Using Medical Marijuana for Progressive Illnesses


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When people see me for advice on medical marijuana, the first thing I try to figure out is whether or not they have a progressive illness.  For me, the definition of a progressive illness is: A condition that will worsen without conventional medical treatment.

Conditions such as Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohns Disease, Parkinsons, Glaucoma, HIV, among others, all fall into this category.

Other illnesses, such as spasticity, muscle spasms, chronic pain, are not generally regarded as progressive or occupy somewhat of a middle ground.


Why does it matter if I have a progressive illness or not?

Medical Marijuana can be the sole treatment for patients with non progressive illnesses.  Many people with conditions like PTSD, seizures, and chronic pain are able to treat their conditions successfully using only medical marijuana.

However, if you have a progressive illness, we find that very few patients can cure their cancer or limit progression of their Parkinsons using only medical marijuana.

For these conditions, medical standard of care states that medical marijuana should not be a first line or sole treatment option for patients.

Medical marijuana can be used as an additional treatment option along with conventional medications for these conditions, but should not generally be used as stand alone therapy.


What should I do?

Finding a knowledgeable medical marijuana physician who will be honest and forthright with your treatment is the most important first step.

You want to find a doctor who will tell you the truth, both good and bad.  If your doctor is telling you that medical marijuana by itself will cure all your ailments, you’re probably dealing with a quack.

As your doctor, I’ll always give you my honest and truthful medical opinion, whether medical marijuana by itself will help you or whether medical marijuana should be used with other treatments.

You may still decide to pursue treatment only with medical marijuana, as is your right, but know that when you come to see me, I will always give you my best medical guidance

Please visit our Additional Resources page if you want to learn more about medical marijuana.


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Thanks for reading.

Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana