Are You Eligible For Medical Marijuana?
Posted By: Dr. Singh
Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) has been in effect since August 24th, 2016. The ACMPR details the result of a Federal Court ruling that allows Canadians to access medical marijuana. However, medical marijuana is not available to just anyone. Eligibility depends on many factors.
Are you eligible for medical marijuana?
If you suffer from chronic pain and have tried traditional medications and therapies but to no avail, you could be eligible for medical marijuana. Many people who receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis are suffering from chronic pain symptoms that have been present for more than six months.
For many people, the symptoms of chronic pain can prevent them from working, leaving the house and enjoying life. Medical marijuana offers the chance to regain your strength and ease chronic pain. Furthermore, people who suffer from chronic nausea or a sleep disorder may also be eligible for medicinal cannabis, as are people who live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
While it’s not necessary to be referred from a doctor, it is preferable. You will then be assessed by a physician for medical cannabis. If this treatment option is deemed appropriate, it will be prescribed.
What conditions can be helped by medicinal cannabis?
There are a myriad medical conditions that can be helped by the use of medical cannabis. When you meet with an Apollo healthcare practitioner, if they deem cannabis an appropriate treatment option for you, they will prescribe the amount of marijuana you are supposed to take per day. If you have any of the following conditions, you may find the use of medical marijuana helpful in dealing with the symptoms of:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Anxiety/anxiety disorders
- Auto accident injury
- Back and neck issues
- Brain injury
- Chronic nausea (caused by medication, chemotherapy or otherwise)
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Epilepsy (to help control seizures)
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Kidney Failure/Dialysis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe Arthritis
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep disorders
- Spinal Cord injury/disease
How do you know if you are suffering from chronic pain, nausea or a sleep disorder?
As aforementioned, chronic pain is defined as any constant discomfort that lasts longer than six months. This could be caused by an accident or other factors such as an old sports injury that never healed, sciatica, arthritic conditions and so on.
In terms of chronic nausea, this occurs when you are get a feeling of uneasiness or “seasickness” in your stomach for extended periods of time. This is generally caused by the body’s reaction to treatments like chemotherapy.
There are many types of sleeping disorders, including insomnia, narcolepsy, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, recurring nightmares or terror dreams and sleepwalking. Generally, if you experience an ongoing disruption in the quality or quantity of sleep, and this impacts your ability to function in daily life, you may suffer from a sleep disorder.
Who can prescribe medical marijuana?
Only healthcare practitioners like physicians, psychiatrists and nurse practitioners can prescribe medical marijuana. The physician must be a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and hold a valid licensing authority in the province they work in. They must also hold a valid narcotics class 1 license. Nurse practitioners are also recognized as eligible authorities to prescribe medical cannabis .
What documentation do you need to present?
When visiting Apollo’s physician or nurse practitioner, you must present your valid provincial health card.
- Depending on your age or condition, you may be required to have a referral from your doctor
- Most patients can be seen by Apollo with simply supporting documentation of their primary condition ( for example, a prescription bottle for opioids if you have chronic pain, or clinical notes from a doctor diagnosing you with anxiety, if you are looking to obtain medical cannabis for anxiety)
- For patients who do not have access to supporting documents or a referral, our clinic can still book an appointment through our harm reduction program
- If you are a veteran, you will need your K number and list of awarded conditions if you wish to get covered by VAC for the cost of your medicine
- If you are on any social assistance ( example ODSP, CPP disability ), please bring in proof of this to your appointment, so we can ensure you are registered for a licensed producer who offers compassionate pricing
What are you allowed to keep in your possession?
You are entitled to keep up to a 30-day supply of dried marijuana or its equivalent (sprays, drops, edible medication and so on). The maximum amount you can possess is based on 150 grams or the lower amount of what has been recommended by your doctor. For instance, if you are required to take two grams of dried marijuana daily, you are allowed to possess up to 60 grams at one time (2 grams x 30 days = 60 grams).
For more information about the use of medical marijuana and eligibility please contact the Apollo Cannabis Clinic. You may be eligible for medicinal marijuana.