An Ohio State Medical Board committee last week added cachexia, or wasting syndrome, to its medical cannabis qualifying conditions list, but rejected including anxiety and autism spectrum disorder, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Last year the committee had recommended that autism and anxiety be added to the program but walked the recommendation back after hearing getting feedback from children’s hospitals.
In public comments on the proposals, Ohio Children’s Hospital Association representative Sarah Kincaid said that adding autism and anxiety to the qualifying conditions list “has the potential to negatively impact the health and well being of thousands of children in Ohio.”
“There is little rigorous evidence that marijuana or its derivatives is of benefit for patients with autism and anxiety, but there is a substantial association between cannabis use and the onset or worsening of several psychiatric conditions.” – Kincaid in public comments to the Medical Board via the Enquirer
The majority of the 136 public comments actually supported adding the conditions and the Medical Board did not elaborate as to why the conditions were rejected.
Cachexia, which causes severe weight loss, can be associated with cancer, HIV or AIDS, or other chronic conditions – some of which are already included as qualifying conditions under the state’s medical cannabis regime. The condition is included in nearly all medical cannabis programs in the U.S.
Final approval by the full State Medical Board is still required before patients can access the program.