Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Tennessee doesn’t have a medical marijuana program, but it does have a CBD program. A substance in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t have psychoactive effects and also provides relief for some conditions. Because of these properties, some politicians find CBD acceptable. That’s why some places allow CBD treatment in special circumstances. Tennesee has a research-based CBD program.
Tennessee’s Senate Bill 2531 added a narrow legal protection for select patients. After some adjustments in 2015 and 2016, some people can get legal CBD treatment. Patients who participate in clinical research studies on CBD can use it for certain ailments. These studies must examine treatment-resistant seizures.
Patients can buy CBD oil made from hemp legally to treat their conditions. If the oil has less than 0.3 percent THC in it, it doesn’t need a doctor’s recommendation. You can follow both state and federal laws to get your CBD without worry.
Only people with severe epilepsy and seizure conditions can get medical CBD from a study, and their condition has to match the criteria for study subjects. For example, if a study examines patients with Dravet syndrome, you must have Dravet syndrome to participate.
CBD supplement products can relieve a wide variety of symptoms — you don’t have to have a specific condition to qualify for it. Try using it to treat chronic pain, inflammation or insomnia. In most cases, CBD products don’t cause harmful side effects. Check with your doctor for a professional opinion if possible.
You must participate in a study to get marijuana-based CBD treatment, and only university-affiliated doctors can write a recommendation. Also, the recommendation has to have research-related purposes. The state does not provide a list of studies to join. Instead, you need to check the official U.S. clinical trials website to find one.
Retail CBD products don’t need a recommendation or prescription for purchase. You can visit a natural health store or an online shop to buy it. Remember to check the product’s ingredients and cannabinoid content before buying.
Tennessee has a long way to go before having a program that serves patients well, but these research policies are a respectable start. The research Tennessee scientists conduct will provide us with more data on CBD’s benefits, which we can then use to advocate for patient access.
If you want to keep track of legislative changes, we can help. Our monthly email newsletter informs patients of news in the world of medical cannabis. Sign up to stay in the know.