Here’s some great news for patients in Minnesota suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): there is now another treatment option available — medical marijuana.
Approval for patients to use medical marijuana came in late 2016 but didn’t go into effect until August 1st. Finally, Minnesotans can legally use cannabis to alleviate the devastating symptoms of PTSD.
When reviewing whether PTSD should be approved as a qualifying condition, the Minnesota Department of Public Health (MDH) noted the lack of other effective treatments available to those with PTSD.
“PTSD presented the strongest case for potential benefits,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger in a statement. With this decision, Minnesota becomes the 16th state to include PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
Before they can legally access medical cannabis, PTSD patients must have their condition certified by the MDH’s Office of Medical Cannabis. Those suffering from PTSD must visit a healthcare practitioner to verify their diagnosis. Once a health care provider — doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner — certifies the patient, they can go to the MDH website and register to obtain medical marijuana.
The addition of PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions marks a continued expansion of Minnesota’s qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. Other qualifying conditions include:
- Tourette Syndrome
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Certain cancers (those associated with nausea, severe/chronic pain, constant vomiting, and cachexia)
- Seizures (particularly those related to epilepsy)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease)
- Terminal illnesses
With the approval of PTSD as a qualifying condition, medical cannabis advocates in Minnesota are even more hopeful that the program can be steadily expanded.
Currently, activists in Minnesota are pushing for approval for other conditions to be approved, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and autism. Requests for additional conditions to be approved are being considered on a continuing basis.
The decision to allow patients with PTSD to use medical marijuana is a significant step forward for Minnesota. It has the potential to help tens of thousands of Minnesotans live better, happier lives.