standard-title Qualifying Conditions

Qualifying Conditions


Qualifying conditions vary from state to state!



Severe Pain – Learn more


  • Any Condition Causing Severe Pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Chondromalacia Patella
  • Colitis (ulcerative)
  • Costochondritis
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
  • Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
  • Dyspareunia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fallen Arches with Severe Foot Pain
  • Gout
  • GERD (reflux)
  • Hallux Rigidus
  • Herniated Disc

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  • Hip Labral Tear
  • Iirritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Lumbar Stenosis
  • Lumbago
  • Lupus with Joint Involvement
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Meniscal Tear
  • Neuropathy
  • Non-allopathic Lesions
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
  • Osteochondrodysplasias
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Poorly Healed Fractures (non-union)
  • Polychondritis
  • Plantar Fasciitits
  • Pes Planus (flat feet)
  • Ruptured Disc
  • Radiculopathy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Reflex Sympothetic Dystrophy
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spina Bifida
  • Scoliosis
  • Severe Peptic Ulcers
  • Severe Joint Pain
  • Synovitis
  • TMJ
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

Nausea – Learn More

  • Any Condition Causing Nausea
  • Chronic Nonspecific Nausea
  • Iirritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Nephropathy
  • Radiation Therapy

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  • Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV)
  • Chronic Nonspecific Vomiting
  • Medication Associated Nausea
  • Other GI Disorders
  • Sprue
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diverticulosis
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Vertigo

Muscle Spasms – Learn More

  • Any Condition Causing Muscle Spasms
  • Limb Trauma
  • Movement Disorders
  • Restless Leg Syndrome

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  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Muscular Disorders
  • Nocturnal Leg Cramps
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Spasticity Conditions


Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder which can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that happens to you, like:

  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attack
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, like car wreck
  • Natural disasters like fire, tornado, hurricane, flood or earthquake

During a traumatic event, you think that your life or the lives of others are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.
(Source: National Center for PTSD, US Department of Veterans Affairs)

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 7.7 million adult Americans suffer from PTSD. It is a horrible disorder to endure, and many people are currently being prescribed addictive drugs to treat the symptoms. While these drugs work for some, others become addicted and the drugs are affecting their lives and well-being. The prevalence of substance abuse among veterans increased substantially. It is for this reason that veterans are turning to cannabis more and more to deal with the crippling symptoms of PTSD.

PTSD and cannabis have been linked with one another for some time. In order to investigate the relationship between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and PTSD, a team of researchers, including Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, recruited ten people on stable medication for chronic PTSD. According to this study, THC was associated with global symptom severity, sleep quality, frequency of nightmares, and PTSD hyper-arousal symptoms. This led the research team to conclude that the following: “Orally absorbable A9-THC was safe and well-tolerated by patients with chonic PTSD.”

There had been previous clinical study suggesting a link between cannabis and PTSD. While results like the one conducted in the Israeli PTSD pilot study is promising, it should be noted that the sample size was far too small. More research will be needed in the future to determine the ideal dosages of THC to reliably help treat PTSD in humans.

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According to medical surveys, an estimated 30 percent of Americans will develop cancer in their lifetimes. About one third will be able to live, even with cancer, for years. This is the primary reason that researchers and scientists are on a quest for medicines to avert and treat the disease and to discover drugs that would make life more comfortable and convenient for patients suffering from cancer.

Whether or not marijuana is the answer needs to be further explored. Several patients and their relatives, most of whom do not have previous experience with marijuana, have attested that medical marijuana is indeed the answer. The author of a 1992 medical marijuana proposal that became the basis for California’s Proposition 215 said that though she herself has no experience using the drug, she was prompted by her husband’s battle with cancer to take supportive action. She has shared his story with the IOM team, below.

When her husband started chemotherapy, it seemed the chemotherapy made him more sick than the actual disease. Only three months was given for him to live. When the oncologist approved his use of marijuana, she had to go through back alleys in order to acquire some. The first marijuana she got was not very effective; she had to find some of better quality. Two puffs of  quality marijuana would send her husband into chemotherapy with a smile on his face and return home still happy. Her husband died of cancer as expected but she knows that using marijuana – a drug that he never thought of trying – made his latter months bearable.

Cancer patients who are marijuana users claim that the drug helps them in a number of ways, including suppressing vomiting, increasing appetite, quelling nausea, soothing anxiety, and relieving pain. Clinical studies show that marijuana possesses an evident benefit of simultaneously treating most cancer symptoms and the disease itself. Medicines that are produced with specific chemicals in marijuana may be taken advantage of in order to supplement standard medications or to cure people with the disease who experienced failure in other therapies.

Considerable evidence appears that the drug could compete with a range of helpful medicines particularly for vomiting, appetite stimulation, and nausea. The component THC, in Marinol (dronabinol) form, has been utilized for over a decade already to reduce symptoms in patients with cancer or AIDS. However, other forms of cannabinoids or combinations of the same may be proven more effective than that of THC alone, which means that any medicine that would be the result from these findings would benefit both AIDS and cancer patients.

For people with cancer, vomiting and nausea happen when one of many sensory centers situated in the digestive tract or the brain is stimulated. It is probable for patients to feel nauseated without having to vomit, or to vomit without becoming nauseated prior to that. Vomiting, which is also referred to as emesis, takes a complex coordination of the respiratory muscles, posture, and digestive tract. Since all the action can be measured, scientists have been able to recreate the chain of physiological activities that lead to vomiting.

Researchers who study the origins of nausea are limited by their dependence on the subjective descriptions of patients on their own feelings because little is known about the actual mechanisms that trigger the symptom, which seems to result from brain activity alone. A majority of recent clinical studies being conducted have been aimed at alleviating the side effects of chemo, concentrating on the capability of candidate compounds to curtail or prevent vomiting as a result of such limitations.

Researchers suppose that the drugs and/or their digestive by-products rouse receptors in main sensory cells, although they do not completely understand how chemotherapy agents cause vomiting. There are other agents, including cisplatin, that cause almost every patient to vomit repeatedly. Some agents like methotrexate have this effect on a small margin of patients going through chemotherapy. With the drug mustine, vomiting can start soon after treatment or up to an hour after going through chemotherapy. Often, trials of antiemetics (drugs which prevent vomiting) are administered to patients who are treated with cisplatin. This is because medicines that can reduce vomiting following cisplatin treatment tend to work the least. Unfortunately, the same is also true with other chemotherapy agents.

Medical scientists have been able to test a number of cannabinoids for their capability in suppressing vomiting. These drugs include two forms of THC, delta-9 and the less numerous delta-8. Likewise, two artificial cannabinoids (levonantradol and nabilone) that activate the receptors same as THC have also been assessed as possible antiemetics. These four compounds are proven to be effective in preventing vomiting after chemotherapy to a mild degree. Two other clinical researches also showed that to a limited degree, marijuana smoking aids in suppressing emesis (vomiting) that is chemotherapy-induced. Additional studies that are less rigorous came to identical conclusions that THC decreases the possibility of vomiting after chemotherapy to a limited extent. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the medicine in Marinol for cases when chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea are not alleviated by other antiemetic medications.

Some participants reported unfavourable side effects, which included low blood pressure, dry mouth, and sedation. But medical marijuana advocates take a strong stand that when patients receive advanced guidance on marijuana’s effects, they rarely experience an undesirable psychological response their first time using the drug. This claim may actually equally apply to the consequences of THC as marijuana’s chief psychoactive constituent.

Another study that examined smoked marijuana in patients with cancer who were not aided by conventional antiemetic drugs showed that almost 80 percent of the 56 participants considered marijuana “moderately effective” or “highly effective” compared to some antiemetics that they had previously used. These results must be considered approximate at best since the cluster of patients differed tremendously in their chemotherapeutic regimen; thus, with their experience with marijuana.

Breathing in THC through smoked marijuana is more effective in preventing vomiting than swallowing a pill. This is because if severe vomiting started right after chemotherapy, oral THC is not able stay down long enough to start taking effect. Smoking on the other hand, lets patients take only the medicine they prefer, puffing one at a time, reducing the risk of undesirable side effects.


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Seizures – LEARN MORE

Seizures happen when your brain cells, which communicate through electrical signals, send out the wrong signals. Having just one seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy. Generally, several seizures would have to occur there is a diagnosis of epilepsy.

Epilepsy can happen at any age, but it is most common in the elderly. Many children with epilepsy outgrow the condition. However, even mild seizures should be treated if they happen more than once. Seizures can be very dangerous if they occur while you are driving, walking, or swimming, for example.

Signs and Symptoms

Seizures are classified in 2 main categories:

Partial seizures involve a part of the brain. They can be:

  • Simple partial seizures — Symptoms may include involuntary twitching of the muscles or arms and legs; changes in vision; vertigo; and experiencing unusual tastes or smells. The person does not lose consciousness.
  • Complex partial seizures — Symptoms may be like those of partial seizures, but the person also loses awareness for a time. The person may do things over and over, like walking in a circle, rubbing the hands together, or staring into space.

What Causes It?

Generalized seizures involve much more or all of the brain. They can be:

  • Absence seizures (petit mal) — Symptoms may include staring and brief loss of consciousness.
    Myoclonic seizures — Symptoms may include jerking or twitching of the limbs on both sides of the body.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal) — Symptoms may include loss of consciousness, shaking or jerking of the body, and loss of bladder control. The person may have an aura or an unusual feeling before the seizure starts. These seizures can last from 5 to 20 minutes.

Seizures are caused by overexcited nerve cells in the brain that fire abnormally. In about half of cases, the cause isn’t known. Some things that can cause seizures include:

  • Head injury
  • Genes — researchers have linked specific genes to epilepsy
  • Injury to the brain before birth
  • Some medical conditions, such as meningitis and lupus
  • Stroke and heart attack

(Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

Treatment of seizure disorder and epilepsy syndromes is a complex process involving a combination of anti-epileptic drug (AED) therapy, diet and even surgical intervention in some intractable cases. Unfortunately, multiple forms of AED therapy, switching to a ketogenic diet and surgical intervention have failed to provide adequate seizure control for patients. It is for these patients and caregivers that medical cannabis therapy has provided a renewed sense of hope.

Heather Jackson, Executive Director of Realm of Caring, breeders of the now famous Charlotte’s Web strain, is a strong advocate of cannabis therapy, while managing expectations. She said, “This isn’t a cure but it’s an option, an option that shouldn’t be relegated to an underground market.”

The science on cannabis therapy in treating epilepsy is still in its infancy. However, results of experiments on cannabis therapy are promising. Initial results conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals show an overall 44% seizure reduction seen in the twenty-seven Dravet syndrome patients tested. Out of two hundred children treated at Realm of Caring, 78% have seen seizure reduction with 25% being almost seizure free. Furthermore, Jackson added, “Even if they don’t see the significant seizure control, there are developmental gains.”

Commenting on the success of the program, Jackson reports that, “The epilepsy community, much like cannabis, has an unfair stigma,” and she hopes that the continued education and lobbying of policy makers by caring parents will move toward public understanding and acceptance of both epilepsy and cannabis therapy in the mainstream.

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Glaucoma – LEARN MORE

Among the many reasons people give for using medical marijuana, glaucoma garners a place among the most frequent of these reasons. This has been one of the reasons for the federal government as well once allowing for the controlled use of marijuana. According to research results since 1970s, both THC and marijuana lessen intraocular pressure, which is a primary triggering factor to the development of glaucoma. Considerable interest has been generated by first reports because at that time, regular medications for the disease have led to different side effects.

Glaucoma is one of the primary causes of blindness around the world, which affects over 60 million individuals. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), which is the disease’s most ordinary for, is a gradually advancing disorder that damages cells in the retina and debases the eye’s nerve. Such losses narrow visual fields to the point that vision ultimately disappears.

Although researchers have not yet been able to discover what triggers primary open-angle glaucoma, they have found three facilitating factors that put people at risk for the disease: race, an elevated intraocular pressure, and age. In the case of African Americans, the stats increases to ten percent and rises to twenty five percent for Caribbean people having African origin. Only one percent of individuals aged 60 suffer from POAG and nine percent of people over the age of 80 develop glaucoma.

High intra-ocular pressure is due to the blockage in the surge of fluid that keeps the eye’s ability to maintain its shape. The clear fluid, aqueous humour, basically flows between the back of the cornea and front of the lens. People having this factor experience seepage of fluid from the frontal eye chamber becoming restricted; this causes pressure to develop that can be likened to water at the rear of a dam. Scientists suspect that the progressing pressure in the eye leads to glaucoma by diminishing nutrient flow to the optic nerve. Mostly due to the fact that elevated intraocular pressure is the single most noteworthy risk factor for the disease that can be managed, most treatments that have been discovered have been intended to reduce it. It is unfortunate however, that decreasing intraocular pressure is not a guarantee to prevent or slow down the development of glaucoma towards blindness.

A number of clinical studies that have found marijuana or cannabinoids reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) and the same goes for traditional glaucoma medications. This was found to be true when cannabinoids were given by inhalation, orally, or intravenously. This does not apply, however when they are administered directly to the eye. Synthetic cannabinoids in the form of pill and THC, intravenous injections of natural cannabinoids, and eaten or smoked marijuana, have been proven to decrease IOP among adults having normal IOP and glaucoma patients. As a matter of fact, in many tests, one dose of cannabinoid or marijuana sustained this effect for three to four hours. Researchers are still to unable describe exactly how cannabinoids and marijuana actually reduce IOP. Potentially, future studies could unearth therapeutic effects for some cannabinoids aside from THC, or better yet, be able to produce analogues that are longer-lasting with far fewer side effects.

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Small scale surveys of users of medical marijuana in the United States show that most users are patients, especially older patients, trying to find relief from AIDS symptoms.

People are indeed looking to ease symptoms of AIDS. This is evident in three cannabis buyers’ club (organizations that administer the drug to patients) from California visited by the team from IOM. The report appears that over 60 percent of the members of the clubs asked for the drug for the treatment of AIDS. Since HIV has excessively infected a population of a generation that has nurtured a curiosity with marijuana, it is speculated that AIDS patients are more inclined to be willing to utilize marijuana as medicine.

On the other hand, patients with cancer who are relatively older and less likely to have attempted using marijuana are really less disposed to seeking the drug. This means that the number of patients who seek out medical marijuana will probably rise as the generation matures. Another factor that may also add to the fame of medicinal marijuana among AIDS patients is the drug’s alleged ability to pacify multiple devastating symptoms. Patients who are HIV-positive have asserted that marijuana soothed their stomach immediately after taking the drug, stirred their appetite, eased their pain, and enhanced their mood.

HIV not only affects the immune system, it also brings destruction throughout the human body. Besides giving a foothold for opportunistic cancer and infection, the virus also prompts a potentially fatal wasting syndrome, dementia, and painful nerve damage. Further, patients also suffer from severe anxiety and depression. Patients who have tried marijuana say that the drug relieves all of these conditions.

Patients who have AIDS often must rely on drugs that tend to make their daily life wretched. This was evident in the life of a 41 year-old theatre technician from Virginia who explained to the IOM team of his struggle with the virus. Thirteen years has passed when he first learned that he was HIV-positive, he has taken AZT, ddl, Crixivan, d4T, Viramune, Viracept, Megace, Bactrim and other drugs in the hope to survive; at the same time however, these drugs made him even sick, causing him nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and vomiting. A doctor finally recommended an effective and simple method to cope with the many of his medical symptoms. The remedy kept him from gradually being starved to death, helping him reconnect with the human race as a productive and responsible citizen – this remedy was none other than medical marijuana.

As with the experience of this man, there already seems to have been an increasing number of patients with AIDS who use marijuana to counter the side effects of approved medicines and to cure disease symptoms. Those who receive extremely effective antiviral drugs known as protease inhibitors oftentimes experience vomiting and nausea which is identical to that being experienced by patients with cancer in chemotherapy.

The effectiveness of marijuana and cannabinoids to reduce vomiting and nausea caused by AIDS remain to be evaluated in the clinic. This warrants that further studies should be done determine the potential of medical marijuana in helping patients overcome medical symptoms brought by AIDS.

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Cachexia – LEARN MORE

Cancer patients are greatly affected with two syndromes: appetite loss and wasting. These conditions reduce quality of life and at worst hasten death. Because patients are unable to take in food that their physical bodies need, the symptoms oftentimes become even more unbearable than the sickness itself. It is for this reason that researchers are working hard to study the possibility of medical marijuana in helping patients with these medical conditions  by alleviating their pain and other syndromes associated with cancer disease.

Depending on the type of cancer, between 50 and 80 percent of patients develop cachexia, an unequal loss of lean body tissues. Cachexia occurs oftentimes during the concluding stages of highly developed lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. Stimulating the wasting process are cytokines, proteins which are generated by the body’s immune system as a reaction to tumor. Both AIDS and cancer patients presently are given similar treatments in case cachexia happens as an outcome of HIV infection.

The ability to stimulate appetite, or “having the munchies,” is what marijuana is really renowned for. Such effect is ultimately because of THC’s action, as confirmed in a number of studies. Patients with cancer who have taken THC in its dronabinol form were inclined to experience a slowing of weight loss and an appetite increase. Other patients could also take advantage of combination therapy which consists of cytokine blocker integrated with THC to enhance appetite and to, a greater extent, reduce anxiety, pain, and nausea.

The primary advantage of cannabinoids is their power to alleviate numerous symptoms at once. Patients who have poor responses to usual antiemetics may benefit greatly from cannabinoids as a helpful alternative. Likewise, because cannabinoids shown to suppress vomiting and nausea through a variety of mechanisms than other antiemetic compounds, there is also a probability that cannabinoids may be capable of making other medications more effective.

The IOM team has suggested the advancement of a rapid-onset drug delivery system that could give the advantages of inhaling cannabinoids without the harmful effects of smoking. The IOM team has resolved that the dangerous effects of smoking marijuana to relieve chemotherapy-induced vomiting might be overshadowed by the benefits of antiemetics. They suggest that patients be assessed on case-to-case basis, and those who qualify could be given marijuana for use under strict medical supervision.

  • There is logical probability that the patient’s symptoms would be eased through inhaling cannabinoids
  • Treatment of patients is facilitated under close medical supervision and their treatment is evaluated for effectiveness
  • An institutional review board oversees all the treatments, which consists of scientists who are experts in the fields yet are not involved in the particular study being assessed, as required for all federally funded research involving human subjects. The review board only approves studies that it will not abuse the welfare and rights of participants.

The harms of smoking are unrelated for the terminally ill. There are actually no grounds to disallow marijuana to a person who is nearing death, from a medical standpoint.

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Non-Qualifying Conditions

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Benign Tumors
  • Bipolar
  • Depression

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  • Diabetes (non-neuropathic)
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Pre-Glaucoma or Suspect Glaucoma
  • Simple Sprain / Strain

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