Cannabis products have gone from prohibited to widely used as medicine in many places all over the world, mostly over the course of the last ten years or so. Even in countries where recreational use of marijuana remains illegal, medical marijuana programs have continued to grow and thrive. However, just because cannabis is available by prescription in many places doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily covered by health insurance.
In fact, most cannabis patients have to pay for their medicine out of pocket, which can make obtaining the medicine you need expensive and difficult. If you’re a medical cannabis patient or just curious about medical marijuana, keep reading to learn about whether or not any cannabis products are covered by health insurance.
Though there is evidence that cannabis has been used for hundreds of years, the broad legalization of its use for medicinal purposes in the modern era has only become commonplace in the last two or three decades. While medical marijuana is prescribed in many places for everything from chronic pain to insomnia to anxiety, most countries haven’t formally approved the use of cannabis as a treatment for many of these conditions. This can leave patients in a confusing legal situation and unsure of how to obtain the medicine they need.
In the United States, the FDA approved its first medication containing cannabis, Epidiolex, in 2018. The drug, which contains CBD, is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the hundreds of compounds found in cannabis. Unlike weed, CBD doesn’t contain THC, which is the chemical responsible for getting you high. CBD products that are THC-free are available to purchase legally without a prescription in many places, including Australia and the United States, so many people use them as an alternative to medical marijuana despite the fact that their effects are different.
It’s a good idea to read about the quality of a brand’s cannabis-based products before making a purchase. Websites that offer content like these CBDMD reviews can be incredibly useful for anyone who uses cannabis products medicinally. You can find a wide range of products infused with CBD, including bath bombs, oils, lotions, tinctures, capsules, and edibles like gummies and chocolates. As with anything you plan to ingest, it’s a good idea to get your doctor’s advice before making CBD a regular part of your wellness routine. They may also be able to help you understand how CBD may affect you and what dosage or potency is appropriate to use.
Whether or not cannabis should be covered by health insurance is an issue that has been debated contentiously ever since it was legalized for medical use. Many believe that since it is prescribed for medical use, there’s no reason that any health plan should deny coverage. Others express concern over the relative newness of cannabis being used as medicine and the lack of scientific research on all of its precise health benefits.
When you compare health insurance plans, making sure the medications you need are covered is an important part of the process. However, some medications aren’t covered by any plan at all. Unfortunately, neither Medicare nor private health insurance cover cannabis products. If you’re a medical cannabis patient, unless the guidance from health insurers or the government changes, you’re responsible for covering the cost of your medicine on your own. Some insurers have signaled an openness to change in the future, so it’s important for patients to keep advocating for themselves and for broader acceptance of medical marijuana.
Though once considered primarily a recreational drug, cannabis has become a versatile medicine that has helped patients with a range of conditions. Even CBD, one of the compounds found in cannabis, has started to be used medicinally. While cannabis products have been life-changing for many people, insurers and the government have yet to begin covering them for patients. One reason often cited is the lack of evidence of medical effectiveness, but some insurers have signaled an openness to change in the future. Medical marijuana patients remain hopeful that as more research becomes available, health insurance companies will rethink their policies regarding coverage of cannabis products.