hemp oils which do not require the same degree of regulation owing to their lack of a ‘high’ according to ABC news. This form of cannabis oil may have many of the same properties that are currently believed to exist in the psychoactive version of the cannabis plant.