Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Certain states without medical marijuana programs have CBD programs, which mandate citizens’ use of the compound cannabidiol. CBD comes from the marijuana plant, but it doesn’t make you feel “high.” Since CBD has specific health benefits backed by research, some states allow it in limited situations. Texas has a CBD program that serves a select population of patients.
Senate Bill 339, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, lets qualifying patients with seizures use CBD. If a patient joins the state registry, they can use medicine with under 0.5 percent THC and over 10 percent CBD. The state licenses doctors and dispensaries to work with CBD. Registered dispensaries can grow and produce their medicine as long as they follow the content requirements.
As part of the CBD program, doctors can give patients “prescriptions” for CBD medicine. Please note that prescribing most marijuana medicine is federally illegal. You should not get in trouble for participating in the registry. However, some doctors may hesitate to join because of this technicality.
Texas allows patients with “intractable epilepsy” to join the state registry. According to SB 339, a seizure disorder that does not respond to two treatments counts as intractable epilepsy. Severe seizure conditions treated with CBD include:
To qualify for the registry, keep in mind that you must also have Texas residency. Patients of any age can sign up.
If you think you may qualify, you can join the Compassionate Use Registry with a doctor’s help. The physician must have a certification to recommend CBD. Once you find a registered doctor, you can apply. Your doctor will add you to the registry for you if they think you qualify. You will need a second doctor’s opinion, but they will contact the second physician on your behalf.
Texas’ CBD program serves only a few patients, but it lays out a fantastic foundation for a future medical marijuana program. If the state ever expands qualifying conditions and medicine types, they can add on to the existing low-THC rules. They would already have a framework for patients, dispensaries and doctors. Leaving most of the registration up to doctors also reduces application errors and processing times. To learn about future program expansions, sign up for our newsletter.