Does Sickle Cell Anemia Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Georgia?
With reportedly over 7,000 Georgians having sickle cell disease, the CDC estimates that 97% of Georgia newborns that are diagnosed with sickle cell are Black or African American, although the condition can affect anyone.
Sickle cell anemia is a condition that affects hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. With impacted hemoglobin, cells can’t transport oxygen appropriately, causing blockages in blood flow and atrophy throughout the body.
Georgia approves the use of medical marijuana for patients diagnosed with sickle cell anemia.
What is Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is a blood disease that causes red blood cells to mutate into an abnormal shape that makes it difficult for the cells to carry oxygen through the body.
Without enough oxygen, complications can include:
Blockages in the veins
People who have sickle cell anemia often suffer from vision problems and delayed puberty or slowed growth.
Chronic pain is the most frequent complication, referred to as “sickle pain” because of the circulatory system being heavily inflamed. This can cause a stabbing, sharp pain that many sufferers have to live with indefinitely.
Because sickle cell anemia can be an extremely painful and debilitating disorder, painkillers and opioids are commonly prescribed to deal with the immense pain.
3 Easy Steps
Schedule an appointment with one of our friendly marijuana doctors at any location throughout the State!
Attend a virtual evaluation with a state-certified medical marijuana doctor.
With the doctor's approval, you'll receive your card via email from the Georgia Board of Pharmacy.
What Are the Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia?
Symptoms of sickle cell anemia can include anemia, frequent infections, chronic pain, swelling of hands and feet, vision problems and many more.
Sickle cell disease is genetic and can be passed on from either one or both parents. Symptoms typically show up early in infancy, around approximately 5 months old.
Because sickle cell anemia is present at birth, early diagnosis is often possible, and treatment plans can start immediately.
Why Medical Marijuana is Approved for Sickle Cell Anemia
Chronic pain and inflammation are the two most common symptoms reported by sickle cell disease patients, and often symptoms are both physically and emotionally challenging.
Research shows that cannabis might be a competent pain reliever for sickle cell patients. The anti-inflammatory effects of marijuana is another critical area where patients may see some benefit.
One main area of interest for patients with sickle cell anemia is with how medical marijuana can be used as an alternative for opioids, powerful painkillers that can have an extremely dangerous impact on the body.
Finding alternatives to harmful and addictive opioids is a high priority for medical researchers, and particularly with sickle cell disease patients. Severe chronic pain often requires opioids to be prescribed very early on in the life of the patient.
Because of the harmful and addictive nature of opioids, and the ongoing research suggesting cannabis can play an important role in the treatment plans of patients, Georgia has approved sickle cell anemia as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
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Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia