Medical marijuana is an affordable, powerful treatment option for a wide range of health conditions. Many seniors are using medical marijuana to help treat the health issues that often accompany aging, including arthritis pain, insomnia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and many more. The process of how to get medical marijuana in Florida may seem complex at first, but with guidance from experienced medical professionals, seniors can easily take advantage of the healing properties of medical cannabis.
Ailments Best Treated by Medical Marijuana for Seniors
Medical marijuana research is still in its infancy due to medical marijuana being classified as a Schedule I drug by the United States government. There have been promising pre-clinical trials and studies, though, which are precursors to more extensive research. These studies indicate that medical marijuana may be able to treat a wide range of ailments.
Some of the conditions that medical marijuana is especially well-suited to treat include:
- Chronic pain—Chronic pain results from a wide range of medical conditions, including old injuries and arthritis. Narcotic medications can be addictive and leave some patients unable to function. Medical marijuana can relieve pain while leaving seniors clear-headed and able to engage in day-to-day activities.
- Cancer—Cancer treatments can be painful, with challenging side effects such as nausea and loss of appetite. Medical marijuana helps to relieve nausea and stimulate appetite. There is some initial research that indicates that medical marijuana may also slow cancer cell growth, although more research needs to be completed in this area.
- Glaucoma—According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for those over age 60. It’s the result of fluid building up in the eye, resulting in pressure that damages the optic nerve. Medical marijuana relieves this pressure, alleviating the effects of glaucoma.
- Alzheimer’s Disease—There is promising research that indicates that medical marijuana high in THC may help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as ease symptoms.
This is just a sampling of the ailments plaguing the elderly that can be successfully treated with medical marijuana when recommended by a qualified medical marijuana physician. Now let’s turn to ways patients can effectively manage potential side effects of treatment with medical marijuana.
Managing the Effects of Medical Marijuana
Many seniors are understandably concerned about the potential side effects of medical marijuana. Patients seeking relief from medical conditions often prefer not to experience the high associated with recreational medical marijuana use. Having a clear understanding of how medical marijuana works can help alleviate those concerns, along with having clear guidance from an experienced medical marijuana physician.
How Medical Marijuana Works
Medical marijuana has hundreds of chemical compounds, but there are two that have the biggest impact on medical conditions:
- Cannabidiol (CBD)—CBD has a relaxing, calming effect on patients. It also helps to relieve pain and lower anxiety. CBD does not cause a high, and it can be taken in a variety of ways, including through vaping (a safe alternative to smoking), oils, and through lotions.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—THC is often associated with recreational marijuana use because it can cause a high when taken in high doses. THC has anti-inflammatory properties and can also relieve pain. THC can also be vaped or taken via oils or lotions.
Because CBD and THC are both found in the marijuana plants, many feel that they work best together. Finding the appropriate ratio of CBD to THC can ensure patients do not experience unwanted side effects.
Experienced Medical Guidance
Working with an experienced medical marijuana physician is critical to finding the right delivery method and CBD:THC ratio for your needs. Dr. Daniel P. Stein started Neurology of Cannabis in Sarasota to provide medical marijuana patients with professional care that addresses their medical needs.
Dr. Stein has a wealth of medical experience. He is a board-certified physician with more than 26 years of experience in cannabis and neurology research. He takes a personalized approach to working with his patients, reviewing their medical history and answering questions before making treatment recommendations. These recommendations are the first step to getting started with medical marijuana.
How to Get Medical Marijuana in Florida
A professional office such as Neurology of Cannabis will assist patients in getting started with medical marijuana. The process of obtaining medical marijuana in Florida has five steps:
- Diagnosis. Patients need to have a diagnosis for a qualifying medical condition. These include cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, glaucoma, MS, PTSD, epilepsy, and Crohn’s disease. Terminal conditions and conditions that are comparable to qualifying medical conditions can also qualify for medical cannabis. Comparable conditions which may qualify patients include, but are not limited to: pain, anxiety, insomnia, and dementia. Patients who are unsure of whether they qualify should seek the guidance of an experienced physician such as Dr. Stein.
- Visit a state–certified physician. For example, Dr. Stein is a state-certified medical marijuana doctor.
- Entrance into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. A medical marijuana doctor’s office enters patients into the medical marijuana registry. Once entered, the doctor’s office provides the patient with their registry identification number.
- Apply for a registry card. Patients use their registry ID number to go online and apply for their registry card. There is a $75 annual fee for the card.
- Visit a medical marijuana treatment center. Once patients have their cards in hand, they can visit a licensed treatment center (dispensary) to purchase medical marijuana in accordance with their doctor’s recommendations.
Many seniors have tried a wide variety of prescriptions to manage their health conditions. If you’re looking for an effective alternative, visit Neurology of Cannabis. Dr. Stein can evaluate your situation and help you decide whether medical marijuana will meet your treatment needs. Give them a call today to set up an appointment.