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Medical Marijuana

Dr. Milton Chávez

Family Medicine, Pain & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

Medical marijuana was signed into law by the Governor of Illinois in August 2013. Like many other states in the country, in order to qualify for use of medical marijuana in Illinois, you must be certified by a physician. Board-certified family medicine physician Milton Chávez, MD, and his medical team at Dr. Milton Chávez MD, SC can determine if you would benefit from medical marijuana and provide the appropriate certification so you can obtain your medical cannabis identification card. For an appointment, call the office in Wicker Park, Chicago, or use the online booking tool.

Medical Marijuana Q & A

What is medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana refers to the medicinal use of the various components of the marijuana plant to treat health conditions. While medical marijuana is legal in Illinois and many other states in the country, it’s not legal at the federal level and is classified as a Schedule I drug. 

This may be partly due to the lack of research on the potential health benefits of medical marijuana. However, early evidence indicates that components in the plant may help manage many chronic, difficult-to-treat conditions. 

Dr. Chávez understands the potential benefits that medical marijuana offers and can provide you with the necessary certification and paperwork so you can obtain your medical cannabis identification card. However, the practice Dr. Milton Chávez MD, SC isn’t a marijuana dispensary. 

How do I know if I qualify for medical marijuana?

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) lists a number of chronic health conditions that qualify for participation in the medical cannabis patient registry program. Some of these conditions include:

  • Autism
  • Chronic pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Neuropathy

IDPH also suggests medical cannabis as an opioid alternative program. If you’ve been prescribed opioids to manage a chronic pain condition, you qualify for the medical cannabis patient registry program to serve as an alternative to the addictive pain medication. 

How does medical marijuana work?

Due to limited research, scientists and doctors aren’t certain how medical marijuana benefits chronic health conditions. However, the cannabis plants, which includes both marijuana and hemp, contain substances known as cannabinoids. The most studied of these substances include:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): found only in the marijuana plant and is the substance that produces the “high” 
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): found in both types of cannabis plants but doesn’t produce the high 

Your body makes cannabinoids, referred to as endocannabinoids, that regulate your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS is designed to help maintain homeostasis within your body in response to environmental changes and plays an important role in regulating sleep, pain, hunger, mood, and immune health.

The cannabinoids in marijuana and hemp may interact with your ECS to get the desired results.

While you need a medical cannabis identification card to obtain your medical marijuana, CBD is made from hemp and can be purchased over the counter. Dr. Chávez can talk to you about CBD, including usage and dosage. 

To schedule your medical marijuana evaluation, call Dr. Milton Chávez MD, SC or click the online booking button today.