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Conditions that Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use in Illinois

While there are hundreds of health conditions that can potentially be helped by the use of medical marijuana, the state of Illinois only recognizes the following medical conditions as treatable using cannabis. **Please note that this list of medical marijuana conditions will be changing as the Illinois law evolves. If you do not see your condition listed, please check back at a later date as we will be updating the list of medical conditions that the state of Illinois deems appropriate for medical marijuana use. Please ask your doctor if medical marijuana should be used to help treat your specific medical condition.**

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Although there is no cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, marijuana can be used to help relieve the symptoms of the disease, including loss of appetite and chronic pain caused by muscle spasms and/or stiffness. ALS, also more widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes loss of muscle control and coordination along the spinal cord, brainstem and motor cortex.

Autism

For people with autism, marijuana has been found to help reduce the likelihood of serious behavioral episodes. Autism is a developmental disorder varying in severity, characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication, and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought or behavior. It has been linked to the improvement of sleep patterns for people with autism. Medical marijuana has also been used to help in severe forms of epilepsy sometimes accompanied by autism. Marijuana may also increase receptiveness to learning.

Cancer

Patients use medical marijuana for cancer to help ease the symptoms that they are dealing with due to their chemotherapy treatments.

Chronic Pain

The use of medical cannabis for chronic pain may help those who deal with continual discomfort and persistent pain which interferes with their daily routines.

Epilepsy

Using medical marijuana for epilepsy may lessen the frequency of seizures and symptoms associated with this seizure disorder.

Glaucoma

Patients diagnosed with glaucoma, a disorder where there is optic nerve damage due to high eye pressure, may find that medical marijuana for glaucoma helps alleviate their symptoms.

HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) occurs when the cells in the bloodstream that make up the immune system become compromised and multiply. The disease attacks the immune system allowing for a person to contract a variety of opportunistic infections. Although there is no cure for HIV yet, there have been many pharmaceutical treatments that help decrease the viral-load within the inflicted patient’s bloodstream and help prevent the virus from reproducing. However, many of these treatments can cause extremely harsh negative side effects associated with HIV. Medical marijuana is effective in treating the symptoms caused by many HIV medications, including: nausea, lack of appetite, nerve pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease may obtain medical marijuana for IBD to seek relief of some of its painful symptoms.

Migraines

Using medical marijuana for migraines may help alleviate the extreme pain and pressure that these intense headaches cause.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Patients with multiple sclerosis may find that medical marijuana for MS can ease the severe symptoms associated with this autoimmune disorder that breaks down the coating protecting the nerves, leading to limited or complete loss of functionality.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson’s disease patients may choose to treat their symptoms using medical marijuana. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an incurable nervous system disorder that gradually develops overtime. Symptoms can vary for individuals, and can include any of the following: tremors, slowed movement, posture and balance problems, speech and writing changes, rigid muscles, and no automatic movement. For those with Parkinson’s, medical marijuana can improve anxiety, insomnia, nausea, weight loss, and pain management.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Medical marijuana use for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may provide relief to RA patients dealing with certain symptoms associated with the autoimmune disease.

Spinal Cord Disease and Injury

Individuals who suffer from a spinal cord disease or injury are often at the mercy of their symptoms. The spinal cord is the tether that holds together the human body’s central nervous system. Many people who are afflicted with an SCD or SCI experience intense pain and muscle spasming and/or stiffness around the spinal cord. Medical marijuana can be used to help alleviate muscle twitching, jerking and spasticity by switching on the nerve receptors in the central nervous system that help to aid in muscle spasm. Cannabis can also be used as a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory in cases with intense chronic pain as well as an appetite stimulant and sleep aid.

Additional Medical Conditions

The state of Illinois has approved the use of medicinal marijuana not only for the health conditions listed above but also for these following debilitating conditions:
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neuro-Bechet’s autoimmune disease
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Residual limb pain
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy)
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord injury is damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

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