Can You Get Medical Marijuana for Bipolar Disorder in Missouri?
Bipolar disorder affects more than 2.3 million Americans, about 1% of the general population, and a growing number are turning to medical marijuana as an alternative or supplement to conventional medications.
The state of Missouri, though, won’t issue a medical marijuana for just any condition. You must have one of the state’s qualifying conditions. So, the question is, can you get a medical marijuana card for bipolar disorder in Missouri?
Getting a Medical Marijuana Card for Bipolar Disorder in Missouri
Bipolar disorder is not named on Missouri’s list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. However, the state does permit medical cannabis for “certain severe psychiatric disorders like PTSD, if diagnosed by a certified psychiatrist.” While the phrasing is a bit vague, bipolar disorder is recognized as a psychiatric disorder. As a result, sufferers may qualify for a medical marijuana card if they have a proper clinical diagnosis.
In addition, the state allows medical marijuana for “any chronic condition commonly treated with addictive pharmaceuticals, if a doctor concludes that marijuana would provide a safer, effective alternative.” Bipolar disorder is commonly treated with mood stabilizers, and while these drugs are not known to be addictive, they can have unwanted side effects and lead to significant withdrawal symptoms after use is stopped. As a result, a doctor might conclude that marijuana is a safer, more effective treatment option.
So, if you have bipolar disorder and feel that you would benefit from medical marijuana, the important thing is to speak with a doctor. You may qualify for a medical marijuana card.
Does Medical Marijuana Work for Bipolar Disorder?
A 2016 pilot study found that people with bipolar disorder experienced elevated moods without significant mental impairment. Results were self-reported and therefore limited, but the findings were significant. A separate 2015 study found that medical marijuana users experienced improved moods coupled with a better overall outlook.
These findings reinforce other studies that have attested to the general anxiety-reducing effects of marijuana. Cannabis, when taken in the proper dosage, appears to regulate the brain’s neurotransmitters in a way that results in less anxiety and depression and greater well-being.
More research is still needed, and the findings aren’t conclusive, but medical marijuana may be able to help mitigate some of your most severe symptoms.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Bipolar Disorder in Missouri
If you suffer from anxiety, you can apply for your Missouri medical marijuana card online and speak with a physician via telemedicine. You’ll need to present a diagnosis from a licensed psychiatrist. Once you have your physician’s certification, register for your medical marijuana card through the Missouri DHSS. Then, when you receive your medical marijuana card, you can access dispensaries throughout the state.
Make sure to follow all physician recommendations when choosing the marijuana strain, delivery system, and dosage. Most importantly, don’t stop using your existing medication without discussing it with your doctor first. Medical cannabis may provide some much-needed support, but always use it with care and under a doctor’s supervision.