LCHM Fall 2017 - 23
L C M E D S O C .O R G
Additionally, the National Academies of
Sciences, Engineering and Medicine analyzed
more than 10,000 studies on medical marijuana
and found that short-term use of medical
cannabis brought significant pain relief to
patients, including those suffering from muscle
spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.
Furthermore, medical marijuana offers
patients relief from debilitating pain with
little risk, particularly when using strains low
in THC - the main mind-altering chemical
found in marijuana.
Many patients have used this medication
with minimal or no psychoactive effects,
making this a viable option for the treatment
of chronic pain and inflammation.
In 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf and state legislators enacted one of the most comprehensive
medical marijuana programs in the nation.
Medical cannabis has been approved to
treat 17 medical conditions in Pennsylvanians
of all ages, including cancer, HIV/AIDS,
epilepsy, autism, ALS, and PTSD.
Perhaps most significantly, chronic pain
has also been included on the list of approved
ailments - an important step that may help
decrease the chronic use of NSAIDs.
Recent publications have also suggested
that medical marijuana will decrease the
misuse of opiates.
Pennsylvania has implemented stringent
requirements to ensure safety around the production, sale and use of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana will only be available in
the form of pills, oils, topical creams, tincture,
and liquid, and must meet FDA regulations.
Other forms of medication, such as
vaporization and nebulization, will only be
used when deemed medically appropriate.
Dry leaf or plant forms commonly used for
recreational use will not be permitted for
sale in Pennsylvania.
If an individual is interested in obtaining
medical marijuana from an approved dispensary, he or she will need a certification from
a physician stating they suffer from one or
more of the approved medical conditions.
They will also need to register with the state
and purchase a valid ID card.
Around this time next year, Pennsylvania
will not only be able to offer patients a safe,
effective form of pain management, but
may also help curb the overuse of NSAIDs
throughout the state. Residents should not
have to sacrifice their health to find relief
FALL 2017 | Lehigh County Health & Medicine 23
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