Illinois Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

Illinois residents can manage their debilitating medical conditions with medical marijuana if they have a diagnosis accepted by the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program. Today, tens of thousands of Illinois residents use Illinois medical cannabis because it improves their quality of life and day-to-day function.

If you or a loved one is grappling with limitations due to a chronic illness, cannabis could be life-changing. Although it is not curative, qualified medical marijuana doctors can explain the benefits of cannabis and advise you on its potential role in your care.

The following are the most common conditions that qualifying patients are diagnosed with in the state of Illinois.

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1: Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects you physically and emotionally, and it can disrupt everything from employment to leisure activities. Unfortunately, conventional treatments often involve unwanted side effects that can further diminish your quality of life.

The THC and CBD in medical marijuana bind and block CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system. Once there, they alter pain pathways, modulating dopamine and serotonin transmission, which control reward pathways in the nervous system. Medical cannabis can serve as an effective alternative to traditional treatments for chronic pain.

2: Cancer

Cancer and its treatments diminish appetite, cause pain, elevate anxiety, and induce nausea. Medical marijuana counteracts the side effects of cancer treatment to help you function on a day-to-day basis.

Weed effectively stimulates appetite, which can help improve your nutritional intake. Additionally, cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, eases nausea, and improves anxiety symptoms.

3: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is debilitating and unpredictable, making it especially difficult to manage with conventional therapies. It's often accompanied by depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal.

Current research links PTSD symptoms with overactivity in the CB1 receptors that affect the amygdala and thrust the brain's stress response into overdrive. Medical marijuana blocks these overstimulated CB1 receptors to quiet the brain activity believed to elevate one’s stress response.

4: Migraines

Migraines cause painful symptoms that can last for days. While research is currently limited, there is strong evidence from surveys of migraine sufferers that cannabis alleviates the effects of migraines and may reduce their occurrence.

Researchers are still studying how and why migraines occur, but THC and CBD can help manage nausea and pain, symptoms that often make work and school difficult for migraine sufferers.

5: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism is characterized by withdrawal, aggression, and anxiety. The calming effects of medical marijuana can help balance one’s mood, ease tension, and reduce episodes of aggression and compulsion.

Researchers believe THC and CBD work cooperatively. Medical cannabis engenders psychological stability by simultaneously engaging and blocking overactive and miscommunicating CB receptors.

Full List of Illinois Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

Illinois accepts the following qualifying medical conditions:

  • Autism
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neuro-Behcet’s autoimmune disease
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
  • Spinal cord injury causing damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury

Don’t Have A Qualifying Condition on This List

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) does not grant waivers for medical cannabis cards for those with conditions that are not listed under its Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act. However, they do accept petitions to add conditions each year from December 1 to December 31.

In addition, patients who could or have received opioids may qualify for medical marijuana under Illinois' Opioid Alternative Pilot Program.

Even if your debilitating condition is not on the state’s qualifying list, you can still contact the Sanctuary to discuss medical marijuana and the Illinois application process. We can connect you with an Illinois medical marijuana healthcare provider so you can receive your diagnosis, fill out your online application, become a medical cannabis patient, and start visiting dispensaries in no time.