A record number of research papers (4,300+!) were written about cannabis in 2022, according to NORML. In the future, these studies will help us better understand how we might use cannabis as therapy. And in the present, it helps medical marijuana programs in states like Ohio consider expanding the types of conditions that may be legally treated.
Ohio’s Growing Qualifying Conditions
When Ohio first considered implementing a medical marijuana program, experts weighed multitudes of scientific research to determine cannabis could be therapeutic in 21 medical conditions. Much has changed since Ohio began approving medical cannabis cards in 2019.
Scientific research being conducted across the globe serves as continuing evidence for the efficacy of cannabinoids in medicinal treatments for chronic pain, PTSD, and a vast array of additional conditions. Mounting evidence means that states like Ohio continue to consider qualifying new conditions for their potential therapeutic benefit. Ohio accepts 25 total conditions for medical cannabis as of this writing and three more are up for approval.
A growing body of evidence continues to help the medical community understand how cannabis works as medicine. Here are a few that may pique your interest:
- This research letter published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2023 details how patients experience cannabis when approaching it as an alternative to opioids for managing chronic pain. From the article: “More than half of adults who used cannabis to manage their chronic pain reported that use of cannabis led them to decrease use of prescription opioid, prescription nonopioid, and over-the-counter pain medications, and less than 1% reported that use of cannabis increased their use of these medications.”
- A research paper published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse in September 2022 found that patients reported being in less pain and could function better physically and socially after using medical cannabis. It additionally found that the majority of those in the study who had been taking oxycodone, codeine and other opioids to treat their pain were able to stop or reduce them with using medical cannabis. The results indicate that medical cannabis could be used as a tool to reduce opioid use.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
- A study published in August 2022 in the journal Neuropharmacology suggests that low doses of THC may help PTSD sufferers with emotional dysregulation, particularly when combined with a cognitive reappraisal therapy.
- Data published in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics in late 2022 showed symptom improvements following the use of cannabis products for their PTSD.
This article covers additional new cannabis studies that experts found intriguing. According to the author, “Reduced government research restrictions and improved global legalization efforts have both paved the way for new and exciting ways to research the plant and its complexities.”
While more research is needed before confident claims can be made in the efficacy of treating conditions with cannabis, the future looks promising in so many areas of cannabinoid research!
New Conditions Being Considered in Ohio
Beyond treating chronic pain and PTSD, medical cannabis patients in Ohio currently treat arthritis (33%), chronic migraines (13%), and fibromyalgia (11%) among the top conditions reported.
Currently, Ohioans who have any of these 25 qualifying conditions may consider getting a medical marijuana card. Once per year, the state board of pharmacy calls for additional conditions to be considered. This year, three conditions have gone onto the final round of consideration, as announced in early February: irritable bowel syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, and autism spectrum disorder. Written public comment on these conditions will be accepted now until February 24, 2023. Anyone may submit their comments by emailing MedicalMarijuana@med.ohio.gov.