Depression is a serious and debilitating medical condition that strikes 18% of the US adult population, or about 40 million people, according to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America. Worse, many depression sufferers fail to seek treatment for their illness. Fortunately, however, modern science and western medicine are widely beginning to recognize and accept the potential benefits of medical marijuana in treating depression.
How to Qualify for a Medical Card in Ohio With Depression
When, in 2016, Governor John Kasich signed medical marijuana legalization in Ohio into law, only certain medical conditions qualified an Ohioan for legal marijuana. Currently, there are only 22 conditions that qualify a person for a medical marijuana card in Ohio, and depression is not one of them. However, there are still ways you can get a medical marijuana card if you live in Ohio and suffer from depression.
You may be able to get a medical card in Ohio for a non-qualifying medical condition like depression if that non-qualifying condition is a symptom of a qualifying condition. Similarly, you may be able to get a medical card if your depression, or other non-qualifying condition, is concurrent with a qualifying condition. The doctor will merely authorize you for the qualifying condition. Thirdly, if your depression is a side effect of the treatment you are receiving for a qualifying condition, you may also qualify under that condition for which you are receiving treatment.
For example, one of the most common, if not the most common, diagnoses for a medical marijuana card in Ohio, and many other states, is post-traumatic stress disorder, for which depression is a common symptom, concurrent condition and/or side effect of treatment.
Likewise, if, for any of the following other qualifying conditions, your depression is a symptom, concurrent condition or side effect of treatment, you may still be able to get a medical card in Ohio:
- AIDS or HIV-positive status
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or another, non-epileptic seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic and severe or intractable pain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Tourette syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
In addition to these originally approved qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Ohio, the state Medical Board added Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Cachexia, or wasting syndrome, to the list on July 8, 2020. The same concept, therefore, applies to these conditions as those above. If your depression is symptom, concurrent condition or side effect of the treatment for either of these conditions, you may qualify for an Ohio medical card.
Petitioning Ohio to Add Anxiety as a New Qualifying Condition
Even if you don’t have another condition that meets any of the aforementioned criteria, there still may be a way you could get a medical card for depression in Ohio, not now, perhaps, but in the near future.
For a 60-day period every year, the State Medical Board of Ohio considers requests to add new conditions to the list of those that qualify a patient to purchase, possess and use medical marijuana legally in the state. To apply to have depression added to that list, you must provide the following:
- Your name and contact info
- Info from experts in the field of depression affirming marijuana’s medical benefits for the condition
- Other related scientific evidence
- Details on whether conventional therapies for depression are not adequate to sufficiently alleviate or treat depression, and, if so, how
- Evidence and other medical or scientific documentation backing the use of marijuana to alleviate or treat depression
- Letters from physicians supporting your appeal
Medical Marijuana’s Benefits for Depression
According to research cited in the introduction to this article, at least two of the cannabinoids, or primary active compounds in marijuana, CBD and THC, seem to produce anti-depressant effects.
Among the effects of marijuana found in various studies that may benefit depression and its related symptoms include:
- Muscle relaxant
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio for Depression
To get a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you simply need to present to the state program a letter of authorization written and signed by a doctor licensed to practice in the state attesting that you have a qualifying condition and medical marijuana may provide you relief of some of its symptoms. After evaluating you to confirm your qualifications for medical marijuana, the doctor will initiate your registration with the state to receive your medical marijuana card and you will complete it.
Today’s Ohio medical marijuana cards are entirely digital, so you don’t need to wait for a physical card to arrive in the mail. Rather, all you need to do is present your digital Ohio medical marijuana card over your smartphone or other mobile device.
Using Telemedicine to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Depression Safely in Ohio
In these times of COVID-19 and social distancing, many people, not least among them those suffering from depression, may be reluctant to visit a doctor in person to get authorization for an Ohio medical marijuana card, even if they qualify completely. In those cases, telemedicine allows remote authorization over an internet connection. That means you can get a doctor’s letter for medical marijuana and get registered with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program all from the comfort and safety of your own home.
MMJCard4Less is one such service allowing you safe, secure, reliable and legal medical marijuana authorization in Ohio via telemedicine. When you contact MMJCard4Less online, they will connect you with a licensed Ohio physician via videoconference for a medical marijuana evaluation. If the doctor agrees that you qualify for an Ohio medical card, he or she will provide the necessary authorization and sign you up with the state program. Then, all you need to do is complete registration online at home and wait for your digital card to arrive via email allowing you to purchase medical marijuana at any state-authorized dispensary.
How to Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Depression
You can use medical marijuana while experiencing depression in order to potentially alleviate its symptoms and hasten its end. You can also use medical marijuana in a preventative manner, intaking it either at regular intervals, prior to experiences you find trigger your depression or when you detect signals a bout of depression may be immanent in order to keep it at bay.
Best Medical Marijuana Strains For Depression
Marijuana strains affect people differently. Therefore, the most reliable way to find the best strain for your depression is try different ones. In time, you will find the strains that provide you the greatest relief from your anxiety.