In Texas, a medical marijuana prescription is only available to permanent residents who are diagnosed with one of the state’s ten qualifying health conditions. Physicians must evaluate patients and enter their diagnosis into the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT).
This system allows physicians to prescribe low-dose THC cannabis products. Patients can get their medication from dispensaries across the state.
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Incurable Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are incurable conditions resulting in the degeneration and death of neurons, glial cells, or neural networks in the brain and spinal cord. They cause diverse problems, including those related to movement (ataxias) and mental functioning (dementia). Genetic factors mostly cause them but can also be triggered by viruses or toxins, alcoholism, and repetitive brain injuries.
Since 2015, when the state’s Compassionate Use Act was passed, lawmakers have expanded the list of qualifying conditions to include more than 150 medical ailments. This includes all forms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, and over 100 neurological disorders, such as autism, spasticity, Parkinson’s disease, and PTSD.
Patients with these medical conditions can receive a medical marijuana prescription from a licensed physician and obtain their medical cannabis at one of the state’s dispensaries. One of the ways how to get a medical marijuana card in San Antonio, Texas, is that a patient must have a medical condition that’s on the list of approved conditions as listed under the Compassionate Use Act and be evaluated by a licensed physician. Those who are under the age of 18 may require their legal guardian’s permission to get a prescription for cannabis.
While marijuana isn’t the only treatment option for chronic pain, it can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Cannabis reduces inflammation, eases nausea, and improves appetite in patients with chronic pain. It also helps patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease by reducing their muscle pain and tremors.
In the state of Texas, medical marijuana is legal for people with certain conditions. The Compassionate Use Program allows licensed physicians to prescribe low-THC medical marijuana to patients with qualifying health conditions. This is a stricter program than many other states, and it requires a patient to have a physician registered with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). A medical marijuana card is required to purchase medicinal cannabis.
Currently, the list of qualifying health conditions in Texas includes ten illnesses. However, the list is expected to be expanded as more research is done. This is one of the reasons why Texas’s Medicinal Marijuana Program pales in comparison to other states that have legalized cannabis.
While the state’s medical marijuana program was initially adopted with only intractable epilepsy patients in mind, since then, it has evolved and expanded to include all forms of seizures and other seizure disorders as qualifying conditions. This has provided hope for many Texans suffering from these life-threatening illnesses.
Additionally, patients diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease may qualify for an MMJ prescription in Texas. The list of qualifying neurodegenerative diseases is extensive and includes Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and more.
In addition, individuals who have a seizure disorder due to brain or spinal cord injuries may also qualify. These conditions include:
Patients must be a permanent resident of Texas to receive a medical marijuana card. A legal guardian must accompany those under the age of 18 to get a medical marijuana prescription. Patients must also undergo an evaluation with a licensed doctor to receive their marijuana card. In addition, they must re-certify their medical condition every year by scheduling a follow-up appointment with a doctor at Veriheal. This ensures that their marijuana card is valid and complies with state regulations. Patients whose cards are not up to date may be subjected to criminal penalties. Fortunately, there is a defense available to individuals facing criminal charges for possessing medical marijuana in the state of Texas. This defense is called the necessity defense, and it allows a person to argue that their need for medical cannabis outweighs any harm they could cause by having the medicine in their possession.
Since the state’s Compassionate Use Act was passed in 2015, legislators have slowly expanded the law to allow medical marijuana in more conditions. In September of 2021, they passed a law allowing patients to consume low-THC cannabis for PTSD legally.
This was a huge expansion of the law, and many patients were excited to be able to access their medicine. It is important to remember that you still need a doctor’s prescription to obtain the medication. This doctor must be registered with the CURT system and have completed an initial evaluation of your medical condition. If you see a new doctor, they will need to perform an entire medical history and exam to determine whether or not you can benefit from the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. The medical marijuana prescribed by these physicians will only be low-THC cannabis. The term “low-THC” means that cannabis has a maximum THC content of 1% of the total weight of the plant (Cannabis sativa L). This allows patients to swallow the prescribed medication rather than smoke it.