Pennsylvania Qualified Conditions, Pt 1

To date, 29 states and Washington D.C. have legalized the use of medical cannabis, and an additional 12 states have pending legislation. On April 14, 2016, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize the use of medical cannabis in the form of tinctures, topicals, pills, and oils for patients suffering from 17 qualifying conditions. In recent years there has been a steady increase in anecdotal evidence, case studies, and international findings on the healing benefits of cannabis for all the symptoms qualified by the state of Pennsylvania.

For example, there has been advancements in understanding how medical cannabis can treat patients suffering from epilepsy. A global study in Australia testing a form of medicinal cannabis known as cannabidiol, in kids with Dravet syndrome found the average of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9. 976 patients participated in this study, and 60% of them were adults. A 2015 study found that out of 214 patients suffering from seizures, 99% who were medicating with CBD oil were seeing seizures decrease by an average of 54%.

Many patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease have reported that medical cannabis helps them treat symptoms of the disease, especially in terms of managing mood and sleep. In 2004 and again in 2014, studies found significant reduction in tremors, stiffness, and slowness when using medical cannabis. Science has taught us that people with Parkinson’s Disease have less CB1 receptors than individuals who do not have the diseases. The Cannabinoids that make up the the cannabis plant act as a boost to the body’s CB1 receptors, allowing patients to experience improvements with tremors and dyskinesia. Click here to see a list of studies that have been done to date on medical cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease.

The early evidence of the treatment benefits of medical cannabis for PTSD patients looks so promising that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin recently stated he is open to allowing veterans suffering from PTSD to use medical cannabis. In 2012, a rodent study found that CBD treatments may help desensitize the stress recording that troubles patients with PTSD. Another research report released in 2015 studied 80 PTSD patients that were participating in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program. The study found that patients treated with medical cannabis saw over 75% reduction in symptoms and condition severity. Earlier this year  the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) received approval and launched a study on the effects of inhaled cannabis in veterans with PTSD. At the University of British Columbia, there was also a study done in the Fall of 2016 on how cannabis affects sleeping patterns.

Many of the healing benefits, and relief patients experience when medicating with cannabis can be tied to how cannabis impacts the endocannabinoid system. After cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids are released into the body and bond with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. Each cannabinoid in cannabis impacts the endocannabinoid system differently, which is why there is such a wide range of potential health benefits.

Doctors who are interested in learning more about the endocannabinoid system, and potentially recommending cannabis to patients, are left to find their own sources of education. One of those options is the PA Medicinal Cannabis Education Tour. The mission of the tour is to educate health care professionals regarding the basic science underlying the pharmacologic and therapeutic options associated with medical cannabis in patient care, and provide clinical insights on the use of medicinal cannabis in practice. The PA Medicinal Cannabis Education Tour will consist of six different events across the state of Pennsylvania, one in each health region outlined by the Department of Health. CE Credits will be available for all locations and are provided by The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University.

The first event on the PA Medicinal Cannabis Education Tour is Tuesday, July 25th, in Philadelphia at Bluemle Life Sciences Building at Thomas Jefferson University. Unable to attend in Philadelphia? Visit the PA Medicinal Cannabis Education Tour website for a full list of event dates, venues, and ticket information. Space is limited at each venue and due to the recent developments in Pennsylvania’s Medical Cannabis market, tickets are selling fast!

Check back for Part 2 of this post for more case studies and anecdotal evidence on medical cannabis and its potential healing properties for conditions on Pennsylvania’s list of 17.  

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