Medical Marijuana

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Maine Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP) originally included a list of qualifying medical conditions deemed treatable with cannabis by the state’s department of health and human services. Maine residents with qualifying medical conditions who could benefit from medical marijuana treatment could apply to the MMMP, which is managed by the Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP).

Patients who want to participate in the program and shop at Maine dispensaries must first obtain a recommendation from a licensed medical professional certifying that their debilitating condition can be treated with cannabis.

However, in mid-2018, a new medical marijuana law (LD 1539) gave certifying physicians the sole authority to recommend cannabis for any patient whose condition they determined would benefit from cannabis treatment.

The following are some of Maine’s most qualifying medical conditions. You’ll be able to carry a medical cannabis card and visit licensed dispensaries if you’ve been diagnosed with one and approved to join the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

Chronic Pain

Medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain in patients with other medical conditions such as arthritis, cancer, and fibromyalgia due to its well-established analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain in a variety of ways, including smoking, vaping, and consuming marijuana edibles. When smoked or vaped, cannabinoids enter the lungs, bloodstream, and brain, where they interact with the endocannabinoid system to reduce pain signals.

For patients who prefer not to vape or smoke, edibles are an alternative that’s available. Edibles take longer to work, but their effects last longer.

Cancer

A number of previous studies have concluded that medical marijuana can help reduce the severity of certain symptoms caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients. Some of the symptoms that have been shown to respond to marijuana therapy include:

  • Pain caused by chemotherapy
  • Neuropathy caused by chemotherapy
  • Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite

Medical cannabis may provide certain benefits to Maine cancer patients when used in conjunction with standard treatment. Specialists caution that marijuana cannot treat cancer on its own, but adding cannabis to an existing treatment program can provide symptom relief for some patients.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Medical marijuana has the potential to slow the decline of many ALS patients’ quality of life. In particular, medical marijuana treatment can alleviate the debilitating symptoms that ALS patients experience, such as muscle spasticity.

Chronic pain, one of many debilitating symptoms of ALS, can make living with the disease seem overwhelming. Pain relievers may be effective, but they can be harmful to the liver and have addictive properties. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, can boost the cannabinoids in your body that relieve pain.

Patients with ALS may also experience a loss of appetite. Many people make fun of medical marijuana for giving them the munchies, but it can actually motivate patients to eat. When combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, adult-use cannabis can help cardholders with eating disorders develop a healthier relationship with food.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Cannabis is known to contain over 100 different cannabinoids, each with a unique effect on the body. Delta 9 THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are the primary cannabinoids used in medicine to treat pain and inflammation, which are two of the major symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Although medical marijuana has not been proven to cure IBS, it has been shown to alleviate some of its symptoms. Medical marijuana has the potential to alleviate the pain associated with IBS cramps, bloating, and other discomforts.

HIV/AIDS

Despite the fact that newer HIV medicines have significantly reduced the incidence and severity of the disease, cannabis is still widely used by qualifying patients as a pain reliever, nausea treatment, weight loss aid, and depression therapy.

Furthermore, some research suggests that marijuana may provide long-term benefits by effectively slowing – or even preventing – disease progression.

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MMMP’s Initial List of Qualifying Conditions

When Maine’s MMMP was launched, patients could consult a comprehensive list of health conditions. Cancer, ALS, and Alzheimer’s disease were among the diseases and debilitating conditions on the list.

However, as of July 1, 2018, the MMMP no longer maintains a set list of conditions. Instead, the state has delegated MMMP eligibility determination to medical marijuana doctors conducting assessments of potential medical marijuana patients.

The following medical conditions were originally listed as qualifying in Maine:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis and severe muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Don’t Have a Qualifying Condition on This List?

Don’t see your condition on the list? Don’t be concerned. Based on your specific circumstances, Maine’s OCP may still approve your other qualifying condition(s) and issue you an MMJ card. If you are unable to apply for MMMP membership in Maine, you can designate a caregiver to do so on your behalf.

Contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute today to be put in touch with a licensed physician who can guide you through the process of obtaining medical marijuana in Maine.