Does Epidermolysis Bullosa Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Georgia?
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a rare condition causing painful blisters on the skin or inside the body.
While no one knows for sure, epidermolysis bullosa is suspected to affect nearly 1 in 30,000 to 50,000 people.
While there is no known cure, treatment plans typically include heavy pain management and preventing the risk of developing complications.
Because EB can cause such debilitating pain, medical marijuana is used to help reduce pain and improve quality of life.
Georgia approves the use of medical marijuana for those who suffer with epidermolysis bullosa.
What is Epidermolysis Bullosa?
Epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, is a rare genetic condition that causes blisters to appear on or in the skin.
EB can be passed on from one or both parents who have the disease, or it can arise as a new mutation in the affected person. ‘
It can range from mild to severe, and complications of the condition can be dangerous.
There are three different types of EB based on where the blisters occur:
dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) – Affects the collagen level of the dermis layer of the skin preventing layers of skin from joining correctly, ranging from mild to severe
epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) – The most common type, develops on outer layer of skin, usually hands or feet affected, ranging from mild to severe
junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) – A rare type of EB that usually begins in infancy, vocal cords can become blistered and scarred, ranges from moderate to severe
EB is a genetic disorder that can’t be prevented or cured, and treatment plans typically focus on pain management.
Opioids and other narcotics are often prescribed as pain relievers, and there are no EB-specific medications to help treat the condition.
Complications of EB can include
Joint or Fingers Fusing
Malnutrition or Deficiency
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Can Medical Marijuana Treat Epidermolysis Bullosa?
While medical marijuana cannot prevent or cure EB, those who suffer from this debilitating condition may find medical marijuana to be effective for pain management.
EB can cause extreme pain and discomfort, and medical marijuana has been used to treat pain and the perception of pain for a very long time.
While EB is a rare condition, the use of medical marijuana has been studied on patients with EB, although at a very limited capacity, likely due to the small population the condition affects.
A study published in 2018 followed three patients who were diagnosed with varying degrees of EB and tracked their medication usage and experience with medical marijuana.
The results were surprisingly positive in the small control, there was a lot of promise for cannabis as a pain reliever and possible alternative to opioids.
All three patients saw a reduction in itchiness, one patient withdrew due to their insurance cancelling their reimbursement for cannabis oil, another patient insisted on continuing to use cannabis alongside the opioids as his condition developed into end-stage, and one patient stopped using their previous opioid medications altogether in favor of cannabis.
While studies surrounding EB and medical marijuana are limited, much research has been done on cannabis as a pain reliever.
It is for these reasons that the state of Georgia has approved epidermolysis bullosa as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
If you’d like to know more about treating pain from epidermolysis bullosa with medical marijuana, consult with one of our medical marijuana professionals and they can help you navigate the right options for you.
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