Medical Marijuana for Cachexia Patients in Maryland

Cachexia patients in Maryland can qualify for access to a medical marijuana card, which allows them to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries within the state.

It also lets them purchase the plant to treat their medical condition. In Maryland, cachexia patients can qualify for MMJ or medical marijuana since the state lists cachexia as a qualifying condition for this type of treatment.

Cachexia cancer As a wasting disorder, cachexia can lead to involuntary weight loss even if you’re not on a diet or are deliberately losing weight. Skeletal muscle wasting can also happen, which can be more apparent in people who have an average weight.

However, this is not so visible in obese people who have lost a lot of weight. Because of muscle and skeletal loss, cachexia patients are also unable to move around, such that even holding a conversation may cause them to experience fatigue.

Appetite loss and anorexia can also happen as patients with this condition often don’t have the desire to eat. With medical marijuana, these symptoms can be reduced.

To gain access to an MMJ card, TeleLeafRX Maryland can help with your application.

Can Medical Marijuana Help with Cachexia?

Patients with cachexia can qualify for medical marijuana. Since cachexia is a “wasting” disorder that causes extreme involuntary weight loss, cannabis is a valid solution.

Medical marijuana (also called medical cannabis) is believed to help increase their ability to intake food by allowing patients to manage vomiting and nausea.

If you’re looking to utilize medical marijuana as a treatment option for cachexia, visit our MD page to apply for a medical marijuana card.

Cachexia Status in Maryland

As of 2021:

  •  According to a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, over 5 million people in the U.S. are affected by cachexia.
  •  Cachexia is also seen in as many as 60% of people with chronic kidney disease based on research conducted by the Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia, and Wasting Disorders.
  •  The National Institutes of Health also reported that it can affect 5% to 15% of people with end-stage heart failure and 50% to 80% of those who have advanced cancer.

What is Cachexia?

Cachexia is defined as a “wasting” disorder that results in extreme weight loss, including body fat, as well as muscle wasting. It is often associated with cancer due to the high percentage of late-stage cancer patients that can be affected by and die from this condition.

It also affects people with late stages of HIV, COPD, AIDS, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease.

Cachexia is a complicated disease, which makes it difficult to recognize. Thus, a variety of criteria are used for diagnosis. One common criterion used in diagnosing cachexia is if a person involuntarily loses more than 5% of their body weight over a six to twelve-month period.

Another is having a body mass index (BMI) of less than 20 in a person below 65 years old or having a BMI of less than 22 in those over 65 years.

Types of Cachexia

  • Pre-cachexia: This is characterized as losing up to 5% of your body weight while having a known illness or disease. Changes in metabolism, appetite loss, and inflammation may be experienced by those suffering from pre-cachexia.
  • Cachexia: More than 5% of body weight is lost within 12 months or less. Unlike regular weight loss, the weight loss in cachexia is involuntary while you have a known illness or disease. Aside from decreased appetite and inflammation, sufferers of cachexia can also experience loss of muscle strength and fatigue.
  • Refractory cachexia: This applies to patients with cancer. Aside from the symptoms mentioned above, having refractory cachexia also makes it difficult for patients to respond to their cancer treatments.

Causes of Cachexia

Because it’s a complex syndrome, the causes of cachexia may often vary depending on your underlying illness and physiology. Some consistent factors seen across different diagnoses include the following:

  • Reduced nutrient intake or availability
  • Increased metabolic rate and muscle breakdown
  • Loss of energy
  • Prevention of muscle growth

How Cachexia Affects Someone

The diminished quality of life experienced by cachexia patients is most apparent in their deteriorating physical appearance. Not only does this physically affect patients, but it also emotionally affects their loved ones as their declining strength may serve as a visual reminder that treatment may be extremely difficult to achieve or even impossible in some cases.

Types of Cachexia Treatments

There’s no one way to treat cachexia since it’s associated with various underlying diseases. Cachexia Treatments Often, a medical treatment plan with multiple types of therapy is needed. Here are the types of cachexia treatments that patients can undergo:

  • Physical treatments coupled with emotional support
  • Medication and nutritional supplements
  • Appetite stimulants
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Adapted exercise

Medical Marijuana as an Alternative Treatment for Cachexia

Numerous studies involving people with cachexia have shown that medical marijuana can help with the following:

  • Vomiting and nausea: Vomiting and nausea are two common offshoots of suffering from cachexia. Medical marijuana helps by alleviating these two conditions.
  • Weight loss recovery: Aside from mitigating vomiting and nausea, medical marijuana can also help cachexia patients recover some of their strength and weight through appetite stimulation. In turn, this can also benefit their mental health as they will have a better chance of participating in the family or social meals.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation is a factor that can aggravate cachexia. Medical marijuana’s anti-inflammatory properties can alleviate this condition, thus allowing the patient to have a better chance of responding to treatment.

Residents of Maryland who are suffering from cachexia are allowed to use medical marijuana provided they are registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Contact us or visit TeleLeaf RX to know more about the process of getting a medical marijuana card in MD.

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