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Qualifying Conditions

How cannabis can help treat specific medical conditions

Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms including difficulty socializing, repetitive behaviors, and limited speech. Autism is a chronic condition with no cure, though early diagnosis and interventions with therapy and medication can help. 

How Cannabis may help Autism

Cannabis may help patients with autism by increasing sociability, decreasing anxiety and rigidity, and improving sleep.

Studies

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms.

How Cannabis may help Alzheimer’s disease 

While the memory and thinking symptoms associated with the disease are the most well known, it is the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia -- agitation, anxiety, apathy, depression, wandering, hallucinations, insomnia, incontinence, disinhibition -- that often cause the greatest caregiving challenges and are the leading causes for placement in assisted living or nursing homes. Left untreated, these symptoms can accelerate decline and reduce quality of life. Cannabis may help patients with Alzheimer’s disease by reducing behavioral and psychological symptoms and improving quality of life. 

Studies

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

This fatal neurodegenerative disorder is characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brainstem and motor cortex. An estimated 30,000 Americans are living with ALS, and more than half of patients die within 2.5 years following the onset of symptoms. Preclinical findings have supported anecdotal reports by patients that medical cannabis may help in moderating the disease’s development and in alleviating pain, appetite loss, and depression. Recent preclinical findings indicate that medical cannabis use might delay ALS progression and reduce symptom severity.

How Cannabis may help ALS

Cannabis may potentially protect against neuropathy, decrease pain, and reduce muscle spasms.

Cannabis may also aid in palliative care, reducing anxiety and promoting sleep.

Studies 

Cachexia

Cachexia is a condition that causes extreme weight loss and muscle wasting. It is a symptom of many chronic conditions, such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, HIV, and multiple sclerosis.

How Cannabis may help cachexia

Cannabis therapy may increase appetite, decrease pain, improve sleep, and quality of life particularly in emotional and social functioning. 

Studies

Cancer

Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting is a qualifying condition, and medical cannabis can potentially help with these symptoms and side effects.

According to the American Cancer Society, there have been some early clinical trials of medical cannabis in treating cancer in humans, and more studies are planned. The society supports more scientific research on medical cannabis for cancer patients, and supports the search for better and more effective therapies to overcome often-debilitating side effects of cancer treatment.

How Cannabis may help cancer

Cannabis therapy may help with the pain from cancer through reducing inflammation and supplementing traditional therapies.

High-THC and low-CBD products are the most commonly used products in cancer patients.

THC is effective in decreasing pain, improving appetite, improving sleep, and has anti-nausea, anti-emetic (vomiting), and anti-anxiety properties.

The small amount of CBD that is in this (type of) product has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as helps improve the anti-nausea, anti-emetic (vomiting), and anti-anxiety properties of THC, which are helpful in progressive disease and during/after chemotherapy.

Studies 

Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fever. Two-thirds to three-quarters of patients with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point during their lives. Medical cannabis can offer relief to patients who do not respond or are resistant to conventional IBD treatment.

How Cannabis may help Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

Cannabis therapy has shown to help with inflammation. Inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, cause many of their symptoms through chronic inflammation of the bowel. Cannabis may reduce this and may provide greatly reduced pain while improving quality of life.

Unlike most opioid pain relievers, cannabis does not cause constipation.

THC may reduce intestinal contractions and therefore help with cramping.

The body’s endocannabinoid system is involved with the regulation of the gastrointestinal tract. CBD and THC, the primary therapeutic chemicals in cannabis, are also cannabinoids. 

Introduction of these phytocannabinoids may help regulate the dysfunction these disorders cause in the gastrointestinal tract.

Cannabis has anti-secretory effects; it may decrease intestinal motility and the frequency of loose stools or diarrhea.

THC may act as a potent appetite stimulant, which can be helpful for patients who are experiencing nausea and associated unintended weight loss due to their symptoms.

Studies 

Epilepsy or debilitating seizures

Central nervous system disorders affect about two million Americans and 30 million people worldwide. The Epilepsy Foundation reports that one in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy during their lifetime. Seizures can cause altered consciousness and convulsions. Many medical cannabis users report a reduction in frequency of seizures and severity of symptoms.

How Cannabis may help Epilepsy & seizures

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been demonstrated to reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy and other conditions that can cause seizures.

The FDA recently approved a CBD oral solution to treat two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The exact mechanism through which CBD prevents seizures is not known, but hundreds of patient testimonials and many scientific studies have demonstrated its efficacy.

Careful monitoring of CBD and other seizure medications is needed.

Studies 

HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome

Cannabis may help with HIV/AIDS in two primary ways: assisting with the symptoms associated with HIV wasting syndrome, and mitigating the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that can be caused by HIV, some HIV treatments, and other infections.

How Cannabis may help HIV/AIDS

THC may stimulate the appetite, allowing patients to better maintain weight and combat HIV wasting syndrome.

Cannabis may also reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Studies 

Hospice care and terminal illness

Terminal illness is defined by the state of Utah as an illness with a life expectancy of less than six months

How Cannabis may help with hospice care and terminal illness

Cannabis can aid in palliative care, reducing pain, anxiety, insomnia, and improving quality of life.

Studies

Hospice care and terminal illness

Terminal illness is defined by the state of Utah as an illness with a life expectancy of less than six months

How Cannabis may help with hospice care and terminal illness

Cannabis can aid in palliative care, reducing pain, anxiety, insomnia, and improving quality of life.

Studies

Multiple sclerosis 

A number of studies have indicated that medical cannabis can be effective in the control of spasticity symptoms, pain, and urinary frequency.  

Spasm-producing conditions often originate in the central nervous system and often cause inflammation, muscular weakness and a loss of motor coordination. The National Multiple Sclerosis says, “The Society supports the rights of people with MS to work with their health care providers to access medical cannabis for medical purposes in accordance with legal regulations in those states where such use has been approved.”

How Cannabis may help Multiple Sclerosis: 

Cannabis may reduce the frequency and intensity of muscle spasms along with reducing inflammation, leading to greatly decreased overall pain. This can lead to greater mobility and gait stability, as well.

Cannabis may also help promote deeper sleep, with patients less likely to be awoken by pain or spasm during the night.

Studies

Muscle spasms

A number of studies have indicated that medical cannabis can be effective in the control of muscle spasms. 

How Cannabis may help muscle spasms:

Cannabis may reduce the frequency and intensity of muscle spasms along with reducing inflammation, leading to greatly decreased overall pain. This can lead to greater mobility and gait stability, as well.

Cannabis may also help promote deeper sleep, with patients less likely to be awoken by pain or spasm during the night.

Studies

Nausea 

Patients experiencing nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to: pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, may qualify for a medical cannabis card. 

How Cannabis may help nausea:

THC may act as a potent appetite stimulant, which can be helpful for patients who are experiencing nausea and associated unintended weight loss due to their symptoms.

Pre-clinical studies show that certain cannabinoids (THC, CBD, THCV, CBDV) and cannabinoid acids (THCA and CBDA) suppress acute nausea and vomiting as well as anticipatory nausea. 

Clinical studies suggest that certain cannabinoids and cannabis (limited evidence) use may provide relief from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). 

High-THC and low-CBD products are the most commonly used products in  patients experiencing nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment. 

THC is effective in decreasing pain, improving appetite, improving sleep, and has anti-nausea, anti-emetic (vomiting), and anti-anxiety properties.

The small amount of CBD that is in this (type of) product has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as helps improve the anti-nausea, anti-emetic (vomiting), and anti-anxiety properties of THC, which are helpful in progressive disease and during/after chemotherapy.

Studies

Pain 

Patients with pain lasting longer than two weeks that is not adequately managed, in the qualified medical provider’s opinion, despite treatment attempts using conventional medications other than opioids or opiates or physical interventions may qualify to receive a medical cannabis card. 

How Cannabis may help manage pain:

THC has shown to be effective at reducing sensations of pain, anxiety, depression, and nausea. It also may help increase appetite and improve patients’ quality and duration of sleep.

CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory agent; studies have reported CBD is anywhere from 4 to 20 times more potent than aspirin as an anti-inflammatory.

THC may cause drowsiness and dizziness, but CBD mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC. By using both THC and CBD, patients can receive the benefits of THC with less of a chance of undesirable side effects, making it more likely patients can be active and productive during the day.

Cannabis therapies have replaced or reduced opioid therapies for many of our pain patients. Many patients report an improved quality of life following this, due to the extensive side effect profile of opioid medications.

Unlike most opiod pain relievers, cannabis does not:

Studies

PTSD

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that manifests after a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD are varied but often include disturbed sleep, anxiety (specifically when in a situation similar to or reminiscent of the traumatic event), flashbacks, and others.

How Cannabis may help PTSD:

Medical cannabis may help patients with PTSD by decreasing anxiety, improving sleep, decreasing nightmares, and helping reduce avoidant behaviors.

Studies: