On August 19, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians voted unanimously in favor of adding complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS/RSD) to the list of conditions covered under Connecticut’s medical marijuana law, meaning that marijuana use will be allowed for those who suffer from CRPS/RSD.
CRPS/RSD will join six other conditions that are pending final approval:
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Fabry disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
- Post-laminectomy syndrome
If the conditions pass further review, the state would significantly expand the existing list of 11 conditions that qualify a state resident 18 years old or older and legally registered to buy and use medical marijuana in Connecticut. The existing conditions include cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDs, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, intractable spasticity related to nerve damage in the spinal cord, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Medical experts say marijuana has the potential not only to ease the pain suffered by CRPS/RSD patients, but also lessen the side effects of other medications used to treat the condition, which include depression, nausea, and headaches.
What is CRPS/RSD?
Complex regional pain syndrome is a debilitating chronic pain condition that typically manifests following some sort of trauma or surgery that damages the peripheral nervous system. The symptoms of CRPS/RSD include prolonged or excessive pain in the affected area and changes in skin color, temperature, and swelling. The areas of the body usually affected include the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Board members noted that CRPS/RSD is in the same vein as neuropathic pain, which is described as pain that accompanies damage to nerve fibers, causing them to misfire. The state’s medical marijuana laws already cover neuropathic pain.