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  • Olivia Castro

Is Cancer A Qualifying Condition For Medical Marijuana In Alabama?

Does Cancer Qualify For Medical Marijuana in Alabama?

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are approximately 15 million Americans currently living with cancer, with roughly 30,800 new cancer diagnoses made just this year in Alabama. Cancer is, in fact, a qualifying condition for treatment in Alabama.

Several studies have linked medical marijuana as an incredibly powerful and safe medicine for patients with cancer, especially those undergoing chemotherapy treatment. . The power of marijuana to alleviate nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, pain, depression, anxiety, and insomnia has been well researched and offers the potential for significant relief in cancer patients.

How Does Medical Marijuana Interact With The Body?

We need to first take a look at how medical marijuana works in the body to better understand how it can help those living with cancer. Medical marijuana works within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS is a network of cannabinoid proteins and receptors that influence the central and peripheral nervous system. This system helps regulate bodily processes, such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and is why marijuana helps with so many different conditions and symptoms.

How Medical Marijuana Helps Patients With Cancer

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the effectiveness of marijuana in helping those living with cancer but since marijuana is deemed a schedule one drug in the United States, there is limited research that can be done on it. However, researchers from overseas have filled in the gaps, and they have clearly demonstrated that marijuana can help in managing the following:

​Chronic Pain

Many cancer patients turn to opiate-based medications for pain relief. Unfortunately, continued use of opiate-based medications can result in unwanted side effects even has the potential to lead to an addiction. Medical marijuana has proven incredibly effective at providing pain relief, and it also has anti-inflammatory effects.


Neuropathy can occur when nerves are damaged during chemotherapy and other forms of cancer treatments. Since symptoms vary from patient to patient, neuropathy can be a difficult sensation to describe. Patients often experience weakness, numbness, tingling, needles, or burning sensations. Exactly how marijuana helps with neuropathy is not yet clear, but many patients report feeling significant relief after using marijuana.


It is well known that nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment which many cancer patients suffer from. A variety of medical cannabis products have been shown to significantly reduce nausea and other unwanted side-effects from these treatments.

Appetite Loss

In addition to nausea, loss of appetite can be a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Without an appetite, it becomes a challenge for cancer patients to get the nutrients and strength that they need to fight this disease. This can result in loss of muscle mass, chronic fatigue, and a decline in mobility. Cannabis has proven to be an effective method to restore appetite for individuals undergoing treatment.

Cannabinoid -Based Drugs

As of right now, there are two drugs, which are derived from marijuana compounds, that have been granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cancer patients:

  1. Dronabinol (Marinol) is a gelatin capsule containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that’s approved by the FDA to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

  2. Nabilone (Cesamet) is a synthetic cannabinoid that acts much like THC. It can be taken by mouth to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy when other drugs have not worked.

Is Medical Marijuana Right For You?

The effects of medical marijuana are different for everyone. The first step to seek medical marijuana treatment is to connect with a licensed physician. From there, our doctors will be able to provide the recommendation you need to get your card the same day and access any local dispensaries. In addition, our doctors can provide a treatment plan for you and suggest the best products/dosages to address your condition and side effects. With medical marijuana now legal in Alabama, the choice is up to you!


If you are an Alabama resident suffering from a medical condition you think may benefit cannabis, you're likely eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

Click here to learn more about what Alabama Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 833-253-2946 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process and schedule you for an evaluation appointment.

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