People with chronic illnesses have heard about the benefits of medical marijuana but may be hesitant to explore its use for their medical conditions. With the help of an experienced Florida cannabis doctor, the health benefits of medical marijuana are truly accessible.
Many people are using cannabis to treat conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, and insomnia. Sorting through the treatment options can be difficult and confusing. To help you feel more at ease, here are some answers to common questions patients have about medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Defined
Medical marijuana is marijuana that has been grown and processed specifically for medicinal use. In Florida, you can buy medical marijuana from a licensed medical marijuana treatment center.
Marijuana has two primary chemical components: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These two chemicals, known as cannabinoids, are the main compounds which treat medical conditions. THC, in addition to having analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, is also responsible for the psychoactive effects, or “high,” associated with non-medical marijuana use. Medical marijuana contains various levels or ratios of THC and CBD. With proper selection of THC:CBD ratio and dosing guidance, patients can be confident that they will experience the medical benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive side effects.
Ailments That Can Be Treated with Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana Is an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions. These include:
- Chronic pain. A 2017 review of more than 100 medical cannabis studies concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain. CBD helps to reduce pain signals transmitted to your brain, alleviating the feeling of pain. THC also helps to reduce the feelings of pain by activating receptors on neurons, or nerve cells, within the brain itself. If you experience chronic pain, a Florida cannabis doctor can help you develop an appropriate treatment plan.
- Arthritis. The painful inflammation associated with arthritis can make it challenging to complete daily activities. CBD and THC (along with other molecules in cannabis) reduce inflammation which alleviates pain without the dangerous side effects associated with other pain medications.
- Insomnia. According to the American Sleep Association, 30 percent of adults report having short-term insomnia. As we get older, our sleep patterns change, which can also lead to difficulties in falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Medical cannabis helps to restore your natural sleep cycle, which leads to longer and more restful sleep.
- Cancer. Many cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, have significant side effects. Medical marijuana can help alleviate side effects such as nausea and vomiting, improving your overall quality of life while you get the treatment you need. And although research studies demonstrating that medical marijuana may be an effective treatment for cancer itself, those data are not sufficient to replace conventional therapy. Nonetheless, patients with cancer-related pain, anxiety, and insomnia have been shown to respond quite well to medical marijuana and this form of natural therapy is supported by most oncologists.
- Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s disease can cause a loss of appetite and depression. Medical cannabis can help alleviate these symptoms. Initial research also suggests that cannabis may treat Alzheimer’s disease. THC may help slow the growth of the proteins in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease to progress.
- Depression. Medical marijuana may help alleviate depression by stimulating serotonin receptors in your brain. This can help stabilize and improve your mood.
These are just a few of the conditions that can be treated with medical cannabis. An experienced medical marijuana physician can review your symptoms and history and let you know whether medical marijuana would be a viable treatment option.
Your Best Non-Smoking Treatment Options
Although marijuana is often associated with smoking, most medical marijuana patients use other treatment options. Some common treatment options include:
- Vaping. Short for Vaporizing, vaping involves inhaling cannabis medicine by heating the cannabis just enough to release the medicine into the air, but not burning the oil or plant material. Therefore, there is No Combustion, and unlike smoking, harmful hydrocarbons and tar remain negligible. Inhaling cannabis as a vapor provides a safe way to get immediate symptom relief.
- Edibles. Medical marijuana treatment centers out west typically sell foods such as cookies or candies that are infused with medical cannabis. In Florida, ‘edibles’ are limited to liquids, oils, and capsules which you swallow. If you go with this treatment option, keep in mind that when cannabis is consumed it can take longer for it to take effect and the effect may be more intense and last longer. Follow your doctor’s recommendation for how much to consume.
- Lotions and creams. Cannabis-infused lotions and creams are an especially popular choice for treating local pain and inflammation. You rub the lotion or cream into the painful area. This allows you to target your treatment. Patients with more generalized pain, or pain which originates in structures not close to the skin, may do better with other administration methods.
- Tinctures. Tinctures are liquids provided in medical droppers. You place drops of cannabis oil under your tongue until your body absorbs it. You typically only need a few drops per treatment. Your doctor can provide you with precise dosage instructions.
- Patches. Patches also provide targeted pain treatment. You apply a cannabis patch to your skin, and your body slowly absorbs the cannabis through your skin. Patches offer continuous relief while you wear them, and they’re discreet.
Although health insurance will not cover these treatment options, they are typically reasonably priced. If you have concerns regarding the cost of your treatment options, let your cannabis doctor know so that they can make appropriate recommendations.
Where to Get Advice About Your Next Steps with Medical Marijuana
If you are a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida, you should seek the advice of an experienced, professional Florida cannabis doctor. An experienced medical marijuana doctor can review your medical history, listen to your concerns, and give you treatment recommendations that are tailored to your situation and your needs.
Dr. Daniel P. Stein is the lead physician at Neurology of Cannabis, located in Sarasota. He is highly credentialed and has been published in several prestigious medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Stein will carefully review your history and create an effective treatment plan that meets your individual needs. His professional staff will provide you with detailed instructions on how to obtain a medical marijuana use identification card, and they are always available for questions.
Neurology of Cannabis is affordable as well as professional. Other clinics charge you for every visit. Whether you need recertification or a dosage adjustment, you will be charged individually for each appointment. Neurology of Cannabis charges an affordable, annual fee of $250. This includes your initial consultation, your six-month recertification, your renewals, and medication adjustments. You are responsible for the cost of your medication and the $75 registration and renewal fee that you pay to the state of Florida.
If you are considering medical marijuana, Neurology of Cannabis is ready to help. Contact us today to find out more about your treatment options