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Headache Syndromes Added to CT’s Medical Marijuana Qualifying List

CT Cannabis Law

Migraines and trigeminal neuralgia were added to Connecticut’s medical marijuana qualifying conditions in June. Those conditions will be removed for replacement with a broader term: intractable headache syndromes. This widens the scope in which doctors can recommend patients for medical marijuana.

The decision came via vote on Friday, according to CT Post. Also approved by the Board of Physicians is neuropathic face pain. The commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection, Michelle Seagull, approved the two adjustments following the vote.

Seagull said, “A lot of these conditions have the same sorts of effects on people, even though it may be another condition that leads to that. 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.”

Dr. Andrew L. Salner said, “Certainly patients with severe migraines may benefit from medical cannabis. 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.”

Dr. Jonathan A. Kost said, “People who are labeled with migraines at times may not indeed have migraines. I think we’re going to see that continue, especially with neurological types of pain conditions.”

There was time made in the public hearing for comments. Taylor Dudek, age 19, told her story.

Dudek said, “For the last 11 years of my life I have been in chronic, uncontrollable pain. Despite multiple surgical interventions, hundreds of doctor’s appointments and traditional medications, my pain continues to persist. I can’t recall a day where I open my eyes and the first thought in my mind wasn’t the constant throbbing in my head.”

When diagnosing neurological facial pain is a bit different since the causes can be many.

Dr. Vincent Carlesi said, “You can have a lot of causes of neurological facial pain.”

These two new qualifying categories allow those ages 18 and older to become certified for the Connecticut medical marijuana program.