People are choosing CBD or cannabidiol over other medications to treat inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, insomnia, PTSD, and many other health-related issues. As CBD use becomes more prevalent, people, especially the younger lot, want to know whether it is covered under Medicare in the United States. The simple answer to this question is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
The issue of medical marijuana, or, more specifically, CBD, is a matter of major legal limbo. The different state laws and federal laws make it a complex issue. On the federal level, Medicare does not cover CBD since it’s a part of the marijuana family, and hence illegal. However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has approved CBD for two health complications, which may be covered under Medicare. The government guidelines vary from state-to-state. So again, it becomes the issue of rules at the ground level. Let’s try to understand these critical issues in detail.
What is CBD, and why are people considering it?
CBD is a chemical compound extracted from the Cannabis Sativa or more commonly known as the hemp plant. Unlike its cousin, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD does not cause high or intoxication. It’s also not a psychoactive compound like THC.
Due to naturally occurring medical properties, CBD has become the best wellness product of recent times. From major anxiety issues to inflammation problems — CBD can cure numerous complications. If medical marijuana is legal in your state, CBD may have already become an important part of life around you. Coffee shops, CBD gummies, recreational marijuana stores, beauty products, spas offering CBD massage — the CBD sector is a diverse field now. People are drawn towards the compound because it’s 100 percent organic, does not cause hallucination, and gives better results than contemporary medicines without any side-effects.
Let’s have a look at some health benefits of CBD and decide whether it should be covered under medicare.
What are the health benefits of cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol or CBD works like magic for pain management. It can help in the recovery of both musculoskeletal and nerve pains. Anecdotal evidence suggests people suffering from tissue and nerve damage can recover in the quickest time with the help of CBD. The cannabidiol cuts through the pain without causing side-effects to the body. It also works well for sore muscles caused due to chronic pain. In case you are finding difficulty in sleeping due to any type of pain or insomnia, use CBD and you will sleep like a baby.
Those under constant stress due to hectic personal as well as work-life find it quite useful. The CBD heals your nervous system. After its regular use under the advice of a medical expert, your anxiety will start disappearing and you’ll take less stress. CBD has also proven effective against major health complications like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression too. These life-threatening mental health problems can disappear if you make CBD a part of your life. You will soon overcome feelings of loneliness and worthlessness and replace them with feelings of joy and calmness.
Which diseases does Medicare cover?
Medicare covers epilepsy drug Epidiolex and anorexia medicine Cesamet, Syndros, and Marinol. The US FDA in the year 2018 had for the first time approved medical marijuana or CBD for the treatment of epilepsy. CBD is present in its purest form in Epidiolex. It has proved to be most-effective against severe forms of epilepsy. The FDA has also approved THC-based synthetic drugs — Cesamet, Marinol, and Syndros — to treat the eating disorder that may be caused by low body weight. Since the US FDA has approved these two drugs, they may be covered under Medicare.
Why Medicare does not cover CBD?
Medical marijuana and CBD are still considered Schedule I controlled substances, which means doctors can’t prescribe them. In states where medical marijuana is legal, doctors recommend it but can’t prescribe since federal laws still considered them as banned substances. If you are unsure about what’s covered under Medicare and what’s not, contact your health expert to understand the Medicare plan better.
The legality around CBD prescription should not bother you since governments and research organizations are slowly but surely opening up about the CBD’s medical prospects. After the Farm Bill’s passing in 2018, the US government has relaxed norms around its sale. States’ softened stance also makes CBD more accessible for those seeking natural ways to heal from symptoms like nausea, anxiety issues, inflammation, stress disorders, and epileptic seizures.
The CBD usage and the key takeaways
As CBD gains popularity across the world, its usage has also become widespread. People are finding various innovative ways to make it a part of their life. CBD can now be consumed or used on the body to gain multiple health benefits. You can ingest CBD in the form of pills or you can make it a part of your food regimen. Many people use CBD spray under the tongue for a soothing effect. It relaxes the mind and heals your body from within. There’s an entire industry around CBD oil and creams.
Considering the positive response around CBD, it’s likely that it’ll be one of the most thriving industries in the upcoming years. As science begins to understand it more, laws and governing agencies are also tweaking laws to make CBD accessible to people by approving its cover through medicare.
As per the current situation, CBD is not covered under Medicare for most of the diseases. Barring two-three cannabinoid-based medications, the federal health insurance scheme won’t pay for you. But if you are still eager to try it out then start with a small quantity to see the effect on the body and mind. Obtain a medical marijuana card, which allows you to avail of discounts on future purchases. These cards will cost you $50 to $200, depending on the scheme you choose. Before buying, read the respective state and federal laws to understand the specific details. Notice changes in our mind and body, and keep your healthcare expert updated.