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  • Eli Hunt

How Medical Marijuana Helps Those With Sickle Cell Anemia

Medical marijuana helps alleviate the symptoms of a wide array of disorders, ranging from mental health disorders to illnesses associated with old age. It can even help with some rarer disorders, including sickle cell anemia. Virginians with this blood disorder may be interested in getting their medical marijuana cards to alleviate some of their symptoms. How does medical marijuana help this disorder, and what can sickle cell patients expect? Let’s jump in and discuss!

What Happens in Sickle Cell Anemia

An inherited blood disorder, sickle cell anemia causes the red blood cells in the body to take on a crescent-like shape. This in turn makes the red blood cells stiff and sticky, which can cause blockages or even break down the cells themselves. This creates a wide range of symptoms, including:

· Anemia

· Infection

· Hand-foot syndrome

· Eye problems

· Leg ulcers

· Joint issues

· Growth & puberty delays

These symptoms can cause chronic pain, inflammation, and comorbid disorders, including depression and anxiety. This is where medical marijuana comes into play, helping to address these issues.

Medical Marijuana and Chronic Pain

Anything from a leg ulcer to joint issues can result in a sickle cell patient experiencing pain on a regular basis. Medical marijuana has long been considered an easy and natural way to treat many kinds of chronic pain.

The science backs this up, too. Two-thirds of patients in one study reported that medical marijuana made a significant difference to their chronic pain. Medical marijuana is so effective in treating chronic pain that it was even able to reduce usage of opioids for pain relief in patients by 64 percent.

Given the prevalence of chronic pain in sickle cell anemia, it’s no wonder that many patients are turning to medical marijuana for natural relief!


Sickle cell patients also often experience a good deal of inflammation which can compound other symptoms, including pain. The good news is that medical marijuana is highly effective in treating this symptom, as well!

The cannabinoids in medical marijuana have shown great promise as anti-inflammatories in studies done on a range of patients and may even make headway in cancers related to inflammation. For those with sickle cell anemia, these anti-inflammatory properties should go a long way toward providing relief.

Comorbid Mental Health Issues

Many people who receive a serious diagnosis such as sickle cell anemia may develop comorbid mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. The experience of the disease and its symptoms can also trigger these conditions.

Once again, medical marijuana is a safe and reliable go-to for treating either of these mental health disorders. A study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry focused on 500 people with either depression, anxiety, or both. Out of these 500 participants, 368 of them were regular users of medical marijuana.

The results of the study showed many promising results for those interested in using medical marijuana to treat mental health symptoms, including:

  • Those who used CBD-rich cannabis reported less depression than non-users

  • Those who used CBD-rich cannabis reported a better quality of life and better sleep

  • When they did experience depression, their symptoms did not rise to the level of symptoms experienced in clinical depression

  • Both anxiety and depression went down in non-users once they began using medical marijuana in the observational period that followed the study

An added bonus? The study showed that medical marijuana improved the sleep experienced by participants, too! Those with sickle cell, therefore, can get the extra sleep they need to heal and recover.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card and Experience Relief From Sickle Cell Anemia's Symptoms!

Medical marijuana is a safe and legal option for Virginians looking to address their symptoms related to sickle cell with the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Schedule an appointment with an online VA medical marijuana doctor today to start gaining access to safe and legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more for your loved one or patient!


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness

safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on

education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by

providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

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