On a case by case basis, the WCB may consider a three‐month trial of medical cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Prince Edward Island has updated its rules on the approval of medical cannabis use for specific circumstances and conditions.
The WCB will consider the approval of medical cannabis in instances where it is being used for the treatment of compensable injuries or diseases and where it is authorized by a single health care provider — recognized by the WCB — who has conducted an in‐person assessment of the worker. Approval may also be given where there is objective medical evidence that standard treatment options, including pharmaceutical cannabinoids, have been tried and have been unsuccessful.
Should the use be approved, medical cannabis must be supplied by a producer approved by the WCB, with the organization setting the limit to a maximum of three grams of dried leaves per day of cannabidiol (CBD) rich preparation.
The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of medical cannabis must be no greater than one per cent to be considered for approval. Higher THC content may be considered if there are exceptional medical circumstances, as determined by the WCB.
Workers are also obligated to disclose possible impairment due to medical cannabis use to their employer before WCB approval. The WCB may approve medical cannabis for spasticity due to spinal cord injury; nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy; loss of appetite in cancer patients and patients with HIV/AIDS; and symptoms encountered in palliative/end of life care.
On a case by case basis, the organization may consider a three‐month trial of medical cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain if there is an objectively identified source of the chronic neuropathic pain, and the chronic neuropathic pain has not responded to standard treatment options.
The use of medical cannabis may also be approved if a functional assessment or a review of the treating physician’s or nurse practitioner’s clinical notes is conducted, and if a detailed risk assessment has been completed by the authorizing physician or nurse practitioner, the WCB said.
The WCB will not approve cannabis for smoking purposes because of known respiratory and cardiovascular risks of smoking, except in exceptional instances of end of life care.