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Medical Cannabis and its Indications By Syed Ali MD

Recreational marijuana was legalized on January 1, 2020, making Illinois the 11th state in the country to do so. Purchasers of marijuana must be 21 years old and can buy marijuana with or without a medical card. At this time, only dispensaries equipped to sell medical marijuana are allowed to sell recreational marijuana. It is legal to smoke marijuana in one’s home, but prohibited in public areas, in the car, near others who are under age 21, and near someone in law enforcement or public service (firefighter, school bus driver, etc.)

There is a lot of evidence in the literature that cannabis can help with a variety of conditions. We have recommended it to many patients who have tried and failed mainstream FDA approved treatments using the Medical Cannabis Patient Program (MCPP) and the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP). Some of the conditions we have recommended cannabis for include neuropathic pain, osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, chronic pain syndromes, inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis, and cancer-related pain.

Cannabis is used by approximately 147 million people according to the World Health Organization.1 One cannot overdose on marijuana2 and it is not considered an addictive substance. There are, however, side effects of marijuana that one can experience that can be unpleasant. These side effects include but are not limited to anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, panic, hypertension, impaired memory, and psychosis.3

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in the brain and spinal cord and responds to cellular damage from inside the body and the environment. There are 2 receptors of interest, CB1 and CB2, the former of which when activated causes psychoactive changes (makes someone feel “high”)4. There are more CB1 receptors than CB2, and studies are showing a link between CB2 and increased risk for schizophrenia.5 That being said, marijuana is known for its ability to provide pain relief, increase appetite in patients with anorexia from cancer or medications, and may help improve anxiety and mood.

Qualifying patients must be diagnosed with a debilitating condition, as defined in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, to be eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card in Illinois.6

StrIVeMD Wellness & Ketamine offers evaluation for medical cards for medical-grade cannabis. If you or someone has a qualifying condition and may be a candidate for a medical marijuana card, please visit www.strivemdketamine.com or call 847-213-0990 for more information and to set up an appointment with one of our experts.

Resources

  1. https://www.who.int/substance_abuse/facts/cannabis/en/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/faqs/overdose-bad-reaction.html
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2241751/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789136/
  6. https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/debilitating-conditions

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