Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or its chemicals to treat diseases or chronic conditions. However, if you can access it depends on the state laws. Today, more than two-thirds of the states have legalized it for medical treatments, and more are considering adopting bills to make it legal.
While rigorous scientific research is lacking in the efficacy of medical marijuana, there is substantial anecdotal evidence of its benefits for specific conditions. And the FDA has approved it for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two types of epilepsy.
Currently, researchers are studying the effects of medical marijuana on several conditions, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Immune system diseases like MS or HIV/AIDS
- Mental health conditions like PTSD
- And others
How Does It Work?
The active chemicals in medical marijuana are called cannabinoids. For example, these are similar to our body’s natural chemicals that affect appetite, movement, and pain. Also, research suggests that cannabinoids may help lower anxiety, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and control nausea and vomiting (among others).
Each person can choose how they want to take medical marijuana. It’s available to smoke, inhale, and eat. Furthermore, you can apply it to your skin (lotions, oils, creams) or under your tongue in liquid form. No matter the method, keep in mind that each works a little differently in the body.
Can Anyone Take Medical Marijuana?
To qualify for it in Missouri, you must be diagnosed with one of the medical conditions listed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. And the condition must be considered chronic, meaning that you’ve had it for over six months. Also, you must receive a certification card permitting you to purchase medical marijuana.
At New Freedom Family Medicine, Dr. Allen provides certification for a medical marijuana card (we don’t dispense or prescribe medical marijuana). If you are not a patient at our office, you must provide medical records from your current primary doctor. Furthermore, if you need it for a psychiatric condition, we require medical records from your diagnosing psychiatrist (either an MD or a DO). Note that clinical psychologists or counselors are not able to provide this verification.
What’s the Certification Process?
At New Freedom Family Medicine, there are two ways to become certified. First, Dr. Allen reviews the provided medical records to determine if you have a qualifying condition. If you do, our office will schedule an appointment to complete the forms for the card. Secondly, if you cannot produce medical records, patients can arrange a full consultation with Dr. Allen. During this visit, you will have an extensive review, usually lasting one hour or longer. Additionally, we charge a fee associated with the evaluation payable at the time of the request.
What If I Have Additional Questions?
If you have other questions, please call New Freedom Family Medicine at 573-271-2927. If you live in Missouri, you can find additional information at the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. Also, you can email questions to MedicalMarijuanaInfo@health.mo.gov.
Do You Need Certification?
At New Freedom Family Medicine, we are happy to talk to you about medical marijuana certification. Please get in touch with us today if you have questions and to get started.