(Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Health

Hospice plans study on medical marijuana for dying patients

BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) — The nation’s first hospice plans to study how medical marijuana can help dying patients.

Officials from Connecticut Hospice Inc. in Branford said Monday they hope to improve pain management while also reducing opioid use in palliative care.

They also want to decrease nausea and vomiting while improving patients’ appetites and overall well-being.

Last week, St. Francis Hospital in Hartford announced it received state approval to begin studying the effectiveness of medical marijuana as a painkiller for traumatic injuries.

Connecticut Hospice Inc. says it has federal approval for its study.

A recent state law enables research into the benefits of medical marijuana to be vetted by a new institutional review board and okayed by the state’s Department of Consumer Protection commissioner. Connecticut’s medical marijuana program allows such research to take place.