Connecticut Moves Closer to Approving Medical Marijuana for EDS

Marisa Wexler MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler MS |

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A panel of physicians has voted in favor of adding Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) to the list of conditions that are eligible for treatment with medical marijuana in Connecticut.

According to an Associated Press story, the vote took place Sept. 27 and the recommendation was officially accepted by Michelle Seagull, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

In addition to EDS, the board also voted in favor of allowing medical marijuana treatment for adults who experience chronic pain that lasts for six months or longer, and that is associated with a specific underlying chronic condition.

In contrast, the board voted against adding night terrors (episodes of screaming and/or intense fear while asleep) or parasomnia (a blanket term related to any condition that interferes with sleep apart from sleep apnea) to the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana.

Following the physician panel vote, the final decision on including EDS and chronic pain to the list of approved conditions will be decided by the Regulations Review Committee of Connecticut’s General Assembly. A vote from that legislative panel is expected in the coming weeks.

Marijuana is a broad term that typically refers to the dried cannabis plant, though it also is used broadly in reference to derivatives of the plant. In addition to the well-known psychoactive effects of marijuana consumption, the plant, its derivatives, and compounds isolated from it are currently undergoing a surge of scientific exploration for its possible medicinal purposes.

Of particular note to the aforementioned conditions, there is a growing body of evidence that marijuana may have pain-relieving effects.

Marijuana is currently illegal in the United States at the federal level; however, for the past decade or so, many states have legalized it for medicinal and/or recreational purposes.

If EDS and chronic pain are approved by Connecticut’s General Assembly, they will join 31 other conditions for which medical marijuana is approved for adults in the state.

According to Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection website, almost 40,000 people are enrolled in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program. Furthermore, in the state, there are nearly 1,200 physicians and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) registered who can certify patients; there also are 14 medical marijuana dispensaries.