Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
The Medical Marijuana Act (Act) was approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on April 17, 2016. This made the use, possession, and sale of medicinal marijuana lawful. Each patient must be a resident of Pennsylvania in order to apply for a medical marijuana card and purchase medicinal marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries. The patient's medical condition(s) must be confirmed by a physician with PDH approval in order for them to obtain certification for medical cannabis treatment.
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodivergent condition that can alter behavior and communication. Patients with autism often experience agitation and anxiety that can lead to aggressive behavior and challenges with impulse control.
The calming effects of cannabis may help individuals manage their tension, stress, and anxiety, reducing the occurrence of aggressive episodes. Medical marijuana may also help patients better tolerate stimulation to limit agitation.
Pennsylvania recognizes cancer and remission therapy as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. Cancer and its therapies lead to many physical and emotional side effects that tax the body. Patients often experience nerve pain, nausea, diminished appetite, weight loss, depression, and anxiety.
The stimulating and soothing effects of THC and CBD contained in medical marijuana increase appetite and ease nausea. These effects can improve caloric intake, increasing body weight. Gains in nutrition help patients progress through their cancer treatment and recovery.
The calming effects of cannabis can ease depression and anxiety symptoms. Stabilizing mood enhances quality of life and outlook during treatment.
Anxiety disorders adversely impact the ability to engage with the world, enjoy life, and function day-to-day. The condition is also linked to diminished physical health because elevated anxiety adversely affects the cardiovascular and immune systems.
The calming effects of marijuana may help patients manage anxiety symptoms, easing prolonged tension that limits their ability to enjoy life and engage with the world. The dispensary pharmacist can recommend strains and doses best suited to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when the natural fight-or-flight response is chronically engaged. PTSD causes depression, insomnia, anxiety, and physical symptoms due to the unmanaged stress response. Many of these symptoms exacerbate each other, making it difficult for patients to function.
The sedative effects of cannabis can help with sleeplessness and anxiety, allowing patients to manage their insomnia and restlessness. In addition, the calming effects can make it easier for patients to participate in life, reengaging with work and recreational activities.
Severe Chronic or Intractable Pain
Medical marijuana helps patients address their chronic or intractable pain through the endocannabinoid system, a neurochemical network that supports the nervous system. Severe pain has crippling effects on functional tolerance. Unrelenting pain also takes an emotional toll, leading to fatigue and feelings of hopelessness.
Cannabis enters the bloodstream and blocks receptors that relay messages, helping mute the signals that transmit pain to the brain. Cannabis is considered a viable alternative to opioid medications, which carry a high risk of addiction and many detrimental physical side effects.
Full List of Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions
Doctors can only issue medical marijuana certificates for the following state-approved conditions:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Anxiety disorders
- Chronic Hepatitis C
- Crohn's disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system
- Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
- Severe, chronic, or intractable pain
- Sickle cell anemia
- Terminal illness
- Tourette syndrome
- Huntington's disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intractable seizures
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Opioid use disorder
- Parkinson's disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Don’t Have a Qualifying Condition on This List
If you have a medical condition that causes serious, life-altering symptoms, cannabis may be able to help. Many of the state’s approved qualifying conditions include multiple diagnoses. The best way to confirm your eligibility is to consult an experienced medical marijuana doctor.
A physician can assess your symptoms and advise you about how cannabis can help treat them. The Sanctuary works with a network of compassionate medical marijuana doctors who can answer all your questions and issue a certificate if you are eligible for one. Our team can also guide you through compiling necessary paperwork and registering with the state. Contact us today to learn more.