When, in the autumn of 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 523 into law, thus establishing the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, 21 medical conditions were then authorized as qualifying conditions for using medical marijuana legally in the state, and anxiety was not among them. This, however, does not mean that an Ohioan with anxiety can’t get a state medical marijuana card.
Qualifying Conditions in Ohio With Symptoms of Anxiety
While anxiety is not currently one of the qualifying conditions for obtaining a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you may have another medical condition with anxiety among its symptoms that does qualify for an Ohio medical marijuana card. Anxiety may also cooccur with another condition that qualifies for a medical card in Ohio.
Post-traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD,) for instance, is one of the most popular diagnoses for receiving a medical card in Ohio. PTSD may count anxiety among its common symptoms, concurrent conditions and side effects of treatment.
Likewise, if you experience anxiety as a symptom of or cooccurring condition with any of the following medical conditions, you may qualify for an Ohio medical card.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cachexia, wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Tourette Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Qualifying Conditions in Ohio with Treatments That Have Side Effects of Anxiety
Anxiety may also be a side effect of a treatment for a medical condition you have that qualifies for a medical marijuana card in Ohio. If your treatment for any of the following conditions, for example, causes you anxiety, you may qualify for an Ohio medical card:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Epilepsy or seizures
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Ulcerative Colitis
Requesting Ohio Add Anxiety as a Qualifying Condition
Once each year for 60 days, the Ohio State Medical Board opens a petition period during which patients, doctors and other members of the Ohio public can request that the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program add new conditions to the list of ones that qualify for a medical marijuana card.
That means you have another way of potentially getting a medical card in Ohio for anxiety, if not now, then at least in the not-too-distant future. When the next period opens up, you can file a petition requesting the program add anxiety to the list.
Medical Marijuana’s Benefits for Anxiety
Researchers have widely studied marijuana for its use in treating anxiety and related symptoms. Among the results of many of these studies were promising findings for the use of marijuana in place of benzodiazepines and other anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals. For example, marijuana was found to have a potentially positive effect on GABA levels, GABA being a neurotransmitter linked to anxiety regulation and mood balancing. Distinct from benzodiazepines, however, marijuana was not found to cause overdose deaths or build up a tolerance in its users.
According to other research, marijuana has the ability to lower levels of cortisol, a neurotransmitter linked to stress. Among the types of stress associated with cortisol is emotional stress, like that which is associated with anxiety. In other words, marijuana may lower cortisol levels, thereby reducing stress, including emotional stress, in turn potentially reducing anxiety.
Those who use medical marijuana to treat their anxiety may, therefore, find that it provides benefits such as:
- Relaxing the mind and calming the nerves
- Restoring rapid heart-rate, breathing and/or blood pressure to more normal levels
- Leveling extreme moods and alleviating mood swings
If anxiety is also associated with causing or contributing to insomnia, marijuana can also help promote sleep.
How to Get an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card for Anxiety
To get a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you must complete a three-step process with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.
- First, meet with a certified Ohio physician to verify that you indeed have a diagnosis for a one of the qualifying medical conditions for a medical marijuana card in Ohio.
- Next, if the physician finds that you do have a qualifying condition, he or she creates a profile for you in the Ohio Patient and Caregiver Registry.
- Third and lastly, you receive your digital medical marijuana card via email allowing you to buy your medical marijuana through any state dispensary authorized by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy with an appropriate and valid certificate of operation by simply flashing your smartphone.
To learn more about obtaining a medical marijuana card through the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, review the program’s Quick Reference Guide: How to Obtain Medical Marijuana
You can also reach out to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Toll-Free Helpline at 1-833-4OH-MMCP (1-833-464-6627) with any questions you may have about medical marijuana in the state.
Using Telemedicine to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Anxiety Safely in Ohio
During the pandemic, it may not be practical or feel safe to leave your home and visit a doctor in person to get the medical marijuana evaluation and letter you need to obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio. For times like these, telemedicine offers a prime solution, allowing patients like you to meet with doctors qualified to provide medical marijuana evaluations and letters remotely over an internet connection.
To get your medical marijuana card for anxiety in Ohio safely using telemedicine, visit MMJCard4Less. There, you can videoconference with a licensed Ohio physician qualified to provide you the doctor’s letter you need to get your Ohio medical card. The doctor you are connected with will determine your qualifications for a medical card and, assuming you qualify, write the necessary letter and sign you up with the state medical marijuana registry. You simply, then, complete your registration and wait for your digital medical marijuana card to arrive.
How to Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Anxiety
You can use marijuana in a variety of ways to treat anxiety. You can use it preventatively during periods or prior to experiences you associate with triggering your anxiety. You can also use it in a moment of crisis, while experiencing anxiety, in order to potentially reduce its severity and duration and restore your mental and emotional state to greater calmness and evenness.
Best Medical Marijuana Strains For Anxiety
Most medical marijuana strains are classified into three categories: sativa, indica and hybrid, or a blend of the preceding two. While different types of marijuana may have different effects on different people, most people tend to experience similar effects from each type of marijuana strain.
In most people, sativa strains produce a more energizing, mood-elevating effect, while indica strains produce a more relaxing, calming effect. Depending on how your anxiety manifests, either type of strain may work better at treating your particular anxiety.
The best way to determine the best medical marijuana strain for your anxiety is to experiment with different strains, one at a time, and carefully notice their effects.