Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana (2018)

Know your rights!
Nicole Richter / Updated on April 17, 2017

Qualifying Conditions Medical Marijuana

As of now, Marijuana is classed as a Schedule I drug and considered illegal under Federal criminal law. This means that those caught with Marijuana can receive up to one year in jail time and a minimum fine of $1,000, for the first conviction.

For a second conviction, the penalties increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of 2 years in jail. This is often accompanied by a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of up to 3 years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Despite marijuana being illegal on a Federal level, individual states have enforced different legal laws that permit patients to consume medical marijuana for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. This is according to specific state laws.

Some states have taken it one step further and now permit recreational use. Please note that using marijuana is subject to not only the state you reside in but also the county or township. In some cases, it may be even further defined by the city.

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The Turning Point

2009 was a major turning point for the marijuana industry as President Barack Obama announced that his administration would not seek to arrest or prosecute medical marijuana users and suppliers, as long as they conformed to state legal laws. That approach led many states to clarify the laws in regards to medical marijuana, creating more of a structure in regards to the state’s opinion on the matter and laws regarding marijuana possession.

For example, specific states decided to become recreational, allowing marijuana use to all individual and not just medical patients. Other states have changed their rules and regulation, compiling specific lists of approved diseases which qualify for the use of medical marijuana.

In this article, we’ve gathered the more common medical conditions that are eligible for medical marijuana. There are additional qualifying conditions that are not listed in this post and therefore, if you suffer from a condition not stated here, we recommend contacting your state’s Board of Health to understand your state’s full list of qualifying health conditions.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana (2018):


ADHD is a condition which is associated a wide range of symptoms including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Over the years there hasn’t been much research on medical marijuana and ADHD; however, some initial studies have provided evidence that marijuana can be used as a treatment for this disorder.


Unlike what most people think, AIDS is not a virus but a set of symptoms (or syndrome) caused by the HIV virus. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. The virus destroys the T-helper cell, a type of white blood cell, and clones itself inside these cells. T-helper cells are also known as CD4 cells.

AIDS is the term used when a patient who has HIV can’t fight the infection due to a weak immune system. This causes them to develop certain defining symptoms and illnesses. This is the last stage of HIV, when the infection is very advanced.


Anorexia divides into different types with Anorexia and Anorexia nervosa being the most common. Is a potentially a life-threatening eating disorder and can be accompanied by a severe psychological disorder. In general:

  • Anorexia is a general loss of appetite or a loss of interest in food.
  • Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental illness. Patients do not necessarily lose interest in food, but intentionally restrict their food intake because of an irrational fear of being or becoming fat.

As of now, Anorexia has no single cause, but it does have several risk factors including:

  • Having a tendency towards depression.
  • Being overly worried about one’s weight and shape.
  • Having had an anxiety disorder during childhood.

Marijuana is known to help those that suffer from Anorexia and it is classed by marijuana doctors as an effective Anorexia treatment.


Arthritis is very common but unfortunately still not very understood. Arthritis is a general term to describe over 100 different types of conditions that are related to joint pain or joint disease.

People of all ages have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. Common symptoms of Arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased the range of motion. In 2000, researchers found that marijuana contains amazing anti-inflammatory compounds as well as natural analgesics making it a very beneficial arthritis treatment.

Cachexia (wasting)

Cachexia is a condition which denotes the excessive loss of weight. It happens due to depletion of adipose tissue and muscle mass in individuals who are not trying to lose weight.

It is also known as “wasting syndrome.” It is known for causing excessive muscle wasting, weakness, fatigue, and loss of appetite in people.

The word “cachexia” originates from two Greek terms “Kakos” which means “bad” and “Hexis” which means “condition.”


Cancer is classed as a group of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. As of now, there are over 100 different types of cancer types, and each is classified by the type of cell that it affects. There are also various different cancer treatments including marijuana.

Cancer alters cells and causes lumps or masses of tissue to form. These are called tumors. If untreated, tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems. They may even release hormones that alter body function.

Research in mice and rats have proven that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Other research on animals has shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells and is now classed as an effective cancer treatment.

Chronic pain

About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than six months. The most common sources of pain stem from headaches, joint pain, pain from injury, and backaches. Other kinds of chronic pain include tendinitis, sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pain affecting specific parts of the body, such as the shoulders, pelvis, and neck.

Studies in chronic pain of both neuropathic and inflammatory origin have found marijuana to be an effective treatment. Cannabinoids in the plant are known to release endogenous opioids which moderate pain. While some studies have suggested that cannabis is no more effective than codeine in controlling pain, the side effects of marijuana versus narcotic pain relievers show that marijuana is a safer option to use.


Depression is a serious and common medical illness that affects how you feel. It negatively affects the way you think and how you act.

Fortunately, it is also treatable, and one of those depression treatments is marijuana. Unlike antidepressant medications that are associated with a broad range of serious side-effects, marijuana is classed as a more natural alternative solution.

Epilepsy / Seizures

Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures are episodes that can last from only a few seconds, to long episodes that are characterized by vigorous shaking.

Marijuana has anti-convulsant properties thanks to its Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found at higher levels in some strains of marijuana. This makes cannabis an excellent treatment for epilepsy as it helps to control the spasms associated with Epilepsy.


Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people across the globe. It is normally divided into three types:

  • Transient Insomnia – Symptoms last from a few days to a couple of weeks.
  • Acute Insomnia – Symptoms persist for several weeks.
  • Chronic Insomnia – Can last for months, and sometimes years.


Glaucoma is a disease that affects and damages your eye’s optic nerve. It tends to happen when fluid accumulates in the front part of your eye.

It is the leading cause of blindness, for people over 60 years old, forcing them to have eye surgery. More current research has shown that there are cannabinoid receptors within the eye meaning that the endocannabinoid system may have dictation over the aqueous humoural outflow and production.

This means that specific strains can reduce the pressure inside the eye and may slow the progression of the disease.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, aka PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that may develop after exposure to a terrifying event in which significant physical or emotional harm occurred.

These events may include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

Individuals that suffer from PTSD may have persistent frightening thoughts and memories, experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily distracted.

Researchers have found that people with PTSD had lower levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound, compared to those who do not have PTSD.

Endogenous anandamide triggers the same receptors that are activated by THC and other components of the marijuana, making it a safe treatment for PTSD.

Related Article: 3 Ways to Get a MMJ Card Online (in Minutes)

Final Thoughts.

Unfortunately, while marijuana is still classed illegal on a Federal level, there is no one set of rules that dictate the exact healthcare conditions to which a patient is eligible to be treated with Marijuana. This means that each state has its own exact list of qualifying conditions. The conditions listed above are general ones that are accepted in most states, but if you suffer from an illness or medical condition, then your best bet would be to contact your local physician and understand the exact qualifications.

Need a Medical Marijuana Card? Let us help by Starting Here

Get your medical card

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana (2018)
April 17, 2017
4.8 42
  1. Richard

    Does being diagnosed as bi-polar/schitzo effective qualify for a mmj card?

  2. JON. V

    I have been diagnosed with severe anxiety and ptsd, also suffer from digeneritive disc disorder and insomnia. I live in Florida. What do i need to do so I won’t have to take pills, which the doctor doesn’t like prescribing anyhow.

  3. brad

    i have bipolar and it keeps me from holding a job and over my whole life no bipolar med has worked for more then 6-12 months at a time. but as of the the last 2 years the effectiveness of medications as gone down now they only work for about 2-3 months. i have found taking a hit of marijuana helps but here in oregon i can’t get a medical card cause bipolar doesn’t qualify me to get one. i been told to just to take different meds, well i only have one kidney and not alot of meds are open to me. i have no clue if it is even possible to fight to get a card or if it is worth it.

  4. Sara Fowler

    I live in Arizona, please suggest

  5. Wilma Cain

    For arthritis, marijuana is wonderful. Thank you so much!

  6. Jonathan S

    Wish anxiety was on this list!

  7. Theresa Willis

    CBD is an efficient strain for diabetes. It normalized my sugar level.

  8. Irene David

    Great article. Very informative.

  9. Thomas Groff

    Should be legal nationwide. There are so many people that suffer with simple anxiety and it could help with.

  10. Joyce B

    The process in AZ is so confusing, thanks for all the help

  11. James Mayle

    These are just a few. There are many more per state, but this does sum up the major ones.

  12. Thomas T

    Does social anxiety qualify?

  13. Jill Elis

    Hope to see more conditions on this list and more states legalized.

  14. Robert Brooks

    I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you guys for all the information. This article was quite informative and the additional information you gave was priceless. Thanks for helping me with the process. Finally got approved!

  15. Rebecca Sampson

    Recently got my card. Thank the lord that PA has changed their rules

  16. Liz Machen

    Very well written and educational article about marijuana. It has made my life stress free by relieving me of cancer, life-threatening disease. I am thankful!

  17. Peter P

    Thanks for the info!

  18. Megan Delgado

    Very well explained. I am glad to hear that cancer is on the list

  19. Paul Faber

    my psychiatrist won’t put in the information needed for me to get a card so therefore
    I am suffering with depression. I hope you could help me.

    Thank you.

    Paul Faber
    Brunswick, GA 31523

    1. Bob

      Yeah blame your doctor for your depression. You sound like such a liberal democrat.

  20. George Coppersmith

    How can Marijuana still be considered schedule 1 schedule 1 means there’s no medical use for it but marijuana has a lot of medical uses

  21. Jimmy the weed

    This is so aggravating that pot is on schedule 1 or dangerous drugs as it’s not even addictive or harmful.

  22. Bud LePlante

    I was wondering why all these people are asking you these easily answerable questions if they would just take the time to read the full article. It’s like 2 mins lung people cmon lol obviously the author doesn’t know all the answers lol.

  23. Chris kusel

    I have frequent insomnia and frequent headaches. The insomniaxcan last for days and usually leads to the headaches, which are migraine like. I live in NY where medical was recently approved. I was wondering if I qualify?

    1. Adam

      Hi Chris, check out this article https://www.marijuanabreak.com/how-to-get-a-medical-marijuana-card-in-new-york/

  24. James

    I suffer from a rare birth defect call Arnold Chiari Malformation type 1. I don’t want to bore you with all the details and qualifying categories this puts me in. My question is that is it possible to get a in a state where it is not legal yet? Do I have to travel to legal state be seen by Dr to get card? And if so can they ship meds to me or do I have to travel back to the state that issued the card to pick up?

    1. Adam

      James. Unfortunately if you live in a state that it is illegal your options are limited. You can’t travel to a different state, unless you go to a recreational state. But you can’t bring the weed back.

  25. Floyd Harris

    I suffer from severe Epilepsy and have daily seizures,I am on several different AED’S which has damaged my organs and has made me partially blind!!When I smoke marijuana it almost completely stops the seizures for a week or so,I just don’t know how to go about getting a prescription for medical use in NY??

    1. Adam

      Check the links at the end of the article

    2. carl

      on epilepsy – therapeutic mechanisms are now understood sufficiently for our endo-cannabinoid system and cbd’s used by it, produced by our own bodies and, by cbd’s of cannabis sativa..
      my temproal lobe grand mal epilepsy was cured, over time, using home grown style cannabis..
      with approval of my gp and knowledge of my neurologist.. ie, around 25 yrs ago..

      on cancer – similarly, mechanisms are now understood of various specific ways cannabis interacts with our endo-cannabinoid syste in causing cancer cell apoptosis [natural cell death sequence] and other effects including restricting availability of nutrients etc to cancer cells,, supporting other cancer therapies..

      long list of diseases and disorders part of states medicinal cannabis laws are based on reality..
      scheduling cannabis as sch 1 is not,, based on realities of therapeutic benefits..
      cannabis entering modern laws as a sch 1 highly addictive narcotic supertoxin as for heroin etc,
      was and is wrong, in error, based originally on laymens, observations of asian opium dens..

      up until that time cannabis was part of usa pharmacopia and also worldwide use including for thousands of years in unrelated societies.. cannabis is not, narcotic.. not, a drug of addiction..
      with no fatal dosage.. without any deaths from cannabis alone, ever..

      i used [illegal] cannabis to cure my tmgm epilepsy.. altho neurologist prognosis ‘instutionalised by 55’,
      today i am almost 70, fit, healthy and disease free.. also very rarely smoke cannabis [too expensive]..
      recommend epileptics or cancer suffers or any disease qualifying for medical cannabis in many states
      make the move to one of these states.. it is not, worth it,, to have your life and potentials ruined by epilepsy [or cancer and so on].. you must decide yourself, for your self, your own destiny here..

  26. eva register

    I have 4 of the problem you have listed how do I see if I qualify

    1. Adam

      Depends on the state. Where do you live?

  27. LaRonna Davis

    I have seizures, depression. Rheumatoid and ostio authritis, insomnia, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic pancreatitis.. and no appetite food is my enemy and degenerative disc disease…but in ALABAMA I’m always getting in trouble with my DR’S because it’s not legal here but I smoke its the only thing that helps me all the MEDS they give me cause further organ damage and I have developed more health problems from taking them any information on how I could submit my medical records to get a PRESCRIPTION card for medical marijuana desperate in ALABAMA….please help

    1. Adam

      LaRonna, we wish we could help but like you said it is illegal where you live. You need a good Dr

  28. jose daniel

    is good to treat high blood pressure too right??

    1. Marijuanabreak

      Yes, but you should consult with your doctor

  29. Crystal

    Can Ms patients get it if they can’t move nothing from the neck down

    1. Adam

      It really depends where you live. The list here are general conditions, but each state has it’s own criteria

  30. Patricia

    I suffer from anxiety and depression where can i go to begin the process would they work with medic aide

    1. Adam

      Hi patricia, Not sure if they will work with medic aide, also depends where you live

  31. Hector SANTIAGO

    Can it be used to treat bipolar..

    1. Adam

      You would have to consult with your doctor on that…

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