Can You Get Medical Marijuana for Insomnia in Maryland?
If you live in Maryland and you suffer from chronic insomnia, you may find some relief in medical marijuana. Insomnia is a condition that affects two out of every five Americans, and the condition is severe for 10-15% of the population. Insomnia can affect your workplace performance, your memory, and your overall health, which is why more physicians are recommending cannabis to their patients. Not every state allows medical marijuana recommendations for insomnia, but what does Maryland say?
Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Insomnia in Maryland?
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission does not specifically recognize insomnia as a qualifying condition, but it doesn’t rule it out either. The commission specifically identifies conditions like cachexia, anorexia, chronic pain, nausea, seizures, and PTSD, but it also permits medical marijuana for any other “chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.”
So in order to obtain medical marijuana for insomnia in Maryland, your condition has to meet two conditions: It must be chronic, and it must have been treated unsuccessfully with other conventional medications. So when you go for your physician’s evaluation, you’ll want to provide evidence of previous prescriptions. If you have old pill bottles or prescription sheets for Lunesta, Ambien CR, Sonata, or a related drug, you can present them to your physician.
You might also qualify if your previous treatment was successful but promoted side effects that were worse than the insomnia itself. For instance, most prescription sleeping pills can lead to dependence, and many are known for side effects like dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, prolonged drowsiness, and memory problems. Tell your physician about any side effects you’ve experienced.
Qualifying for Medical Marijuana in Maryland With an Underlying Condition
Insomnia is seldom a self-contained condition; it almost always has a deeper underlying cause. If you don’t qualify for a prescription based on the guidelines above, your underlying condition may qualify you. Insomnia can be caused or triggered by a variety of conditions, including diabetes, acid-reflux disease, an overactive thyroid, or asthma.
Some of the most common underlying causes are themselves qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Maryland. These conditions include chronic/intractable pain, cancer, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Talk to your recommending physician about any conditions that may be triggering or exacerbating your insomnia.
Should You Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Insomnia in Maryland?
Even if you can obtain medical marijuana for insomnia in Maryland, the bigger question is: Do you really need it?
Insomnia isn’t always the result of a medical condition. If you just struggle with occasional sleeplessness, you may be able to get the condition under control on your own. Basic methods include:
- Waking and going to bed at the same time every day, including on weekends.
- Avoiding large meals before bed.
- Exercising consistently.
- Avoiding naps.
- Avoiding excess alcohol and caffeine.
- Meditating or creating a relaxing routine before bed (such as taking a warm bath).
If these basic habits don’t quell your sleeplessness, you may have an insomnia-related medical condition that could benefit from medical marijuana.
Should You Get a Maryland Medical Marijuana Card for a Minor?
If you’re considering medical marijuana on behalf of a minor child with insomnia, the first step is to consider whether the insomnia is due to a legitimate medical condition. Teenagers often go through sleepless phases due to stress or inconsistent sleep habits. A physician can help you to determine if the insomnia is clinical in nature and if medical marijuana may be an advisable course of treatment.
Note that, in Maryland, all minor patients must have at least one caregiver, and only parents and legal guardians are permitted to function in this capacity. Other family members and friends are not eligible.
How Medical Marijuana May Help Insomnia
THC—the main psychoactive compound in marijuana—has been shown in studies to help regulate sleep. The body’s endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating the body’s sleep cycles, and when cannabis is introduced into the body, the THC binds to cannabinoid receptors that help to induce sleep. That’s why high-THC cannabis strains (indicas in particular) are known for making you feel lightheaded and sleepy.
In addition, medical marijuana may treat some of the underlying causes of insomnia, like anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation. When your body achieves a naturally relaxed state, sleep comes more easily.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Insomnia in Maryland
If you’d like to inquire about obtaining a medical marijuana card in Maryland for insomnia, the first step is to register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. Then you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a state-licensed physician and obtain a certification. Make sure to bring any valid medical records with you. Green Health Docs is offering telemedicine evaluations, so you can get your Maryland medical marijuana card online if you schedule with us.
After you receive your certification, return to the MMCC website and complete your registration. As soon as you’re approved, you can access any medical marijuana dispensary in the state. You’re not required to carry a medical marijuana card with you, but you can obtain one for an additional $50 fee.
Don’t let insomnia inhibit your quality of life. Discover for yourself if medical marijuana is right for you.