Can You Get Medical Marijuana for CRPS in Maryland?
Do you live with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in the state of Maryland? If so, you may qualify for a medical marijuana card. While cannabis is a relatively novel treatment approach for CRPS, it may offer some degree of symptom relief without the side effects of common drugs.
Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card for CRPS in Maryland?
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, is a chronic pain disorder. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission recognizes “severe or chronic pain” as a qualifying condition for medicinal marijuana, and CRPS falls under this umbrella.
Chronic, intense pain is the principal symptom of CRPS, as nerve impulses send an onslaught of pain signals to an affected area of the body (usually an arm or leg). Whether you have CRPS Type 1 (not connected to a nerve injury) or Type 2 (connected to a nerve injury), you may want to consider medical marijuana.
Does Medical Marijuana Address CRPS Symptoms?
There is no cure for CRPS, and so the goal is to manage the symptoms—particularly the chronic pain. Traditionally, symptoms of CRPS are managed using pharmaceuticals like sympathetic nerve blockers, topical analgesics, corticosteroids, anti-seizure drugs, and even narcotics. Some of these drugs can have powerful and lasting side effects and may be extremely habit-forming.
Medical marijuana typically has mild side effects when used as directed, and it’s virtually impossible to overdose. Cannabis may offer some of the same pain-relieving benefits of stronger pharmaceuticals.
While research into medical marijuana for CRPS is limited, there is a growing body of intriguing research regarding the use of cannabis for chronic pain. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Pain examined the impact of vaporized cannabis on neuropathic pain, like the kind associated with CRPS. Patients were separated into three groups and given either a low dose, medium dose, or placebo dose. The low- and medium-dose patients both reported noticeable pain reduction with few side effects.
Additional studies and clinical reviews have attested to the potential therapeutic value of medical marijuana for chronic pain relief. Researchers have cautiously observed that marijuana may be efficacious when used under the supervision of a medical professional. A growing number of anecdotal testimonials further attest to the pain-relieving potential of medical marijuana.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for CRPS in Maryland
If you want to obtain your Maryland medical marijuana card, you’ll need to register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and then obtain a recommendation from a licensed physician in the state. Submit your physician’s recommendation to the MMCC and wait for your application to be processed.
The important thing is to ensure that medical marijuana is right for you. You may benefit from medical marijuana if you meet the following criteria:
- You have CRPS as diagnosed by a physician
- Your CRPS causes chronic pain that interferes with your life
- Conventional medications have proven ineffective or you’re concerned about side effects
It’s also important to guard your expectations. Again, there is no cure for CRPS, and your doctor may recommend additional courses of treatment including spinal cord stimulation, psychotherapy, or physical therapy in addition to your medical marijuana. By taking a multi-pronged approach, you be one step closer to long-term pain relief.