What Medical Problems Does Marijuana Help?Written by Chris Weatherall on Dec 28, 2017
If you’ve got a medical condition that does not respond well to traditional pharmaceutical medication, or the medications have their own nasty side effects, you may be wondering if medical marijuana would be a good alternative.
The answer, of course, depends on each individual’s situation. That is why, at least in Arizona, you must get a referral from a physician before obtaining a medical marijuana ID card. You need this ID card in order to legally purchase cannabis for medical use in Arizona.
The referring physician must conduct an in-person exam, carefully review your medical records and then determine if there is a qualifying need both in his or her medical opinion as well as according to state guidelines.
Plus, Arizona medical marijuana ID cards typically cost between $250 to $300 in state fees and certification fees.
Before going through that formal process, we suggest that you take a look at the information below about what kind of conditions respond well to cannabis treatment, as well as which conditions are specifically authorized under Arizona law for medical marijuana use.
What Can Cannabinoids Treat?
Here’s an extensive list of the many ailments that tend to respond positively to cannabis treatment:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain concussions and trauma
- Breathing disorders
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Pain relief for the terminally ill
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette syndrome
- Wasting diseases
In general, marijuana is known to have the following effects on the body:
- Relieves pain
- Reduces inflammation
- Decreases nausea
- Stimulates appetite
- Reduces seizures
- Speeds healing of the brain
- Interrupts REM sleep
For people who are using highly addictive prescription drugs (like opioids or benzodiazepines) to manage their symptoms, or who are self-medicating with alcohol, tobacco or street drugs, medical marijuana can be a healthier alternative.
Marijuana is not physically addictive like many other drugs. However, it is still a drug and, like all drugs, it’s important to use it appropriately under a doctor’s supervision.
What Illnesses Are Approved for Medical Marijuana Use by the State of Arizona?
In the state of Arizona, medical marijuana has only been approved for certain uses. These are the conditions that have the most scientific backing for cannabis treatment, and where the need is most urgent due to the severity of conditions and their symptoms.
Here are the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana use in Arizona:
Cannabis has been shown to relieve the pain and nausea that cancer patients experience from both the disease itself as well as the treatments for cancer, like chemotherapy. Some research even suggests that marijuana (CBD in particular) can actually slow the spread of cancer cells.
Glaucoma is an eye disease where too much pressure in the eyeball can damage the optic nerve over time, leading to blindness. Marijuana can relieve pressure inside the eye, which may slow the onset of blindness.
HIV & AIDS
Although there’s not yet a cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), patients can find relief from their symptoms with marijuana. The drug has also been shown to improve appetite and elevate mood.
Because the treatment for hepatitis C has harsh side effects and lasts for months, many patients never complete treatment. Cannabis has been found to ease treatment symptoms so that patients can complete their regimen. In a 2006 study, hepatitis C treatment completion jumped from 29 percent to 86 percent with the use of marijuana.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. There’s no cure yet, but marijuana can help slow the progression of the disease and reduce inflammation in the brain.
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease with unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and pain. Marijuana can help regulate bacteria in the gut and restore normal intestinal functioning.
Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
While the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet completely certain, scientists believe that one of the major culprits is beta-amyloid plaques. Cannabis inhibits the enzyme that makes them, which can help slow the progress of the disease.
Certain Chronic or Debilitating Medical Problems
Which other diseases and conditions qualify for medical marijuana use in Arizona? Anything that causes one or more of the following:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy)
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms (including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis)
Personalized Assistance Is Available
Once you start looking into medical marijuana products, you will find that there are a mind-boggling number of options. This can be confusing, but it also means that you can select a product that is targeted to your symptoms and lifestyle.
Kind Meds is an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary that is staffed with experts in medical cannabis products. We encourage you to call us or come into our dispensary to speak one-on-one with one of our knowledgeable medical marijuana experts who can help you with:
- Getting an idea of which products are available for your medical condition and how to use them
- Understanding the qualifying conditions for an Arizona medical marijuana card
- Refer you to doctors who are knowledgeable in medical cannabis use
Once you have your ID card and doctor’s referral, we can help you choose the specific product that works best for your unique medical needs, according to your doctor’s prescription. Come visit us in Mesa, Arizona, or contact us here to get started from home.