Qualifying Medical Conditions
Understanding the conditions that may qualify for medical marijuana certification
Under Act 16 of 2016, Pennsylvania residents suffering from a “serious medical condition” will be considered candidates for medical marijuana.
The following medical conditions, which are listed on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website, are deemed “serious medical conditions“.
Those with anxiety disorders have excessive feelings of worry, stress, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. Anxiety may be accompanied by panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and restlessness.
A neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave. Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social communication, interaction behaviors, and repetitive/restrictive behaviors.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Despite possible side effects such as nausea and vomiting, chemotherapy has been an effective and reliable cancer treatment for decades.
A type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s Disease causes swelling of the tissues in one’s digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.
DAMAGE TO THE NERVOUS TISSUE OF THE SPINAL CORD (WITH OBJECTIVE NEUROLOGICAL INDICATION OF INTRACTABLE SPASTICITY)
Spasticity is caused when there is an imbalance of signals from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the muscles. This is often found in people with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury.
A brain disorder characterized by repeated seizures, which are sudden alterations of behavior due to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain. Epilepsy may be the result of a genetic disorder or an acquired brain injury, such as a trauma or stroke.
One of the leading causes of blindness for those 60+, glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is vital for good vision. Glaucoma is often caused by abnormally high pressure in one’s eye.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV damages one’s immune system, thus interfering with the body’s ability to fight infection and disease
SEVERE CHRONIC OR INTRACTABLE PAIN OF NEUROPATHIC ORIGIN OR SEVERE CHRONIC OR INTRACTABLE PAIN IN WHICH CONVENTIONAL THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION AND OPIATE THERAPY IS CONTRAINDICATED OR INEFFECTIVE. (E.G. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, MIGRAINES, CLUSTER HEADACHES)
AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (LOU GEHRIG’S DISEASE)
Intractable pain refers to a type of incurable pain that can’t be controlled, treated, or managed with standard medical care. The focus of treatment is to reduce discomfort, which may involve being bedridden or hospitalized for care. Conditions such as migraines, cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis may cause intractable pain.
Huntington’s disease is a rare, inherited disease that causes the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. This condition causes uncontrolled movements, emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability.
Tourette’s is a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics), such as repeatedly blinking the eyes, shrugging shoulders, or blurting out offensive words. Treatment may include medication or psychological therapies.
Medicine often helps control epilepsy, however if an individual still has seizures after taking two seizure medications, the epilepsy is called “intractable,” meaning not easily managed or relieved.
A disease that impacts the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves), which control everything we do. MS results in nerve damage that disrupts communication between the brain and the body, and may cause vision loss, pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination.
Damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves that typically results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and pain in the affected area, which frequently start in one’s hands and feet, but can affect other parts of the body.
This brain disorder causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. The condition can place great strain on the body, and make some more vulnerable to serious and life-threatening infections.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
A disorder in which a person has challenges recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Triggers can bring back painful memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.
SICKLE CELL ANEMIA
A group of inherited disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen. The cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells, and can block blood flow causing pain), which can then result in infections, pain, and fatigue.
OPIOID REDUCTION OR AS AN ADJUNCT FOR THOSE WITH OPIOID ADDICTION*
Opioids are a substance found in certain prescription pain medications and illegal drugs like heroin. With prolonged use, the body can develop a dependence on opioids, causing withdrawal symptoms, making it more difficult to stop usage. Addiction to opioids occurs when dependence interferes with daily life.