by Missouri Health & Wellness
The year 2009 was a significant turning point for the cannabis industry in the U.S. as President Obama announced that the federal government wouldn’t seek to prosecute or arrest medical marijuana suppliers and users (as long as they conformed to state marijuana laws). Along with increasing evidence that supports medical cannabis’s potential to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from certain health conditions, state lawmakers began passing laws to make medical marijuana legal.
In Missouri, individuals enter the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) by obtaining a medical marijuana card. But first – does their health condition qualify them for cannabis treatment through MMMP? This program provides patients with certain medical conditions access to legal medical cannabis in an effective and safe way.
Qualifying Conditions for Medicinal Marijuana in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has approved the use of medical cannabis to help alleviate the symptoms of a range of medical conditions. There are currently about 24 conditions eligible for treatment with medical cannabis, but there’s also the possibility of adding new conditions in the future.
Qualifying conditions currently approved in the state of Missouri include:
- Any terminal illness
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders (If diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist)
- Huntington’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Intractable migraines (patient is unresponsive to other treatment)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (If diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Wasting syndrome
- Tourette’s syndrome
- A chronic health condition that is normally treated with prescription medication could lead to psychological or physical dependence when a state-licensed physician determines that the use of medical marijuana could be useful in treating that condition.
- A chronic health condition that causes persistent muscle spasms or severe, persistent pain.
- Any other debilitating or chronic condition that can be treated with the medical use of marijuana (in the professional judgment of a licensed physician).
Common Qualifying Conditions
Qualifying conditions are the diagnosable medical conditions that patients can treat with medical cannabis. Each state has a different list of these conditions, but certain conditions are most commonly approved for medical marijuana use.
When it comes to research, science is still exploring the ways marijuana can treat cancer. However, most states acknowledge the ability of cannabis to abate symptoms related to chemotherapy and cancer, including appetite loss, nausea, and pain. For cancer-related symptoms, most patients prefer marijuana products that contain a balance of CBD and THC.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder usually expressed in hypervigilance and panic episodes, in addition to sleep and mood disturbances. The right dose of cannabis (with higher CBD levels) can ease that anxiety, while cannabis before bedtime can help patients fall asleep and suppress nightmares.
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
Cachexia is a medical condition that typically accompanies HIV/AIDS and cancer. It is characterized by weight and appetite loss (along with fatigue and weakness)f. THC-rich varieties of medical marijuana have the potential to alleviate such symptoms, which is why many states include wasting syndrome in their qualifying conditions.
- Seizure Disorders and Epilepsy
The non-intoxicating compound in cannabis, CBD (cannabidiol), is widely recognized for its anti-seizure properties. It’s been found that CBD significantly reduces seizure frequency. Many states also approve cannabis (or specifically CBD) for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy in children and minors.
- Neurodegenerative disease
Medical marijuana has been widely approved for Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and glaucoma. For many patients who suffer from these debilitating conditions, marijuana can help improve mobility and cognition, relieve rigid muscles and spasticity, and restore quality of life.
- Nausea and Pain
Nausea and pain are two commonly approved conditions for medical marijuana. THC is known to relieve vomiting and nausea, but patients should be mindful of their dose (particularly when consuming edibles) because too much THC can worsen the condition.
Marijuana can also help in treating pain. There are several different types of pain, and states approve many of them as a qualifying medical condition. You can check with your physician whether the state of Missouri has approved the specific type of pain you’re experiencing. Many patients and doctors have found that medical marijuana or products that combine both CBD and THC are the most effective.
Some of the most effective and earliest medical marijuana advocacy in the U.S. was rooted in its ability to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms. Therefore, it makes sense that many states have approved the condition for patients with HIV/AIDS who suffer from symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and appetite loss.
- Multiple Sclerosis
Patients with MS are some of the strongest advocates in the medical marijuana movement because they have experienced the benefits marijuana has to offer. It has been found to alleviate MS-related symptoms, including muscle spasms, inflammation, abdominal discomfort, insomnia, depression, and pain.
Benefits of Having a Medical Cannabis Card in Missouri
How does the legalization of medical cannabis benefit cardholders and dispensaries? What does it mean to be a medical marijuana patient in a state where you can walk into a cannabis dispensary, present your patient ID, and purchase cannabis? The answer is – yes, obtaining a marijuana card is beneficial for medical marijuana cardholders. From affordability to access to dosage, cannabis patients will find plenty of support for their ongoing care and wellbeing on the medical side of marijuana legality.
- Higher potency limits
When it comes to medical marijuana, the dosage is crucial, and many patients out there need potent marijuana (higher levels of THC) to alleviate their symptoms. Medical cannabis dispensaries typically have more leeway when it comes to abiding by potency limits.
- Lower costs and taxes
One of the major benefits offered by many state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries is the lower cost for patients. In states that allow for recreational use of cannabis, it is highly taxed and more expensive (because it also doubles as a recreational pleasure for many). Medical marijuana dispensaries allow concessions for medical marijuana patients that recreational shops don’t. With medical cards, patients have access to their life-improving medicine at a lower cost, which makes their healthcare more accessible and affordable.
- Growing your own
The state of Missouri allows patients and caregivers to grow their own cannabis plants (a total of six flowering plants, six nonflowering plants, and six clones in the growing space). This is very beneficial for marijuana patients because they are dependent on it for their health and wellbeing. They can better offset dispensary costs with their own homegrown cannabis supply.
- Underage cannabis patients
In Missouri, anyone who is 18 years old or older can apply for a cannabis ID card. However, there are minors who are also cannabis patients, and they also need access to their medicine. The state of Missouri will issue a medical marijuana card to the minor patient’s parent or caregiver.
A Missouri medical cannabis card is simply an ID card issued by the state of Missouri once you have been registered as a medical cannabis patient. With your card, you have all the legal rights and benefits granted to cannabis patients under the Missouri medical marijuana law. You are able to access any dispensary located throughout the state and purchase medical cannabis (dry flower) or other cannabis products (e.g., edibles, extracts, tinctures, topicals, etc.).
Also, your Missouri marijuana ID card makes it easy for you to prove to law enforcement that you are legally entitled to carry and consume medical marijuana. According to the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program, you are allowed to possess, consume, and transport marijuana products.
If you’re currently living with one or more of the medical conditions listed above, you are eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Missouri. But before you decide to walk into a dispensary and buy medical marijuana, you’ll need a Missouri medical marijuana card. The easiest way to obtain a marijuana identification card is to schedule an evaluation with a medical marijuana doctor via the Missouri Health and Wellness website. We have partnered with Midwest Cannabinoid Clinics, a clinic that provides medical cannabis certifications to qualified patients to help them obtain their medical cannabis card.