How to Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Terminal Illnesses in New Jersey

How to Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Terminal Illnesses in New Jersey
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New Jersey is a wealthy state in the Mid-Atlantic region of Northeastern United States. In 2017, it was the most densely populated and second-richest state in the country in terms of median household income. The state also has a vibrant healthcare sector, which includes the legal use of medical cannabis.

In 2010, the state Legislature passed the New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act to legalize the use of cannabis as a treatment for several medical conditions. However, patients should first secure a New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card before they can buy and use cannabis as a treatment.

Terminal Illnesses: Their Causes and Symptoms

Terminal illnesses are the diseases that medical experts consider as untreatable or incurable. There are various terminal illnesses, but we will focus on cancer, kidney disease, and HIV/AIDS. Here are the causes of the conditions:

  • Cancer – The disease is characterized by abnormal cell growth. Cancer of all types progresses when the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous cells continues. As the cancerous cells spread, they create lumps of cancerous tissues called tumors. According to the National Cancer Institute, brain and ovarian cancers are among the deadliest forms of cancer.
  • Kidney disease – There are several possible causes of the disease like a recurrent kidney infection, vesicoureteral reflux, kidney stones, and medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • HIV/AIDS – Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) occurs when an infection attacking a person’s immune system is transmitted through sexual activities or blood transfusion. If left untreated, the disease develops into acute immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Symptoms of Terminal Illnesses

While they may have different causes, the above terminal conditions have similar emotional and physical symptoms. Here are some of the signs or indicators of a terminal illness:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Helplessness and shock
  • Fear and blaming attitude
  • Denial and anger
  • Significant weight loss or anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Effectiveness of Medical Marijuana as Terminal Illness Treatment

The cannabis plant contains chemicals called cannabidiol (CBD), which can affect a person’s appetite, movement, memory, and pain. The plant also has a psychoactive compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which may also alleviate nausea and pain.

For the terminal illnesses mentioned, doctors recommend medical marijuana as an alternative or complementary medication option for palliative treatments due to its effectiveness in reducing vomiting and nausea. The cannabis’ hunger-inducing effect is also beneficial for patients as they need to eat a lot to boost their energy.

Modes of Medical Cannabis Treatment

Terminal patients can choose how they will consume medical cannabis as a treatment. However, they should make sure they are holders of a New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card before they can legally use the weed. Here are some ways to deliver cannabis to patients:

  • Drinkables – Medical marijuana can be consumed as a cannabis-infused drink. Patients can also drink it as marijuana tea.
  • Smoking – For fast-acting relief, patients should smoke marijuana like a cigarette or inhale it from a pipe.
  • Oral – Another option of using medical marijuana is by mixing it to edible products like chocolate and eat it. Caregivers can also blend the weed in the patient’s food.

Medical marijuana is an extremely capable and safe alternative treatment for terminal illnesses. By legally using cannabis as a treatment, terminal patients can experience a better quality of life.


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