Getting High to Get By: What Are the General Medical Card Requirements?

Around 20 years ago, scientists discovered how marijuana works within the human body. Surprisingly, marijuana boosts a system that humans use every moment of every day.

This system regulates everything from how hair grows to the way bowels process waste. It controls inflammation and nerve receptors. This is why adding medical marijuana to your pain management routine helps ease these problems.

The problem is, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Possession of a small amount can lead to big trouble in certain places.

To keep patients safe, states made their own medical marijuana laws. All a patient needs to do is apply for a card.

How to you know if you qualify for a medical marijuana card? This guide will walk you through the general medical card requirements.

Why Patients Turn to Marijuana for Relief

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the major systems that maintain balance in human bodies. Think of it as an instant messaging system for your cells.

The “messages” sent between the cells are delivered by cannabinoids. Our bodies produce these cannabinoids on their own as-needed.

Some researchers believe a lack of home-grown cannabinoids leads to conditions like fibromyalgia. These conditions generally include intense nerve pain and swelling.

The good news is, you can supplement cannabinoids with an outside source. Marijuana contains over 100 various cannabinoids. Each works in the ECS in their own way.

Well-known cannabinoids and how they help:

    ∙ CBD – Great for reducing inflammation

    ∙ THC – Calms pain receptors

    ∙ CBG – Reduces eye pressure 

    ∙ CBC – Boosts the effects of other cannabinoids and eases pain

    ∙ CBN – Reduces seizures and aids sleep

While each cannabinoid works well on their own, they work the best together. This is known as the entourage effect.

THC is the only cannabinoid that makes the user feel high. It is also why marijuana is illegal on a federal level. 

You can get the benefits of cannabinoids without the high, though. Industrial hemp has 0.3% THC and around 10% CBD, plus other cannabinoids. 

Hemp-based CBD products, like CBD moon rocks, are great for pain patients. These products are available in states with and without medical marijuana laws.

For patients who need added help from THC, most states require a medical marijuana card.

Health Conditions that Qualify for Medical Marijuana

The downside to each state writing their own law is there’s a lot of confusion. Patients hear that their condition qualifies in one state, but their state won’t accept it. 

Unfortunately, with the current laws, all the homework falls on patients. They have to find out if they qualify and how to apply.

To help, here’s a shortlist of qualifying conditions from medical marijuana states:

    ∙ Alaska – HIV/AIDS, seizures, multiple sclerosis, severe chronic pain

    ∙ Arizona – Cancer, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease, PTSD, wasting syndrome

    ∙ Arkansas – Glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, severe arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease

    ∙ Connecticut –  Epilepsy, sickle cell disease, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, intractable headache syndromes

    ∙ Florida – Parkinson’s disease, cancer, a terminal condition, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis

    ∙ Hawaii – Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, severe muscle spasms, Crohn’s disease

    ∙ Iowa – AIDS/HIV, terminal illness, multiple sclerosis, untreatable pain, Lou Gehrig’s disease

    ∙ Louisiana – Wasting syndrome, spasticity, PTSD, cancer, seizure disorders

    ∙ Maryland – Anorexia, epilepsy, muscle spasms, PTSD, severe pain

    ∙ Minnesota – Tourette’s syndrome, autism, cancer, multiple sclerosis, intractable pain

    ∙ Missouri – Intractable migraines, Parkinson’s disease, terminal illness, Huntington’s disease

    ∙ Montana – Chronic pain, intractable nausea, peripheral neuropathy, nervous system disorders

    ∙ New Hampshire – Ehler’s Danlos syndrome, muscular dystrophy, chronic pancreatitis, traumatic brain injury

    ∙ New Jersey – Inflammatory bowel disease, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, migraines

    ∙ New Mexico – Huntington’s disease, nerve damage to the spine, spasmodic torticollis

    ∙ New York – Fibromyalgia, diabetes, lupus, neuropathy, IBD, glaucoma, arthritis

    ∙ North Dakota – Spinal stenosis, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease, seizures, muscle spasms

    ∙ Ohio – AIDS, IBD, Parkinson’s disorder, PTSD, sickle cell anemia, ulcerative colitis

    ∙ Pennsylvania – Neuropathies, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders, terminal illness

    ∙ Rhode Island – Cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS

    ∙ Utah – Persistent nausea, ulcerative colitis, muscle spasms, PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease

    ∙ West Virginia – Nerve damage to the spine, wasting syndrome, cancer, chronic pain

Keep in mind, this is not a full list. The list also doesn’t cover states with medical marijuana laws and recreational laws.

To be sure you meet medical card requirements, check the local laws. Some states are flexible about what conditions qualify. Ask your doctor if you don’t see your condition listed but think marijuana will help.

The Medical Card Requirements

The first step to fulfilling the requirements is to see if you have a qualifying condition. It shouldn’t take too long to find your local laws and check. Every state has a website dedicated to their medical card requirements.

Next, it’s time to have a chat with your doctor.

Some doctors won’t discuss medical marijuana use at all. If you feel that marijuana will help your quality of life, find another doctor. There are quite a few doctors now who are open to getting medicinal marijuana in patients’ hands.

The trick is to be honest with your doctor. Don’t downplay your pain and suffering. They want to help any way they can.

After your doctor signs off on your marijuana use, fill out the forms for the card. The process varies from state to state. You may need to attach verification of your medical needs.
There is a fee to process a medical marijuana card. The fee is different in each state, but the average cost is around $50. 

An important thing to note is that these medical cards are only good for a year. Some states offer cards good for up to 3 years. The fees for multi-year cards go up to around $250.

Getting Medicinal Marijuana Isn’t Too Difficult

Medical marijuana allows patients to love life again thanks to its healing cannabinoids. 
Unfortunately, the medical card requirements for each state are wildly different. It makes an already complicated medical system even harder for patients.

Don’t feel intimidated by the confusing laws surrounding marijuana. Nothing should stop you from finding a medication that eases your pain.

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