Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Anxiety in Missouri?
Studies have shown that cannabis can be highly effective for relieving anxiety. As Missouri deploys its medical cannabis program, patients considering getting their Missouri medical marijuana card are wondering if their anxiety disorder will qualify them for certification. While anxiety isn’t explicitly listed on the state’s official list of qualifying conditions, there may be some hope for anxiety sufferers seeking relief.
What Constitutes Anxiety?
First, it’s important to define what we’re actually talking about. Everyone gets some degree of anxiety from time to time. But an anxiety disorder is something much more serious. The National Institute of Mental Health has specific standards for what constitutes an anxiety disorder.
For example, a person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) may “display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances.”
If your anxiety directly and constantly interferes with your ability to function and thrive like a regular human being, you may have an anxiety disorder. So what does that mean in terms of Missouri’s new medical marijuana program?
Will Anxiety Qualify You for a Missouri Medical Marijuana Card?
Although anxiety is not specifically listed among Missouri’s qualifying conditions, its eligibility may be strongly implied. The list includes “debilitating psychiatric disorders…if diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist.” While the use of the word “debilitating” may leave some room for debate, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that physicians can recommend medical marijuana for severe or chronic anxiety.
In addition, Missouri’s qualifying conditions include:
A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication.
In other words, you may qualify if a physician determines that medical marijuana would provide you with a safer, less habit-forming alternative to conventional anxiety medications.
Anxiety disorders are often treated with benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. The problem is that these drugs are habit-forming and subject to abuse. They can also cause severe side effects like drowsiness and issues with memory and balance. If you currently take benzodiazepines for anxiety, a doctor may find it beneficial to transition you to medical marijuana. It’s ultimately at the physician’s discretion.
Anxiety disorders are also treated, in some cases, with SSRIs like Prozac and Zoloft. While SSRIs are generally safer than benzodiazepines, they don’t work for every patient. In rare cases, they can also cause internal bleeding and reduced blood clotting capacity. When mixed with certain other drugs, they can also lead to serotonin syndrome, characterized by too much nerve cell activity. In rare cases, it can be fatal.
Marijuana has no such risks, which is why some medical professionals prefer it.
Getting a Missouri Medical Marijuana Card for Anxiety
If you’re struggling to take control of your anxiety, speak to a state-licensed Missouri MMJ doctor immediately about medical marijuana. Your chances of receiving a physician’s recommendation may be especially high if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You have an anxiety disorder as diagnosed by a psychiatrist
- You currently take or have taken prescribed pharmaceuticals to manage your anxiety
- You have chronic or debilitating anxiety that you’ve been unable to manage on your own
We make it easy to apply for your legal marijuana card. Don’t suffer in silence any longer.