Washington D.C. Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

You may qualify for a Washington D.C. medical marijuana card if the symptoms of a health condition hinder your ability to enjoy time with your family and friends, work, or carry out everyday activities. Under the supervision of the district’s Department of Health (DOH), healthcare providers in Washington D.C. can issue recommendations for medical cannabis for any medical condition they believe will respond to medical marijuana treatment.

Medical cannabis programs continue growing nationwide as patients experience significant benefits from the therapy, and Washington D.C. offers a robust medical marijuana program for D.C. residents. While marijuana cannot cure any condition, it can provide effective and low-risk symptom relief, removing barriers to normal function and activity.

Scientists’ and healthcare providers’ knowledge about cannabis products’ treatment value and broad applicability continues to grow as access to marijuana products expands. Read on to familiarize yourself with many of the common qualifying medical conditions you may be able to address with medical marijuana.

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1: Chronic Pain

Chronic pain may result from nerve damage, degenerative changes, long-term effects of an injury, or as a result of another chronic medical condition. The medical community now views medical cannabis as a viable alternative to opioids and other narcotics used to manage chronic pain.

Cannabis blocks receptors along the nervous system from transmitting pain signals. Muting the messages eases persistent and restrictive pain. Medical marijuana is effective and carries both a lower risk of dependence and milder side effects than many conventional pharmaceuticals.

In addition, qualifying patients often report less cognitive impairment from cannabis than from opioid medication.

2: Cancer

Cancer causes pain, anxiety, and stress. The interventions used to destroy cancer cells also attack healthy cells, leading to nausea, appetite loss, pain, inflammation, sleep disturbance, and neuropathy.

For many patients, cannabis manages the side effects of cancer therapy. Cannabis helps reduce episodes of nausea and improves appetite. This reduction in side effects allows patients to absorb adequate nutrients and maintain body weight.

The pain-relieving effects of cannabis also ease discomfort and resulting functional difficulty with fewer side effects than narcotic analgesics. The soothing effect of cannabis can enhance sleep quality, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.

3: Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that compromises an individual's motor control, cognitive ability, and mood. Patients who treat themselves with medical marijuana often report pain relief and reduction in muscle cramping from cannabis use.

Some individuals see improvement in their freezing symptoms and tremors. Cannabis’ effect on the motor system and pain can improve mobility and function for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The soothing and relaxing effects of cannabis also improve sleep quality, depression and anxiety symptoms, and restless leg syndrome. Stabilizing mood helps patients cope with their diagnosis and enhances their quality of life.

4: Alzheimer’s Disease

The memory and cognitive changes that result from Alzheimer's disease can lead to agitation, aggression, and physical outbursts. Medical marijuana has a stabilizing effect on mood, helping patients manage their emotions.

The calming effect of cannabis can improve the overall well-being of patients and their compliance with conventional treatments. Research is in its earliest stages, but investigators hypothesize that medical cannabis may help slow the disease’s progression. Scientists are exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of THC and CBD.

5: Epilepsy

One of the only FDA-approved forms of cannabis treatment is for managing specific types of pediatric epilepsy. While research is ongoing, doctors often recommend medical cannabis to manage other forms of epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Researchers propose medical cannabis may help ease tension, anxiety, and atypical neural activity that trigger epileptic episodes while dampening the intensity of seizures when they do occur.

Full List of Washington D.C. Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

Washington D.C. allows providers to issue medical marijuana recommendations for any condition if they believe cannabis can manage symptoms. The best way to determine if cannabis can help you is by consulting an experienced medical marijuana doctor.

Cannabis may manage the pain, sleep disturbance, digestive distress, and mood changes resulting from chronic conditions like colitis, neuropathy, arthritis, autism, neurodegenerative disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other health conditions.

The side effects of progressive illnesses and their treatments, like multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, and terminal illness also qualify you for a medical marijuana card.

Don’t Have A Qualifying Condition on This List

The use of medical marijuana can be transformative for medical marijuana patients with a broad array of conditions that don’t respond to conventional interventions, such as muscle spasms or glaucoma. The Sanctuary can connect you with a medical provider to assess your suitability for medical cannabis. That medical marijuana doctor will help you understand the potential benefits and risks of this alternative medical treatment.

Once you decide to move forward and obtain a medical cannabis card, we can advise you about each step of the application process and program regulations. Note that if you’re a minor (under 18 years of age), you will have to appoint a designated caregiver to submit an application on your behalf.

Our staff will help you submit a strong MMJ card application so you can become a cardholder and start purchasing medical cannabis products like edibles, tinctures, and topicals from licensed dispensaries in the District of Columbia. Contact us today to learn more.