Illnesses Covered in the Illinois Medical Marijuana Program

As we have discussed in previous blogs, medical marijuana is becoming a popular alternative to many prescription opioids and steroid treatments for moderate to chronic pain. A majority of the states in the US recognize the medicinal effects of medical marijuana, which has led to more states legalizing marijuana and cannabis for medical use. There are still a handful of states where marijuana is completely illegal, but hopefully, science will prevail, and these states will come to their senses.

In 2013, Illinois created the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. This act legalized the medical marijuana industry, allowing patients access to alternative treatment options that can yield more effective results for pain management. Since the inception of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, there has been a battle to determine which illnesses or conditions qualify a patient to receive access to medical marijuana.

For instance, former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was extremely hesitant to expand the medical marijuana program; however, he did allow the program to continue through 2020. There are still some patients who suffer from conditions that don’t want or cannot get treated with opioids. Depending on their condition, they still may be excluded from having access to medical marijuana.

At Salveo Health & Wellness, we are always advocating for patients to have access to alternative medicines to treat their conditions. Whether you suffer from chronic pain related to a back injury or you or a loved one has Parkinson’s, be sure to visit our website today to learn about the medicinal properties of medical marijuana. We are always interested in helping potential patients find the right solution to their condition. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to us by calling at 309-647-9333.

What Conditions are Currently Covered?

One of the biggest obstacles to patients getting access to medical marijuana may or may not have been former Governor Rauner. Rauner was especially not receptive to adding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of covered conditions; however, a 2016 ruling made by a Cook County judge ordered that the state add PTSD to the list of conditions covered by the medical marijuana program.

One of the biggest expansions to Illinois’ medical marijuana program was the inclusion of opioid patients. The Alternative to Opioids Act allows patients who are currently prescribed opioids for pain management to try medical cannabis and marijuana as an alternative method of pain management. This act will hopefully allow thousands of Illinois opioid users to transition to medical marijuana to decrease their dependence on prescription drugs.

The Alternative to Opioids Act also will hopefully increase the awareness and popularity of comparatively healthier alternatives to opioids. There were close to 5 million opioid prescriptions given to 2 million patients in 2017. This amount seems alarming for some, so the hope is that the Alternative to Opioids Act will curb the rise of opioid prescriptions in the state of Illinois. Another benefit to the Alternative to Opioids Act is that it does away with the fingerprinting and background checks typically required to apply for a medical marijuana card in Illinois. To learn more about the Alternative to Opioids Act, be sure to visit the rest of our website.

Currently, there are 41 covered conditions in the medical cannabis and marijuana program. These programs cover everything from cancer to HIV/AIDS to Lupus. Some of these conditions are relatively obscure, while other conditions are widespread.

How To Get a Med Card in Illinois

The process of getting a medical marijuana card in Illinois is one of the most regulated processes in the US. If you are looking for help in applying for a medical cannabis or marijuana card in Illinois, Salveo Health & Wellness has a variety of resources that can help you. We believe that everyone with chronic medical conditions should have access to medical marijuana.

While you are filling out your medical marijuana card application, be sure to include Salveo Health & Wellness as your preferred dispensary if you live in the Canton, Illinois area. Depending on the extent of your pain and your condition, you can also have a caregiver purchase and administer your medical cannabis for you.

It is important that if you are interested in getting a medical marijuana card that you select a preferred dispensary where you will purchase your medical marijuana. While there are plenty of dispensaries across the state of Illinois, you can only legally purchase marijuana from one of the dispensaries. If you want to change your preferred dispensary, you will need to apply to change your preferences. Once you receive confirmation that the state received your application for change, you must wait 24 hours before visiting your new preferred dispensary.

What if my Condition is not Covered?

Do not panic if your condition or disease is not covered under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. If your condition or disease isn’t listed, the Illinois Department of Public Health has created a way for patients to petition to add a debilitating condition. The one catch to this process is that the petitions are only read once a year during the month of January. If you send a petition in after January 31, the petition will be returned to the sender and not considered.

If you do have a condition that is currently covered by the medical cannabis program in Illinois, be sure to apply for a medical marijuana card if you are looking for an alternative treatment for your pain. There are a wide variety of different ways to consume medical marijuana, as well as a variety of different types of marijuana — each one with distinct benefits. For more information, be sure to visit Salveo Health & Wellness today or call us at 309-204-3904.

Chronic Pain and Medical Marijuana

In a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) report, some 50 million Americans reported that they had chronic pain, while almost 20 million reported that they had high-impact chronic pain. Whether this chronic pain is due to occupational injuries or other degenerative diseases, one of the most common sources for pain is in the back.

Chronic pain can lead many to a myriad of negative consequences, such as opioid dependence, anxiety and depression, and reduced quality of life. All of these add up to making chronic pain a horrible experience that no patient should have to go through. Chronic pain can affect everyone of all walks of life, and it is important that patients who report chronic pain are allowed to seek alternative treatments for their chronic pain.

One of the best options for treating chronic pain may have its roots in medical marijuana. As an alternative to opioids and other pain killers, medical marijuana is effective at reducing swelling, providing relief from pain, and it can help counteract other negative effects of having chronic pain like insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

If you are ready to try an alternative to opioid prescriptions and you live in the Canton, Illinois area, be sure to visit Salveo Health & Wellness today. Salveo Health & Wellness is a licensed medical marijuana dispensary that excels at patient treatment. No matter how you are feeling or how you perceive your quality of life to be, our staff is compassionate, kind, and caring. We want you to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. We can assist you with the medical card application process as well. For more information, be sure to visit the rest of our website today or call us at 309-204-3909.

Scientific Review

Depending on who you ask in the medical research field, marijuana can be effective for managing chronic pain. There are some doctors and researchers who are adamantly against medical marijuana programs as an alternative to steroids or opioids; however, as more and more research comes out, certain doctors and researchers are being convinced otherwise.

One of the biggest issues when determining the effectiveness of medical marijuana for treating chronic pain lies in the lack of research due to governmental regulations. Because the federal government still recognizes cannabis and marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the official policy stance states that there is no accepted medical use for such a drug. As a result, researchers have to comply with strict regulations that decide what they can and what they cannot do.

Because universities across the US receive federal funding, if they violate any federal regulations, they risk losing funding for their projects and research grants. While alcohol and opioid research is well-understood, the medical uses for marijuana seem to remain in the dark.

Once you go outside of the US, there is suddenly plenty of more research. While some of the studies are small, there have been positive research findings that have helped shed some light on the effectiveness of medical marijuana for the treatment of chronic pain — especially back pain.

Israel, Germany, and the European Academy of Neurology have all conducted successful tests that gauge how effective medical marijuana is at treating chronic pain. Some of the tests’ sample groups featured patients with severe medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. In all of these studies, the patients reported that medical marijuana was effective at alleviating their chronic pain. Some of the studies also reported that patients felt more dizzy, sleepy, and confused as well.

Risks of Using Medical Marijuana

The risks associated with using medical marijuana are still being researched, just like the positive effects. One of the most concerning risks is the possibility of bronchitis if medical marijuana is smoked frequently. One solution to this problem is encouraging medical marijuana patients to try vaping medical marijuana distillate or try using edibles. Both of these methods will most likely reduce the risk of bronchitis.

There is also cause for concern with elderly patients using medical marijuana. The elderly are more sensitive to acute changes within their body, and marijuana and cannabis are known to increase the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Medical marijuana can also cause balancing issues since one of the side effects is dizziness. For this reason, elderly patients who are looking to effectively manage their pain through medical marijuana should exercise greater caution.

Marijuana as an Alternative to Opioids

It is no secret that the US is in the middle of an opioid crisis. To put things into perspective, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids was six times higher in 2017 compared to 1999. Many researchers suggest that the overprescription of opioids leads patients to a dependence on the highly addictive drug. This forces them to seek illicit forms of the drug, and eventually overdose to achieve the same “high” consistently.

To stop this, many doctors and researchers are considering prescribing medical marijuana or at least offering it as an alternative to patients who have family or personal histories with opiate addiction. There are plenty of stories on the internet of people who are able to overcome their chronic pain through the use of medical marijuana.

If you are interested in being part of Illinois’ Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) that allows patients and prospective patients to choose medical marijuana treatment over opioid treatments for chronic pain, be sure to visit Salveo Health & Wellness’s website today. We have a variety of resources available to help you. Give us a call today at 309-204-3909 — we’d love to help you find the right treatment for your chronic pain!