West Virginia Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

West Virginia residents with qualifying health conditions (and their caregivers) can obtain medical marijuana cards that enable them to purchase and possess medical cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries. While it’s still federally prohibited, 37 states permit the use of marijuana products by medical marijuana patients with MMJ cards. West Virginia passed its Medical Cannabis Act in 2017.

Cannabis provides effective symptom control for many serious medical conditions. Medical marijuana allows patients to regain lost functional tolerance, often with milder side effects than many conventional interventions. These gains improve the quality of life and overall well-being of many individuals.

Cannabis is not a cure-all for any disease. Rather, it can mitigate symptoms and/or side effects of treatment. This article covers common qualifying conditions in West Virginia, how cannabis can serve as an alternative treatment option, and the steps to take if you believe cannabis could improve your quality of life.

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1: Cancer

One of the first widely-accepted uses of medical marijuana was for managing the effects of cancer. The disease and its treatments harm cells, leading to debilitating side effects that compromise the quality of life.

Cannabis can help stimulate appetite and ease nausea. These effects help patients maintain their body weight and combat their illnesses. In addition, marijuana is an effective analgesic that blocks nerve pain that often develops due to cancer care.

Marijuana also causes an uplifting effect to combat depression and anxiety symptoms that patients may experience during their recoveries.

2: Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that compromises motor function and alters thinking. The standard treatments cause many side effects and lose their effectiveness over time.

Studies on cannabis have shown improved hand-eye coordination and a reduction of tremors and motor symptoms. Many patients describe a "calming" effect from cannabis that eases the body. Medical marijuana can also improve insomnia and reduce depression symptoms, two common conditions caused by the disease.

3: Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that disrupts digestion, causing abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating. Symptoms of the disease can be debilitating during flare-ups.

Many patients use marijuana for pain control because it carries lower side effects than narcotic medications and opioids. Cannabis also reduces nausea and stimulates appetite, which often suffers due to the extent of gastric symptoms.

Doctors speculate the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis may help with the severity of flare-ups, but further study is needed to confirm this hypothesis.

4: Chronic Pain

The effectiveness of medical marijuana as a pain reliever has helped fuel legalization across the country. Rather than opioids and other pain medications, which carry a high risk of dependence and detrimental physical side effects, many patients rely on cannabis.

In many cases, marijuana has milder effects on cognition and focus than medications. Cannabis effectively mutes pain signals traveling across the nervous system, relieving pain caused by neurological disorders, traumatic injury, and underlying diseases.

5: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The calming effects of medical marijuana help many patients combat their PTSD symptoms. The disorder causes a sustained state of hyperarousal, leading to anxiety, depression, and chronic inflammation due to immune system changes.

The sedative effects of cannabis can help patients improve sleep, ease anxiety, and re-engage with their environment. Lowering stress may help reduce the inflammatory response. The treatment is a viable alternative to the conventional antidepressant medication used to manage the disorder.

Full List of West Virginia Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

West Virginia accepts the following qualifying medical conditions.

  • Cancer (all forms)
  • Epilepsy and other intractable seizure disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Chronic or intractable pain
  • Neuropathies
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness (as defined by a medical prognosis with a life expectancy of one year or less)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Intractable spasticity

Don’t Have A Qualifying Condition on This List

If you do not have one of the listed qualifying conditions or are unsure about your eligibility for an MMJ identification card in West Virginia, the Sanctuary can help. A staff member can explain the medical cannabis program’s rules and help determine if you’re a qualifying patient according to WV’s medical marijuana laws.

We can then refer you to a caring West Virginia medical marijuana doctor for an evaluation and recommendation if appropriate. Once that licensed physician issues you a certificate, we can advise you on how to submit an application to the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis (overseen by the West Virginia Department of Health) to ensure you become an official medical cannabis patient and receive your medical marijuana ID card as soon as possible (given you’re eligible).

The application will require your a photo ID (such as a driver’s license) and involve a background check.

Once you obtain a medical cannabis card and join the state’s medical marijuana program, you’ll be able to purchase medical cannabis products like tinctures, dermal patches, dry leaf, topicals (like ointments and creams), gels, vaporization wares, and other items containing THC and CBD from dispensaries in the state of West Virginia.