In order to receive medicinal cannabis as an alternative form of treatment, patients must have a qualifying condition that’s severe enough that other traditional forms of medication haven’t lessened the condition’s symptoms.
A registered physician can supply medical cannabis in Maryland, if their patient has one or more of the following severe conditions, as outlined by the experts at Peninsula Alternative Health:
Cachexia: Cachexia is the general physical wasting with severe loss of body weight and muscle mass or atrophy due to a preexisting disease. Also known as marasmus, cachexia can come from a number of illnesses, including cancer, other autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. It can also come from a drug addiction to cocaine or amphetamines.
Symptoms of cachexia include visible rashes, a bluish tint to the skin, anxiety, dizziness, and more.
Anorexia: Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes weight loss faster than is considered healthy for the person’s age and height.
Symptoms for anorexia include significant weight loss due to a decrease in food intake, body dysmorphia, excessive dieting and exercising, dizziness, lack of sleep, irregular heartbeat, and hair loss.
Wasting Syndrome: Wasting is when a debilitating disease causes muscle and fat tissue to “waste” away. Also known as acute malnutrition, wasting is often caused by low energy intake, nutrient loss due to infection, or a combination of both.
Infections and conditions associated with wasting syndrome include tuberculosis (TB), chronic diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, and superior mesenteric artery syndrome. It should be noted that voluntary weight loss and eating disorders are not considered as factors of wasting.
Severe, chronic pain and/or nausea: Nausea is a sensation of uneasiness and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit. It can be triggered by certain foods, motion, hunger, or stress. Chronic nausea may be constant (when it doesn’t subside and can continue during sleep) or recurrent (when it’s episodic and resolves spontaneously).
The most common cause of chronic nausea is gastrointestinal conditions like acid reflux or peptic ulcers.
Symptoms include a lack of appetite, frequent regurgitation, vomiting, stomachaches, abdominal pain, dizziness, fainting, and changes in bowel movements or urination.
Seizures: Also known as convulsions, seizures occur when abnormal signals from the brain change the way the body functions. They can be caused by epilepsy, a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance and loss of consciousness associated with abnormal electrical brain activity.
Seizures can also be a symptom of a larger, chronic health problem like low blood sugar for diabetics, permanent damage from a stroke or brain surgery, or drug addiction/withdrawal.
Severe or persistent muscle spasms: A muscle spasm is a sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles that includes cramps and contractures. They’re common in patients who’ve had a stroke or head injury and those with cerebral palsy.
Severe muscle spasms can also be caused by magnesium or potassium deficiency, peripheral neuropathy (when peripheral nerves are damaged), hyponatremia (low blood sodium), rickets (a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate), hypoparathyroidism, kidney failure, and Bright’s Disease.
Glaucoma: A series of diseases that damage the optic nerve, glaucoma leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. The most common cause is hereditary glaucoma, followed by poor blood flow to the eyes and certain medication side effects.
Symptoms for open-angle glaucoma include patchy blind spots in peripheral or central vision and tunnel vision. For acute angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms include severe headaches, eye pain, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and eye redness.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a psychological disorder that occurs in those who’ve experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Symptoms include flashbacks, bad dreams, frightening thoughts, avoiding triggers (places, objects, names), an unwillingness to discuss the event, tension, lack of sleep, mood swings, memory loss, and distorted feelings.
It’s important to understand that patients must be honest with their physicians in order to receive the best possible medical care. If you’re prescribed medical cannabis in Maryland, a grounded expectation exists in which this form of alternative treatment will alleviate symptoms of the qualifying condition.
Gather more information on the benefits of medical cannabis and get in touch with a certified provider.