Medical cannabis provides a wide range of benefits, including pain relief and increased appetite. Here are a few of the most common conditions treated with medical marijuana. The range of symptoms that can be treated with medical marijuana makes the drug of interest to many potential patients. However, before purchasing medical marijuana, you must first demonstrate that you have one or more qualifying health conditions and receive a recommendation from a licensed physician. The specifics of medical cannabis legislation of course vary state by state, but many include the same qualifying conditions. In Ohio, there are currently 22 qualifying conditions — increased from 21 when the state medical board added cachexia (also known as wasting syndrome) earlier this year. A full list can be found here, but this article will touch on some of the most common conditions that cause patients to seek medical marijuana-based treatment. Epilepsy and Other Seizure-Causing Disorders Healers and healthcare providers have used cannabis for thousands of years to manage and minimize the frequency of seizures associated with epilepsy and other disorders. One study found that CBD — a popular cannabinoid that does not have the intoxicating effect of THC — was shown to significantly reduce the “frequency of total seizures of all types” and that 43 percent of patients saw the frequency of their seizures reduced by half or more. Because CBD is non-intoxicating, many states have approved the use of CBD-based treatment for pediatric epilepsy, as well as for the severe Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Cancer, Nausea, and Lack of Appetite Over the past several decades, researchers have found that cannabis may inhibit the growth and spread of certain cancers, including leukemia and melanoma as well as brain, breast, and liver cancers. Cannabis has also been shown to increase apoptosis, which programs cancer cells with a built-in end date. Further, medical marijuana can be used to manage many of the side effects of cancer treatments. Chemotherapy, for instance, often causes nausea, which impacts patients’ sense of taste, and reduces their appetite. Medical cannabis’ anti-nausea and appetite-stimulating properties can help ensure that cancer patients receive proper nutrition during their treatment. Marijuana’s analgesic qualities can also help patients seeking pain relief. HIV/AIDS The first medical marijuana laws passed in California in the 1990s, and much of the most effective and impactful advocacy work was rooted in how the drug was able to provide relief for patients with HIV/AIDS. Cannabis can help to manage many symptoms that HIV/AIDS patients experience, including appetite loss, nausea, fatigue, and chronic pain. Cachexia Cachexia often accompanies other severe health conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart failure, and advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This wasting syndrome — which is marked by weight and muscle loss, fatigue, and lack of appetite — can be difficult to treat, but cannabis’ demonstrated ability to help manage these symptoms has led many states to include it in their medical marijuana legislation. Neurodegenerative Diseases Many states have also approved medical cannabis to treat a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). In addition to providing physical relief, cannabis has mood stabilizing properties, and can help improve cognition while relieving stiff and rigid muscles. Start Your Medical Cannabis Journey Today Sometimes the first step is simply knowing when to ask for help. If you live in the state of Ohio and have one of the qualifying conditions we’ve discussed in this article, contact us today to learn more about medical marijuana and whether it’s right for you. The cannabis plant provides a wide range of therapeutic benefits, and at Lakewood Medical Clinic we take pride in making cannabis-based care accessible and understandable to each of our patients. Our team of licensed providers and healthcare specialists are ready and willing to help support you on your journey toward finding relief.