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Headache Symptoms Broadened for State’s Medical Marijuana Patients

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Connecticut’s medical marijuana program has over 19,000 certified patients in this state of 3.5 million people—and that number will likely grow, a lot.

The board of physicians that supervises the inclusion of new ailments deemed eligible to use MMJ is redefining the list of headache-related ailments with an umbrella term to cover all intractable headache syndromes.

The current list specified only migraines and trigeminal neuralgia sufferers.

This new classification will give doctors more latitude for certifying new patients to use medical cannabis as a headache treatment.

The board of physicians also approved neuropathic face pain for inclusion in the five-year-old medical marijuana program, in which there are 724 medical professionals registered, according to the CTPost.

Michelle Seagull, commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection, which administers the MMJ program, approved the two conditions.

“A lot of these conditions have the same sorts of effects on people, even though it may be another condition that leads to that,” Seagull said. “It may make sense rather than doing it disease state by disease state, and to look at it more, kind of, holistically. The theory was that maybe we should look at conditions more broadly.”

A physician on the board, Dr. Andrew L. Salner, agreed: “I think the sense was, there are innumerable headache syndromes with intractable pain and rather discussing and ultimately qualifying every one, which could potentially be 20, the question was whether we could come up with a term that would be more inclusive for patients who suffer from these severe syndromes, so we could provide access to the program.”

A recent study showed a reduction in the severity and length of headaches among patients using cannabis.

“I think we’re going to see that continue, especially with neurological types of pain conditions,” said Dr. Jonathan A. Kost, an anesthesiologist in West Hartford, Connecticut.

In view of the rush to prescribe opioids and other prescription drugs, which currently has millions of Americans addicted, dying from overdoses or incarcerated, isn’t it time to start looking at safe alternatives?

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