Medical Marijuana In Florida - Marijuana Doctors
Cannabis Sativa, also known as marijuana, has been used as medicine for centuries. In 1937 the federal government enacted the Marijuana Tax Act which levied heavy fees and new regulations on the drug significantly reducing its use.
It was not actually illegal until the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. Fortunately, scientific research continued and since then over 100 diverse chemical compounds known as cannabinoids have been discovered. The cloning of human cannabinoid receptors in the early 1990’s showed that cannabinoids are part of a complex system of neurotransmitters and cell signals which we now know as the endocannabinoid system.
By 2003 the US government had in place a patent on “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” (Patent No.: US 6,630,507 B1). The US Department of Health and Human Services sites the medicinal value of cannabinoids in treating diseases such as stroke, trauma, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and HIV.
In 2014 Florida passed the Compassionate Use Act, allowing patients with a few select medical conditions use of prescribed low-THC medical cannabis. The Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (Amendment 2) was passed in 2016 and allowing the use of medical cannabis for a broad spectrum of medical conditions.
Qualifying Medical Conditions Under Amendment 2
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
- Conditions comparable to those listed above
- Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by, or originating or persisting from a condition listed above
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the order
Other Commonly Treated Conditions
These are some of the conditions considered comparable to the qualifying conditions under amendment 2.
- Low back pain
- Muscle Spasm
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Restless leg syndrome
- Polypharmacy, this is a condition where patients experience unpleasant side effects while being treated with multiple, sometimes too many, medications. The use of medical cannabis often allows patients to discontinue some of the medications they are using resulting in safer medical treatment, less side effects, and a higher quality of life.
Requirements for Treatment
- Must be a Florida resident
Please bring proof of residency such as valid Florida drivers license to your appointment
- Must be added to the medical registry by a qualified physician
Please be prepared with home address, E-mail, social security number
- Must have face to face visit and exam with a qualified physician
Please bring medical records from your primary care, psychiatrist, or treating physician documenting your medical condition
- Must obtain a state-issued marijuana ID card
Instructions for obtaining ID card will be E-mail to you by the State of Florida after initial appointment.
Different Types of Medical Cannabis
Patients purchasing medical cannabis need to be aware that there are different types. Plants are bread to produce a variety of cannabinoids. Perhaps the 2 most well-known are Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC has an affinity for CB1 receptors which are found in the nervous system.
This chemical has a strong psychoactive affect and is responsible for the feeling of being “high”. CBD has a greater affect on CB2 receptors which are found in the immune system. Many tissues in the body have both CB1 and CB2 receptors. While the affects can very tremendously from person to person, strains with higher THC tend to be more effective in treating pain and anxiety, while higher CBD strains work well for conditions associated with inflammation.
The important point to be aware of is that not all medical cannabis is the same. This will help each patient find the strain that works best for them. The goal, as always, is to decrease suffering and increase quality of life.