Understanding Medical Cannabidiol (CBD) in Iowa

What is Hemp; What is CBD?

Hemp is a type of Cannabis Sativa plant, while CBD is a naturally occurring chemical found within the plant. CBD (cannabidiol) is produced using the hemp plant, rather than the marijuana plant, another type of Cannabis Sativa. Hemp plants contain more CBD and less THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces a “high.”

Medical CBD in Iowa

In Iowa, patients with a qualifying diagnosis can obtain a card to purchase legal medical cannabis products containing the two active ingredients, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), to treat qualifying medical conditions.

Who is eligible for medical cannabis?

Any child, adolescent, or adult patient with a qualifying condition is eligible for medical CBD.

What are the qualifying conditions for medical CBD?

According to Iowa’s Office of Medical Cannabidiol, medical CBD is permitted for Iowa residents with serious medical conditions. Patients can apply for a medical card in order to obtain CBD for pain, anxiety, or to relieve other symptoms of their debilitating disease. Some of the medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis include:

  • Cancer – if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting.
  • Seizures
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • AIDS or HIV (as defined in Iowa Code, section 141A.1)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year – if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Severe, intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
  • Severe, intractable autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
  • Corticobasal Degeneration 

Medical CBD Benefits

There are several ways medical cannabis can benefit people and help relieve symptoms they may struggle with due to a serious medical condition. Below includes some examples of how it is being used:

  • Offset anxiety and depression
  • Treat select epilepsy syndromes
  • Reduce PTSD symptoms
  • Treat opioid addiction
  • Alleviate ALS symptoms
  • Relieve severe pain
  • Ease diabetic complications
  • Reduce neurological disease symptoms
  • Ease arthritis pain and improve joint function
  • Other medical uses are under review

Is CBD covered by insurance?

Most insurance covers a meeting with a provider to discuss medical CBD eligibility, and copays apply. Most insurance does not cover cannabis products. It’s important to check with your provider and weigh your options.

How to get a medical CBD card at UCS Healthcare

The following documentation needs to be completed or gathered before your first appointment. This information can be emailed to ps@ucsdsm.org, communicated over the phone at 515-280-3860 or faxed to 515-309-0686.


  • Consent to treat (Can be completed over the phone with UCS staff or emailed)
  • Consent to contact (Can be completed over the phone with UCS staff or emailed)
  • RCOPIA Pharmacy (Can be completed over the phone with UCS staff or emailed)
  • Telehealth (Can be completed online or over the phone with UCS staff or emailed)
  • Medical Emergency Contact (Can be completed over the phone with UCS staff or emailed)

Other Forms:

  • Adult History Form (This can be filled out and mailed back to us or emailed)
  • Medical Records that include your qualifying diagnosis or at least a list of medical diagnosis.
  • Demographics (This can be obtained over the phone)
  • Front and Back of Insurance card and Driver’s License. (This can be emailed to ps@ucsdsm.org, faxed to 515-309-0686, or mailed to UCS Healthcare.)

Once this information is received, reviewed and it is determined that you meet the criteria for a medical CBD card, UCS Healthcare staff will reach out to schedule your appointment.

How long does a CBD waiver last?

The waiver is renewed yearly with the card. If an increase/waiver is requested, it must be within 90 days of approval/renewal of the card. If not, within 90 days, an appointment is required.

CBD Card Renewal

CDS Registration cards are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. You must update demographics & complete all consent forms by calling UCS or emailing documents to ps@ucsdsm.org.

The medial CBD renewal appointment can be scheduled if there is no balance on the account.

If there is a balance on the account, six consistent payments are required before the appointment can be scheduled. UCS can set up electronic payments to meet the requirement before renewal.

Contact UCS Healthcare For Specialized Services

At UCS Healthcare, we care about your total health, and we provide comprehensive services in a safe, respectful and accessible environment. For more information or questions regarding medical cannabis, contact UCS Healthcare at 515-280-3860 or check out our medical CBD brochure.