Treating IBS And OCD With Medical Marijuana Now Possible In Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health expanded the list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana to include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This decision will take effect on Aug. 1, 2023.

“We are adding the new qualifying conditions to allow patients more therapy options for conditions that can be debilitating,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.

Under the state's medical marijuana program, qualified patients will be able to enroll on July 1, 2023 and obtain medical cannabis from one of the state's two manufacturers starting Aug. 1. Patients will need advance certification from a participating Minnesota healthcare provider as is the case for other qualifying conditions. More information about how to become a medical cannabis patient can be found here


What is IBS? 

IBS is a common disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea or constipation, or both. It is considered a chronic condition that has to be managed long-term. 

While a small number of people suffer from more severe symptoms, even milder ones can cause disturbance in everyday functioning. 

What is OCD?

OCD is a disorder characterized by a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears that results in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions affect normal daily activities causing significant emotional distress and anxiety.

Studies have revealed that people who suffer from either IBS or OCD could benefit from medical marijuana.

Over the last few years, the state Department of Health runs a formal petition process asking for public input on potential qualifying conditions and delivery methods for medical cannabis. Residents submitted their requests in June and July, and after a public comment period and a review panel, IBS and OCD were approved. Petitions for gastroparesis and opioid use disorder were denied. Gastroparesis was denied because some medical studies claim marijuana can make the condition worse. Opioid use disorder was rejected because of a lack of evidence as to its effectiveness. 

Now, the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana number 19 disorders. 

This year there were no petitions for new delivery methods. 

Photo: Courtesy of Christina Winter on Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsIBS and OCD medical cannabisJan Malcolm.Minnesota medical marijuanaThe Minnesota Department of Health
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