Louisiana Cannabis Association

Cultivation, Commerce, and Care

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the uses of medical cannabis?

More states are passing laws that allow people to use medical cannabis. So what does it treat, and who can and should use it?

Pain is the main reason people ask for a prescription, says Barth Wilsey, MD, a pain medicine specialist at the University of California Davis Medical Center. It could be from headaches, a disease like cancer, or a long-term condition, like glaucoma or nerve pain.

Doctors also may prescribe medical cannabis to treat:

  • PTSD
  • Muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea from cancer chemotherapy
  • Poor appetite and weight loss caused by chronic illness, such as HIV, or nerve pain
  • Crohn's disease
  • Seizure disorders

The FDA has also approved THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, to treat nausea and improve appetite. It's available by prescription Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone). There are many known therapeutic uses for medical cannabis. Throughout history, cannabis, has been used for everything from common aches and pains to more serious conditions and ailments like cancer and other diseases.

Topical Uses of Cannabis:
Medical cannabis will help treat many conditions when used topically. This includes rough or dry skin, arthritis, eczema, headaches, migraines, insect bites, scrapes, burns, sore-achy muscles, psoriasis, pain, rashes, rheumatism, inflammation, sunburns, stiff-muscles, tendonitis, and many other uses. Large pharmaceutical companies prefer to keep the public unaware of the many valuable uses of medical cannabis in place of pills and powerful medications.

Medical Cannabis for Pain:
Cannabis is used to treat many different kinds of pain. Pain associated with inflammation may be remedied with the use of a medical cannabis topical. Pain that is internal or more significant may be helped by ingesting marijuana. Medical cannabis can be ingested by smoking, vaporizing, or even eating it. Eating medical cannabis in the form of a homemade capsule, or even in baked goods such as the classic marijuana brownies, is a great way to treat many chronic forms of pain without smoking.

Medical Cannabis for Asthma:
When someone has an asthma attack the bronchial tubes in their throat are involuntarily contracted and the airways are partly cut off from the air supply. This causes a sudden loss of breath and an inability to breath properly. Obviously, the inability to breath properly is a very serious condition – one which may also cause panic, worsening the overall severity.

Medical cannabis is known to act as a bronchodilator, which means that it opens up the airways allowing easier breathing as it relaxes the bronchial tubes. This effect is usually felt instantaneously after inhaling active cannabis compounds containing THC. This may be achieved by either smoking or vaporizing, with vaporizing being the safer choice.

Not only will cannabis help reduce or eliminate the spasms and loss of breath, but compounds within marijuana are known to reduce mucous production. Reducing mucous production has drying effect, making it even easier to breathe since there is less blockage in the airway.

Cannabis is also known as an anti-inflammatory which can help reduce swelling in the mucous membranes, making it easier to breathe for the victim.

Asthma is the shortness of breath and wheezing caused by spasms of the bronchial tubes, overproduction of mucus, and swelling of the mucous membranes. Asthma kills more than 4,000 Americans each year.

Clinical research shows that THC acts as a bronchial dilator, clearing blocked air passageways and allowing free breathing via Medical Marijuana – Asthma.

Medical Cannabis for Cancer:
Many cancer patients have turned to medical cannabis for its appetite stimulating and antiemetic (anti-nausea) effects.

As of late, even more research is being published that shows the direct anti-tumor effects of some forms of medical marijuana, especially in concentrated extract forms.

All over the internet and in medical marijuana communities across the country, people have reported using a highly concentrated form of all-natural cannabis extracts to treat cancer and other serious diseases with great results. These cannabis extracts are the natural essential oils produced by the cannabis plant.

Other uses for medical cannabis:

Medical cannabis has many other uses. People use cannabis to help them relax when they are too tense, and to calm down when they are overly-anxious or having an anxiety attack. Some people use cannabis for migraine headaches and others for cramps and muscle aches.

The more research that is done on cannabis the more information is discovered on the variety of uses marijuana has for medical conditions. No matter the reason a person uses medical marijuana, there is one common factor: marijuana makes people feel better!

What conditions are approved for medical cannabis treatment in Louisiana?

As the law is currently written, only people with one three disease states qualify for a prescription:

  • Those undergoing chemotherapy for treatment of cancer
  • Those with glaucoma
  • Those with spastic quadriplegia, a rare form of cerebral palsy that causes chronic muscle stiffness
Will those three conditions always be the only ones approved for medical cannabis use in Louisiana?

Very likely not. During the 2016 legislative session, we anticipate more debate over the uses of medical cannabis and the number of diseases could expand at that time. Currently, the law directs the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners to submit recommendations to the legislature for other diseases or conditions that should qualify under the law. The board's deadline for the recommendations is 60 days before the next legislative session.

In what forms is medical cannabis approved in Louisiana?

The law in Louisiana is quite restrictive and only allows non-smokable forms of medical cannabis. Thus, medical cannabis will most often take the form of oils, capsules and oral sprays in Louisiana.

What other states allow the use of medical cannabis?

Twenty-three states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – and the District of Columbia have passed laws providing for limited legal protections from arrest for authorized patients who use cannabis with a doctor's recommendation. Additionally, Maryland lawmakers in 2003 and again in 2011 approved legislation to eliminate fines and criminal penalties for citizens who successfully raise an 'affirmative defense' in court establishing that they possessed limited amounts of cannabis for medical purposes.

What can I do to help support and expand the approved uses of medical cannabis in Louisiana?

Join the Louisiana Cannabis Association! LCA proactively advocates for its members, works with the medical community to disseminate accurate information about the many benefits of medical cannabis, and helps coordinate the production and distribution of medical cannabis.

By joining our organization, you and others enjoy the benefits of strength in numbers, where we are truly greater than the sum of our parts. We present a unified and consistent message to key decision makers in the legislature, executive office, and regulatory entities.

We have three different levels of membership, each designed to meet the specific needs of our members:

Professional Membership
For banks, lawyer firms, accounting firms and other commercial entities with an interest in supporting a strong cannabis industry in Louisiana.
Annual Dues: $1,000.00

Advocate Membership
For potential patients, their family members, and other advocates who want to further the cause and economic viability of medical cannabis and hemp.
Annual Dues: $50.00

Basic Membership
For individual members who seek a more limited involvement with LCA. This membership is ideal for young professionals and students.
Annual Dues: $25.00