Medical marijuana approved for new chronic pain condition

Medical marijuana may now be prescribed to adults with degenerative spinal disorders, the state Department of Consumer Protection said this week.

The drug was approved Thursday by the General Assembly’s regulations review committee to treat the chronic pain that accompanies spinal degeneration. Damage to the nervous system can cause the brain to send pain signals throughout the body, generating everything from a stabbing feeling to chronic prickling, tingling or burning sensations.

Connecticut’s medical marijuana program, which serves 29,543 patients, now has a total of 31 conditions approved for adults, and eight for patients under 18.

In August, the program added six new conditions for adults, including intractable headaches and rheumatoid arthritis, and two for adults and juveniles — muscular dystrophy and osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease.

This week, the state also reclassified the marijuana-based medication Epidiolex, which contains the purified extract cannabidiol, as a Schedule V drug, the least restrictive schedule in the Controlled Substances Act.

Connecticut was following suit with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which named Epidiolex a Schedule V drug in September. Epidiolex is an oral medication prescribed to treat some severe seizure disorders.

“It’s always been important to us at DCP to make sure that patients get access to the medication they need as quickly as possible,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull said. “These updates to the regulations mean that more patients with severe debilitating conditions will have additional options for medical treatment.”

Follow The Courant for health news »

Copyright © 2018, CT Now
16°