Short answer: While anxiety is not a qualifying condition for receiving an Arizona medical card, if your anxiety occurs as the consequence of other illnesses that belong to qualifying conditions, you can apply for a weed card.
According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Society of America,) approximately 40 million adults in the US, or around 18% of the country’s population, experience some form of anxiety disorder. These days, more and more of them are wondering whether medical marijuana can help with their anxiety, especially during the current coronavirus crisis, when anxiety is at a peak for people at all levels of health and wellness. As many patients have already discovered, medical marijuana offers benefits for people with anxiety, and some states, like California, even list anxiety as one of the qualifying conditions for getting a medical card.
As such, if, in this environment, you’re one of the many Arizonans now wondering, “Can I get a medical card for anxiety in Arizona?” the answer is not a simple yes or no. Rather, while anxiety is not yet one of the qualifying conditions for a medical card in Arizona, that does not mean people with anxiety can’t still get one. As this article will explain in detail, anxiety is not just a medical condition in its own right but is also a symptom of a host of other medical conditions that do indeed qualify for a medical card in Arizona.
Qualifying Conditions in Arizona With Symptoms of Anxiety
Medical marijuana provides benefits for many different anxiety-related conditions. So, while anxiety may not be listed as one of the qualifying conditions for receiving an Arizona medical card, if your anxiety occurs as the consequence of any of these conditions or their treatment, you can still qualify for that card:
- Alzheimer’s disease agitation
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV-positive status
- Hepatitis C
What’s more, Arizona issues medical marijuana cards to patients with any medical condition that has certain symptoms, namely:
- Chronic pain
- Persistent or severe muscle spasms, such as those associated with multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Severe nausea
- Wasting syndrome (Cachexia)
Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms as a result of any other medical condition, you can still qualify for a medical card in Arizona as well.
It’s worth noting here that majority of the medical marijuana cards issued in Arizona currently are for either PTSD or Chronic Pain. Keep in mind that the present coronavirus crisis is itself a traumatic event capable of producing symptoms of anxiety in virtually anyone. Consider that the effects of being quarantined from friends and loved ones, watching neighbors get sick and die, losing income from work, keeping kids calm, educated and entertained, not to mention fears of catching the coronavirus and getting sick with COVID-19, along with many other circumstances and consequences of the crisis are all legitimate causes of post traumatic stress with related symptoms of anxiety. So, even if you don’t have any of the other qualifying conditions or symptoms listed above, you may still qualify for a medical card in Arizona with PTSD as a result of the coronavirus crisis and social lockdown.
Finally, note that Arizona is still adding new conditions to its list of those that qualify for legal medical marijuana in the state. Every year, you can petition the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to add a new qualifying condition like Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder or Panic Attacks to the list.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help Treat Anxiety
Research into the use of marijuana for treating anxiety and its associated symptoms has found promise for its use as a substitute for pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines. Like these pharmaceuticals, medical marijuana may positively affect levels of GABA in the body and brain, a neurotransmitter associated with balancing mood and regulating anxiety. Unlike benzodiazepine, however, medical marijuana has not been found to produce a tolerance in people using it or cause death from overdosing on it.
Researchers have also found that medical marijuana can lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a neurotransmitter associated with stress, including emotional stress, such as in cases of anxiety. When under stress, cortisol levels are higher. Lowering cortisol levels, therefore, can help to reduce stress, commonly associated with anxiety.
How to Get an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card for Anxiety
With Affordable Certification, you can get your MMJ card AZ online quickly, easily and affordably. When you sign up at Affordable Certification, we’ll set you up with a tele-health appointment from the comfort, safety and privacy of your own home with a doctor licensed to practice in Arizona. That way, you don’t need to ask your regular doctor for authorization if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.
To have Affordable Certification help you get your AZ MMJ card online, simply sign up at AffordableCertification.com by clicking Get Started button. After providing some basic information and paying your fee, Affordable Certification will set up your appointment. Assuming the doctor finds that you qualify for a medical marijuana card in Arizona with one of the qualifying conditions, Affordable Certification will submit your application on your behalf to the Arizona Department of Health’s Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. The state will, then, issue you an AZQP number for your reference and a receipt. Once your application is approved, generally within four to five business days of accepting your application, you’ll get instant access to your digital medical marijuana card. Arizona no longer mails out plastic cards, so this digital card you receive in your email is all you need to purchase, possess and use medical marijuana legally in Arizona.
Using Medical Marijuana For Anxiety
Once you have your Arizona medical marijuana card, you are ready to visit your nearest Arizona dispensary to make your first purchase as a legal medical marijuana patient. Getting the benefits you need from the medical marijuana you purchase depends largely on your choice of medical marijuana product. This includes both the strain you choose and the method of ingestion.
Best Strains of Medical Marijuana For Anxiety
Some users find that certain types of marijuana produce, rather than reduce, anxiety in them. In most cases, this is due to the psychoactive component known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, contained in many marijuana strains. By choosing marijuana low in THC and high in CBD, or cannabidiol, instead, you can significantly reduce, or even eliminate, this risk.
CBD does not contain any psychoactive properties, but is known to be effective in treating anxiety and many of its related symptoms, as seen in a comprehensive research review on its use in both rats and humans for that purpose. In this review, CBD was found to produce an immediate anxiolytic (or anxiety-reducing) effect as well as reduce social anxiety disorder. Therefore, medical marijuana strains high in CBD and low in THC can provide you all the anxiety-reducing benefits you desire without the mind-altering affects so commonly associated with marijuana. Hemp oil, in particular, is one such type of medical marijuana high in CBD but containing little or no THC.
Anxiety, like depression, is not considered a sufficient condition for obtaining a medical marijuanas card. However, if the anxiety is a symptom of another medical condition that is a qualifying condition, then you may consider including medical cannabis in your treatment plan. Of course, this should be done only after consultation with a certified doctor, whom you can contact through our telemedicine service by registering right now.