Only patients with certain conditions are eligible to be treated with medical cannabis, though the program does expand periodically.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is the late stage of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which is a retrovirus that affects the immune system. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) can slow the progress of the disease resulting in a near-normal life expectancy. These drugs often have severe side-effects, however.
Sativa strains of medical cannabis have been best used to relieve nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss commonly associated with the drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS.
Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that affects cognitive function. problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioral issues. Gradually, body functions are lost leading to death. There is currently no treatment to stop or reverse progression.
Medical cannabis has been used to relieve nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss commonly associated with the medications used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s. It has also been used as a treatment to anxiety and/or depression related to the condition. Recent studies have also indicated that THC itself may inhibit the progression of the disease.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a brain disorder that involves the death of neurons. characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscle wasting. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing. There is no cure for ALS.
Higher THC strains of medical cannabis have been used to treat symptoms of ALS including appetite loss, depression, pain, and muscle spasticity.
Arnold-Chiari Malformation and Syringomelia are conditions affecting the spinal cord. Arnold-Chiari Malformation occurs when brain tissue extends into the spinal canal, and Syringomelia occurs when a cyst forms within the spinal canal itself.
Medical cannabis is recommended for immediate pain relief specifically targeting chronic muscle pain, weakness, headaches and fatigue. Sativa-dominant strains work best to reduce nausea, reduce and relieve pain and increase muscle capability.
Cachexia is a general reduction of vitality and strength resulting from chronic disease, and causes loss of weight, fat, and muscle. It is often associated with advanced cancer, AIDS, and some other major chronic progressive diseases.
Medical cannabis is frequently used to reduce nausea and vomiting in order to increase food intake.
The term cancer refers to many types of malignant tumors, which invade surrounding tissues, spread throughout the body, and are likely to recur after removal. There are more than one hundred different types of cancer, and taken together, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Symptoms include persistent fatigue, pain, unintentional weight loss, fever, changes in bowel movements, and chronic cough.
Higher THC strains of medical cannabis have been used to treat not only primary symptoms of cancer, but also the often debilitating side-effects of chemotherapy. Recent studies have indicated that marijuana itself may inhibit the growth of tumors.
Causalgia is a chronic condition that directly affects the nerves and blood vessels of one or more extremities, and is also called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
CBD in medical cannabis can be used to reduce associated stresses, depression and anxieties that come with the condition, and can treat chronic pain and reduce inflammation.
CIDP is an acquired immune-mediated inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system. It is believed to be caused by the immune system incorrectly attacking the nervous system resulting in numbing, tingling, pain, progressive muscle weakness, loss of deep tendon reflexes (areflexia), fatigue, and abnormal sensations.
The non-psychoactive chemical (E)-BCP in medical cannabis has anti-inflammatory effects necessary to treat this condition.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease that affects digestion, causes severe pain, and can be life-threatening. Since there is no cure for Crohn’s, treatment of symptoms is the only course.
The anti-inflammatory properties of medical cannabis, as well as the ability to relieve pain, have made it a frequent treatment of Crohn’s.
- CRPS is a chronic condition that directly affects the nerves and blood vessels of one or more extremities, and is also called Causalgia. Type II CRPS has been described as a 42 on a pain scale of 50.
Medical cannabis can effectively work to combat the associated stresses, anxieties and depression that comes with the condition. Further, CBD treatment can successfully aid patients in minimizing chronic pain, muscle spasticity, inflammation, joint stiffness and lack of mobilization.
Dystonia is neurological movement disorder which causes muscles to spasm and contract involuntarily. Sustained muscle contractions can cause abnormal postures and involuntary repetitive movements. Symptoms may include tremors, difficulty producing speech, trembling within the diaphragm while breathing, lack of sleep, heightened anxiety and stress, and similar pain to restless leg syndrome.
Because so much of the disease entails muscle spasms and involuntary contractions, CBD treatment or medical cannabis can be beneficial for treating involuntary muscle spasms.
Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. It has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety. Since there is no cure, pain management is the only treatment.
Several cannabinoids in medical cannabis are effective at treating chronic and acute pain.
Fibrous dysplasia is a skeletal disorder in which scar-like tissue develops where normal bone once was. Healthy bone is then replaced by this fibrous tissue. This process of bone replacement can lead to chronic pain, fracture and misshapen bones.
Sativa-dominant strains of medical cannabis can help with chronic pain management, weakness and stiffness,
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye characterized by increased intraocular pressure, excavation, and atrophy of the optic nerve; it produces defects in the field of vision and eventual blindness. Symptoms include gradual loss of peripheral vision, tunnel vision in the advanced stages, severe eye pain, nausea and vomiting, sudden onset of visual disturbance, blurred vision, halos around lights and reddening of the eye.
Medical cannabis has been known to temporarily decrease intraocular pressure when taken orally or inhaled.
Hepatitis C is a viral, chronic liver infection that can result in liver cirrhosis, and is the reason for the majority of liver transplants in the U.S. The medical treatment for Hepatitis C results in debilitating side effects including fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle and joint pain, and depression.
Medical cannabis can provide some relief for these symptoms to allow patients to complete their necessary medical treatment.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that affects the immune system. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) can slow the progress of the disease resulting in a near-normal life expectancy. These drugs often have severe side-effects, however.
Sativa strains of medical cannabis have been best used to relieve nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss commonly associated with the drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS.
Hydrocephalus is a condition where the patient has cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain, and is most commonly found in younger children. This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, tunnel vision, and mental disability. Symptoms get worse over time, and include sleep apnea, chronic seizures, manic attacks (or bi-polar outbursts), chronic or debilitating pain, pain within the head or common headaches and severe or debilitating nausea.
Medical cannabis has been used to treat the symptoms of this condition, and with surgery patients have been known to make near complete recoveries.
Interstitial Cystitis is a condition in which patients tend to experience bladder pressure, bladder pain, and sometimes pelvic pain. Typically, patients who have been diagnosed with condition suffer from symptoms that are ranging from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating pain.
There is no cure for Interstitial Cystitis, however medical cannabis has been used to alleviate the symptoms.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when a patient’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Any inflammation caused by this particular medical condition can affect many different body systems such as those including a patient’s joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
Medical cannabis can be used for its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as to alleviate nausea and immense pain.
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, whereby the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues such as the brain and spinal cord.
There is no cure for MS, but patients have used medical cannabis and/or cannabinoids for treating symptoms such as spasticity, muscle spasms, chronic pain, tremor, sexual dysfunction, bowel and bladder dysfunctions, vision dimness, and dysfunctions of walking and balance (ataxia).
Muscular dystrophy encompasses an entire group of more than 30 inherited disorders, all of which cause the loss of skeletal muscle tissue and accompanying muscle weakness. Unfortunately, all of the disorders that make up the muscular dystrophy group are known to get worse over time.
There is no known treatment for muscular dystrophy, but medical cannabis can be used to alleviate the pain accompanying the condition.
Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune and neuromuscular disease that is responsible for fluctuating muscle weakness and overall fatigue. It worsens as the affected muscle is used repeatedly, and so myasthenia gravis symptoms tend to progress over time.
There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, however medical cannabis can be used to relieve the stress, anxiety, and physical pain caused by the disease.
Myoclonus is a symptom that occurs in many seizure-related conditions. These seizure types are characterized by rapid contraction and relaxation of muscles in multiple areas of the body.
High CBD strains have been used to reduce frequency of seizures.
Nail-patella syndrome is a genetic disorder that usually results in very small, poorly developed nails and kneecaps. This condition can also affect many other areas of the body such as the elbows, chest, hips, and even production of certain proteins within the body.
Medical cannabis has been used to relieve the pain, nausea, and muscle spasms that can occur as part of this condition.
Neurofibromatosis is a medical condition that refers to a number of various inherited conditions which are clinically and genetically distinct in. Each of these conditions carry a high risk of tumor formation, particularly in the region of the brain.
Medical cannabis has been used to treat symptoms of Neurofibromatosis for its anti-inflammatory effects, as a pain reliever, and as an appetite stimulant. Additional, recent studies have indicated that medical cannabis may inhibit the growth of tumors.
Parkinson’s is degenerative disease of the brain. Along with shaking, tremors or “freezing” symptoms, a person suffering from Parkinson’s Disease may also suffer from other symptoms including constipation, difficulty swallowing, blinking, drooling and muscle aches and pains.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease at this time, and so conventional treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms. Medical cannabis has been used to alleviate anxiety and pain related to this condition, as well as lessen involuntary muscle spasms.
Post-Concussion Syndrome, is characterized by a list of symptoms that can last for weeks, months, or even up to a year or more following a concussion.
Sativa-dominant strains of medical cannabis can be used to combat the emotional symptoms, depression, headaches and migraines associated with Post-Concussion Syndrome.
PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, frightening, or dangerous event. Not every traumatized person develops ongoing (chronic) or even short-term (acute) PTSD. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD. Symptoms usually begin early, within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin years afterward. Symptoms must last more than a month and be severe enough to interfere with relationships or work to be considered PTSD.
Generally indica strains are best suited for PTSD, however some have also found relief with hybrids like Girl Scout Cookies, or Canna-Tsu.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is characterized by symptoms of severe burning pain, tissue swelling, excessive sweating, extreme sensitivity to touch, and pathological changes in skin and bone. Type I RSD, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome typically refers to cases in which the nerve injury and damage cannot be detected immediately.
Medical cannabis can be used to relieve the debilitating pain that often accompanies this condition.
Residual limb pain is a term referring to pain in the part of the body that remains after an amputation has been performed. If you a patient who had a lower extremity amputation above the knee, the part of the thigh that remains after the amputation is called the residual limb.
Medical cannabis has been used as a non-addictive method to treat the severe pain that is associated with this condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, and can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body.
Medical cannabis can be used in treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis for both its anti-inflammatory effects and its pain-relieving properties.
Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain function that cause changes in attention or behavior, which are caused by abnormally excited electrical signals in the brain. if not all, types of seizures cause loss of awareness and some cause twitching or shaking of the body. Symptoms of seizures come on suddenly, over just seconds to a minute, and may include change in consciousness, loss of muscle control and falling, often very suddenly, muscle movement such as twitching that might spread up or down an arm or leg, or muscle tension/tightening that causes twisting of the body, head, arms, or legs.
High CBD strains of medical cannabis have been used to decrease the frequency of seizures.
Sjogren's syndrome is a medical disorder that directly affects a patient's immune system. With this particular condition, the body's mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth are usually affected first, and patients have also experienced symptoms such as joint pain, swelling and stiffness, swollen salivary glands — particularly the set located behind your jaw and in front of your ears, skin rashes or dry skin, vaginal dryness, persistent dry cough and a prolonged sense of fatigue.
High-CBD strains of medical cannabis have been used to treat symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome.
This collection of conditions has a wide range of symptoms including pain, tingling, severe headaches, numbness, muscle spasms, uncontrollable twitching, difficulty walking and severe lower abdomen pain.
Medical cannabis can be used to alleviate many symptoms related to pain and muscle spasms.
Spinal cord injuries can result in a range of symptoms including severe pain, stiffness, blood clots, insomnia, uncontrollable bladder and bowel, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, and depression.
In addition to loss of sensation or motor function, additional symptoms include, but are not limited to muscle spasticity, pain and fatigue, and disturbed sleep. These symptoms can be alleviated through the use of medical cannabis.
Spinocerebellar Ataxia is a degenerative, progressive, genetic disease which affects both the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include nausea, cachexia, poor coordination of hands, eye movements and speech. Additionally, muscle movements are particularly strained, and physical deterioration may occur over time.
Medical cannabis can be used for curbing nausea, stimulating appetite, relieving pain, and can help to reduce stresses brought on by the disease, relax tightened muscles, help with associated depression and help patients to achieve full nights of sleep.
Patients diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six (6) months or less may apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card valid for six months. Visit the Illinois Department of Health website to request a terminal patient application.
Consult your budtender for the best strain to ease your particular condition.
Tourette’s is a neurological disorder with symptoms in the form of involuntary physical tics or vocalizations.
While this is a complex condition that has some psychiatric components, medical cannabis has been used to lessen the incidence of the symptoms.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as intracranial injury, occurs when an external force traumatically injures the brain. This can lead to swelling of the brain, and severe neurological damage.
Recent studies have indicated that the THC in medical cannabis may increase survivability of accidents involving traumatic brain injury.