Do Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in PA?


Do patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis qualify for an MMJ card in PA? The answer is yes. Medical cannabis may be used by people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for a variety of reasons, including symptom alleviation, relaxation, and stress management. 

The treatment of pain is one of the most prevalent medical applications of medical marijuana for people with ALS. Get access to MMJ card in Pennsylvania at and see why medical marijuana is used as an alternative treatment for this condition. 

Medical Cannabis for ALS

According to one study, cannabis may help to alleviate certain symptoms. Appetite loss, discomfort, depression, and stiffness were among the symptoms. Cannabis has been shown to enhance the pain-relieving benefits of opioid pain medicines, which are routinely used by ALS patients

Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Amyotrophic Lateral SclerosiS

Depending on the medicinal impact you need, there are a variety of cannabis medicines that include only CBD or TCH, or a combination of both. Each one gives benefits on its own, and they also collaborate to create benefits.

The benefits of medical marijuana include:

  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Relief for muscle spasms
  • Increased appetite
  • Heightened sensory experiences
  • Sleep aid
  • Wound healing
  • Mood regulator

What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare neurological disease that predominantly affects the nerve cells that govern voluntary muscular movement (neurons) (those muscles we choose to move). Chewing, walking, and talking are all examples of voluntary muscle motions. 

The disease progresses, which means that the symptoms worsen over time. There is currently no cure for ALS and no effective treatment to slow or stop the disease’s course.

What Are the Common Symptoms?

The signs of ALS can be so mild that they go unnoticed at first, but they eventually worsen into more noticeable weakness or atrophy.

Early symptoms include:

  • Muscle twitches in the arm, leg, shoulder, or tongue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tight and stiff muscles (spasticity)
  • Muscle weakness affecting an arm, a leg, the neck, or diaphragm
  • Slurred and nasal speech
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Muscle weakness and atrophy develop across the body as the disease progresses. Individuals may experience difficulties moving, swallowing (dysphagia), speaking or forming words (dysarthria), or breathing (dyspnea). Individuals will eventually be unable to stand or walk, get in or out of bed on their own, or use their hands and arms, despite the order of emerging symptoms and the rate of illness progression varying from person to person.


The cause of ALS is unknown, and doctors are unsure why some people develop the disease and others do not. Scientific evidence, on the other hand, reveals that both genetics and environment have a role in the degradation of motor neurons and the development of ALS.


Mutations in the SOD1 gene were linked to some cases of familial ALS in 1993, according to research funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Since then, more than a dozen other genetic mutations have been discovered, many of them because of NINDS-funded research.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as exposure to hazardous or infectious agents, viruses, physical trauma, food, and behavioral and occupational factors are all being studied by researchers. 

Some veterans and athletes may be at a greater risk of developing ALS due to exposure to chemicals during battle or severe physical activity, for example. The ongoing study may reveal that certain elements play a role in the disease’s onset or progression.

What are The Effective Treatments for ALS?

There is no cure for ALS or a treatment to reverse motor neuron degeneration. Treatments, on the other hand, can help moderate symptoms and reduce some complications.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved drugs to treat ALS:

  • Riluzole (Rilutek) 
  • Edaravone (Radicava) 

Occupational and physical therapy

During the course of ALS, physical therapy and appropriate equipment can help an individual maintain their independence and safety. Stretching activities can help avoid unpleasant spasticity and muscular shortening (contracture) by strengthening unaffected muscles and range of motion.

Nutritional support

Individuals and caregivers can learn how to plan and prepare small meals throughout the day that contain enough calories and fiber as well as how to avoid difficult-to-swallow foods from nutritionists. 

Suction devices may be used to remove excess fluids or saliva and prevent choking. When people are unable to eat, doctors may recommend the placement of a feeding tube, which decreases the danger of choking and pneumonia caused by liquid into the lungs.

Breathing support

Patients experience shortness of breath after physical exercise and trouble breathing at night or while lying down as the respiratory muscles weaken. Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is a type of breathing assistance provided by a mask worn over the nose and/or mouth. 

Individuals may require mechanical ventilation (respirators) as the disease advances, in which a machine inflates and deflates the lungs. A breathing tube can be inserted through the mouth or a hole in the front of the neck can be surgically created and a tube going to the windpipe inserted (tracheostomy).

Other than the treatment mentioned above people with ALS may use medical marijuana to treat symptoms of the disease. This is an alternative treatment option for those with ALS and provides benefits such as pain relief and relaxation. Visit to get your own MMJ card in Pennsylvania. 



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