Can You Get a Medical Card for Depression in PA in 2024?

Can You Get a Medical Card for Depression in PA


While the recreational use of cannabis is still banned in the state of Pennsylvania, the thriving medical marijuana program has exploded in popularity since its legalization in 2016. Since then, more than 700,000 patients have successfully registered with Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.

There is a long list of approved conditions that could qualify you for a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania, but unfortunately, depression isn’t one of them. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a medical card for depression in Pennsylvania. Depending on your psychiatric diagnoses, you could still qualify.

Let’s explore how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania, as well as how depression fits into the process.


Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Getting a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania takes only a few steps, as long as you have proof of Pennsylvania residence with a driver’s license or state-issued ID. First, you have to create a profile on the Medical Marijuana Registry.

Then, you’ll need certification from a physician participating in the program proving that you have one of the following qualifying conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Cancer, including remission therapy
  • Chronic Hepatitis C
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Seizure disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are ineffective
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe chronic pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome


Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card Online Today

Join over 100,000 patients who have chosen Green Health Docs as their medical cannabis doctors. We have a 99% approval rate and offer a 100% money back guarantee!


So Can You Get a Medical Card for Depression in PA?

Can you get a medical card for depression in Pennsylvania? The short answer is no, but the reality can be far more complicated. While depression is not explicitly listed as a qualifying condition by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, anxiety was added in the summer of 2019 as a qualifying psychiatric disorder.

Since then, the number of anxiety patients with medical marijuana cards in Pennsylvania has increased dramatically. A recent review found that the majority of medical marijuana cards issued in Pennsylvania list anxiety as a contributing factor.

In mental health, depression and anxiety are common comorbidities. Up to 60% of those with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression, and vice versa. These overlapping symptoms mean that people with depression could potentially qualify for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card based on additional anxiety symptoms. Depression can also overlap with other conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you have depression and are considering medical marijuana, talk to your physician about whether you would qualify for Pennsylvania’s program.


The Effects of Cannabis on Depression

The research on medical marijuana for depression is still in its early stages. Early research suggests that marijuana can be used to address symptoms of depression in the short term. In a 2020 study, 95% of participants reported that marijuana gave them rapid and short-term relief from depression symptoms. Another study in 2018 reported similar fast-acting effects, where participants said just two puffs improved symptoms of depression. However, the study also found that long-term use could worsen symptoms.

A 2014 study explores how medical marijuana could reduce the impact of chronic stress, restore endocannabinoid function, and stabilize mood for people experiencing stress-induced depression.

Overall, more research is needed to assess the benefits and drawbacks of marijuana as a treatment for depression. However, early studies show that there could be potential for short-term use to alleviate depression symptoms.

For overlapping conditions that make the qualifying conditions list, like anxiety and PTSD, cannabis research also demonstrates how medical marijuana can make an impact. Studies show that both CBD and THC can relieve anxiety and reduce panic reactions as long as the THC is appropriately dosed. For people with PTSD, a review of the effects of cannabis found that it was associated with a reduction in overall PTSD symptoms and showed an improvement in quality of life.


Weed for depression


Schedule an Appointment with a Medical Marijuana Doctor in Pennsylvania Today!

Can you get a medical card for depression in Pennsylvania? If depression is your only diagnosed condition, you won’t be eligible for a PA medical card under current Pennsylvania laws, as it’s not explicitly listed as a qualifying condition.

If you have overlapping conditions, however, like anxiety or PTSD, you could still qualify for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card. If your physician determines that you’re eligible, you can explore all the benefits of medical marijuana for depression, anxiety, and more.

Not sure if you qualify? Green Health Docs offers the support you need to apply for your medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. Book an appointment with one of our doctors and complete an evaluation to get the process started.


Dr. Anand DugarThis article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.