LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- For some people suffering from serious conditions, medical marijuana has been the only solution for pain management.
Life changing - that's how two Lancaster County patients describe medical marijuana.
Despite it being legal as part of Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program, and despite drastically improving their quality of life, they say it's still looked down upon.
They told FOX43 their stories this afternoon, hoping to share how medical marijuana helps and destigmatize the medication.
It's all smiles for the Fiorentino family, but it wasn't always this way.
"It's like I was screaming for help, and there was nothing anybody could do for me cause was just always in so much pain," said Lauren Fiorentino of Berks County.
Lauren Fiorentino, a mother and wife, is suffering extreme pain from the waist down caused by a rare diagnosis, hereditary spastic paraparesis.
Doctors prescribed her a number of medicines, but medical marijuana has made the biggest difference.
"Every other medication I've been on has caused numerous side effects. I either can't eat of that medication, which if you can't eat, you can't live. I can't function properly on that medication," she explained.
She uses cannabis oil when she wakes up and before bedtime.
"Just completely changing my life for the better," she said.
She gets her products from Cure Pennsylvania, medical marijuana dispensary in Lancaster County.
Matthew Blank, a 26-year-old from Lancaster, swears by those products as well.
"It's given me a way to make the pain go away almost instantly," he said.
Matthew suffers from Crohn's disease.
He and his wife eat healthy to minimize the pain caused by the illness
"I would be having so much pain that I would just have to lay down... and couldn't move," he explained.
Like Lauren, Matthew's been prescribed a number of medications for pain and inflammation, some causing allergic reactions or with negative side effects.
"I took humira all these different ones," he said. "The one that was helping me, I started getting really bad cirrhosis on my scalp and started losing my hair and everything."
Medical marijuana has been the one thing to decrease both the pain and the inflammation with no side effects.
He wants other people suffering from eligible conditions to consider the treatment.
"If you feel like you need something different, definitely look into medical marijuana cause it's been insanely helpful for me," he said.
Lauren just hopes to shed a light on how it can help.
"It's given me hope for the next section of my life," she added.
There are a number of conditions which make a person eligible for a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania.
Visit https://www.pa.gov/guides/pennsylvania-medical-marijuana-program/ for more information.