Glaucoma is one of the more common reasons why patients request medical marijuana, but not every state recognizes glaucoma sufferers as qualifying cannabis patients. If you live in Maine, the requirements can be especially confusing, as the state no longer maintains an official list of qualifying conditions. Although this creates some ambiguity, it may actually be good news for glaucoma patients.
Do Glaucoma Sufferers Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Maine?
The requirement in Maine is pretty straightforward. If a licensed physician believes that your condition would benefit from medical marijuana, they can certify you for Maine’s Medical Marijuana Treatment Program. The physician must be registered with the Division of Licensing & Regulatory Services (DLRS) in order to issue patient certifications.
In other words, your approval is not subject to a state list of qualifying conditions but rather is at the physician’s discretion. So this raises the question: Is medical marijuana clinically viable for glaucoma?
Can Glaucoma Patients Benefit From Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana works by releasing intraocular pressure (IOP), a key contributor to glaucoma. Scientists have been observing this reaction since the 1970s, which is why glaucoma is one of the most frequently cited reasons for medicinal marijuana. At least 23 states have it on their official list of qualifying conditions.
Some experts have observed a 25% IOP reduction in as many as two-thirds of glaucoma sufferers. The reason for this phenomenon isn’t yet fully understood. It’s important to note, however, that the effects typically last less than 4 hours, so frequent doses are needed to control painful glaucoma symptoms.
Also, medical marijuana shouldn’t be combined with other glaucoma medications because we don’t fully understand the potential effects of these drug combinations.
Should You Consider Medical Marijuana for Glaucoma in Maine?
If you’re considering medical marijuana for glaucoma, the best thing you can do is speak with a physician to determine if cannabis is the best course of action for your condition. The physician will consider the severity of your glaucoma, your medical history, and any additional treatments that you’re currently pursuing.
Maine’s process is unique in that the physician is entirely responsible for deciding your eligibility and registering you as a patient. If the doctor examines your medical records and determines that you would be a good candidate, they will register you with the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP). Once you’re certified, the physician will provide your certificate. You can then purchase from any licensed state dispensary.
If you’d like to determine if medical marijuana is right for treating your glaucoma, click here to apply for your Maine medical marijuana card online. You can speak with a physician from home and get certified without ever stepping into a clinic. If a Green Health Docs physician is unable to certify you, you’ll receive a 100% refund. Schedule your appointment today to get started.