Medical Marijuana

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Iowa Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

You must have a qualifying condition as determined by the Iowa Department of Public Health, or IDPH, to receive an Iowa medicinal marijuana card. This list of requirements has grown with the passing of HB 524 and HF 2589 in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

If you live in Iowa and are at least 18 years old, you are eligible to submit a patient application to the Iowa medical marijuana program. To be admitted into Iowa’s medicinal cannabidiol program, you must have an official diagnosis of one of the state’s qualifying ailments.

Here are five of the state’s most prominent qualifying conditions and how medicinal marijuana can help treat them.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including cancer and neuropathy. If you suffer from this illness, medicinal marijuana may be of assistance.

THC changes pain perception by modulating the body’s endocannabinoid system. As a result, it may be useful for those for whom drugs have failed to provide relief.

Pain is a complicated phenomena that may be devastating for some people. Medical marijuana, however, does not have the same substantial danger profile as opioid chemicals. Therefore, it can be a safe alternative to opioids and potentially aid in the reduction of opioid dependency.


Although cannabis cannot cure cancer, it can help with many of its symptoms. Medical marijuana, according to the American Cancer Society, can help with:

  • Neuropathic pain
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Reliance on opioid painkillers

Medical cannabis can help Iowa cancer patients when coupled with standard treatment methods. It can, for example, enable patients to cope with chemotherapy-induced nausea. It can also help patients avoid weight loss by reducing nausea.


Despite the difficulty researchers have had in determining the neurological roots of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), medicinal marijuana has been demonstrated to assist treat patients suffering from this ailment. It includes CBD and THC, two chemicals that help alleviate many of the symptoms of this illness.

PTSD typically manifests after substantial increases in norepinephrine, which can alter people’s basic brain architecture. Cannabinoid chemicals in marijuana can disinhibit catecholamine release. Medical marijuana, in layman’s words, relaxes the sympathetic nervous system and reduces anxiety.

An overactive sympathetic nervous system can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from panic attacks to nervous tics. Many PTSD sufferers, thankfully, find symptom alleviation after using medical marijuana. If you decide to take that path, you should contact a qualified doctor and undergo a full evaluation.


Medical marijuana can treat many types of seizures, but it may not be beneficial for all of them. CBD-rich strains, in particular, can decrease seizure frequency in drug-resistant patients.

The Epilepsy Foundation has reported positive outcomes from recent lab tests and clinical trials involving cannabis. Medical marijuana, however, may not be successful for every patient, and some may not respond to it at all.

CBD-rich strains often produce the most potent seizure-reducing benefits, so select your strains accordingly.

Parkinson’s Disease

Traditional medications, which may produce adverse effects, are commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Medical marijuana does not directly treat Parkinson’s disease, although it can help treat its symptoms.

Medical marijuana can help with nausea and discomfort in particular. Additionally, PD patients who take medicinal marijuana may have less anxiety and sleep difficulties. Furthermore, medicinal marijuana can increase patients’ appetites and make it easier for them to maintain a healthy weight.

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Full List of Iowa Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

The following medical conditions are listed as official qualifying conditions by the Iowa Department of Public Health:


  • Chronic pain or untreatable pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Nausea or severe vomiting
  • Cachexia or severe wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Multiple sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Any terminal illness
  • Intractable autism with aggressive behaviors

You will be allowed to acquire cannabis plants, vapes, topical creams, gels, tinctures, ointments, lotions, and CBD products from Iowa dispensaries if a registered Iowa medical marijuana doctor gives you a healthcare practitioner certification form and you receive an Iowa medical marijuana card.

Don’t Have a Qualifying Condition on This List?

Don’t be concerned if your condition is not on this list. Other qualifying criteria may be approved by the state of Iowa based on your individual circumstances. You can appoint a designated caregiver to apply for an Iowa MMJ registration card on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.

Contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute to connect with an Iowa physician who can assist you with the medical marijuana application process.