Medical Cannabis is a major hot button issue in today’s political realm, but in the medical realm, it’s use goes back to ancient times. Medical Cannabis is defined as ANY combination/ratio of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids, administered via different delivery methods, the purpose of which is to exert a therapeutic effect.
Cannabinoids are compounds like THC and CBD that interact with our ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM.
Terpenes are compounds found in Cannabis as well as other plants that are responsible for Cannabis’ unique SMELL.
Flavonoids are compounds found in Cannabis as well as other plants that are responsible for Cannabis’ unique COLOR.
The topic of Medical Cannabis has been a hot button issue for the past few decades. Ever since the Mid-1960’s when one of the main components of the Cannabis plant (known as THC) was isolated by Israeli scientist Dr. Rafael Mechoulam, there has been a steady stream of research investigating the therapeutic benefits of the Cannabis plant in Israel and around the world. Fast forward decades later, the extracts of the Cannabis plant have been shown to be quite useful in treating various medical conditions.
After the passage of Amendment 2 in 2016 and the subsequent passage of SB-8A by the FL Legislature, the state of Florida has set up a program where qualified patients with certain medical conditions can access treatment with Medical Cannabis.
The qualifying conditions that are listed in the law (SB-8A) are:
•Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
•Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
•Multiple sclerosis (MS)
•Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above
•A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification
•Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need Medical Cannabis? And do I qualify?
After a thorough history and physical, your Doctor will determine whether you’re a candidate for Medical Cannabis based on the above listed qualifying conditions. Cannabinoids have been shown to provide relief for those conditions listed above and other medical conditions similar in nature to those listed above.
Is Medical Cannabis better than Opioids?
Cannabinoids, when properly dosed and administered, can provide significant pain relief and can potentially replace opioids. While every patient case is different, we have noticed a national trend of patients able to reduce their use of opiates in states where Medical Cannabis is legal and available.
Is Medical Cannabis safe?
To quote DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young, “Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man” Unlike Opiates and many other therapeutic agents, there has NEVER been a death attributed to Cannabis. The reason for its safety is that there are no cannabinoid receptors in our brainstem (the area of the brain that controls breathing). There are, however, opiate receptors in our brainstem and that’s why Opiates can slow down breathing and in very high doses, can cause respiratory arrest and death. As is the case with many other medications, if Cannabis causes any impairment, then one should NOT drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery.
What are the different ways that patients can take Medical Cannabis?
•Oils and Tinctures administered Sublingually (under the tongue)
•Vaporization of oil using a Vape Pen
•Edible form (cookie, brownie, gummy bear) (currently NOT available in Florida at this time, but that can change depending on the Legislature and Governor)
•Smoking (currently NOT available in Florida at this time, but that can change depending on the Legislature and Governor)
What are some of the risks/side effects associated with Cannabis?
As with ANY therapeutic agent, there exists the possibility of side effects. The THC found in Cannabis products can be impairing depending on the age of the patient, dose, and prior use pattern. That’s why when we are treating patients with no prior exposure, it is always best to start low and go slow. Cannabis products that are of the INDICA variety can be sedating. Cannabis products of the SATIVA variety can be stimulating and in some cases can increase anxiety.
How do I know if Medical Cannabis is right for me?
If your medical condition is listed above in the list of qualifying conditions, feel free to call the office and make an appointment for an evaluation. While we never guarantee 100% success (no therapeutic substance had a 100% success rate), we CAN guarantee 100% SAFETY based on 5000 years of use throughout the world and ZERO deaths attributed to it.