Journal of the California Cannabis Research Medical
Cannabis Specialists Agree
Health History Questionnaire
Jeff Hergenrather, Tod Mikuriya and Frank Lucido of the California Cannabis
Research Medical Group have developed a questionnaire for patients that elicits
extensive information about cannabis use.
The three physicians have submitted an abstract to the International Cannabinoid
Research Society and hope to make a presentation at the ICRS meeting to be
held this summer in Naples, Italy.
Here is the abstract, as drafted by Hergenrather. ["ICD" stands for "International
Classification of Disease."]
Pre-1937 citations in the medical literature for cannabis treated conditions
include 28 codeable diagnoses among them chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases,
seizure disorders, mental disorders, drug and alcohol dependence, cerebral
palsy, migraine, colitis, gastritis, premenstrual syndrome, arthritis, (rheumatoid,
degenerative and post-traumatic), nausea, anorexia and insomnia. Since 1996
these earlier cited conditions and more than 100 other ICD-9 codeable conditions
have been encountered by California physicians in the evaluations of patients
presenting for medicinal cannabis use. There are >30,000 patients followed
by the physician members of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group,
CCRMG. It has been the resolve of this group to develop a comprehensive health
history questionnaire and data entry program to build a research database,
further knowledge of cannabis therapeutics, and identify a patient population
for future approved cannabis research.
Health history forms were collected from physicians who are evaluating patients
with serious medical conditions for cannabis use. Information from 10 physicians'
intake forms were collated and edited into the present document, The Health
History Questionnaire (HHQ).
It was then circulated among the contributing physicians for further discussion.
A few considered the form to be excessively long and more subject to inaccurate
responses. For other physicians the form was fully adopted or used to modify
their existing documents. Subsequently, a data entry program was designed to
mirror the HHQ content and assign an identity to each question to facilitate
future modifications in the questionnaire. The HHQ and data entry software
are now available for those who wish to use them.
Because there is no requirement in California to report cannabis-approved patients,
it is impossible to accurately determine the numbers of physicians and patients
involved in this form of therapy. At this time it has been estimated that 4,000
physicians have approved the use of cannabis to at least 60,000 patients in
in the state. Fewer than 20 physicians, willing to be publicly identified as
cannabis consultants, have approved about half of these patients.
Physician education remains the principle deficiency in fostering a more broad-based
involvement in the medical community. Use of the HHQ and data entry software
and subsequent voluntary sharing of information will create a database that
will help to educate physicians in cannabis therapeutics and advance cannabinoid
is the journal of the CCRMG/SCC. Our primary goals are the same
as the stated goals of any
reputable scientific publication: to bring out findings that are
accurate, duplicable, and useful to the community at large. But in
order to do this, we have to pursue parallel goals such as removing
the impediments to clinical research created by Prohibition, and
educating our colleagues, co-workers and patients as we educate ourselves
about the medical uses of cannabis.
| The Society
of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC) was formed in the Autumn of 2004 by
the member physicians of CCRMG
to aid in the promulgation of voluntary standards for clinicians
engaged in the recommendation and approval of cannabis under California
law (HSC §11362.5).
As the collaborative effort continues to move closer to issueing
guidelines, this site serves as a public venue for airing and
discussing these guidelines.
Visit the SCC Site for more information.