Can You Get A Florida Medical Marijuana Card For Arthritis?
- Can you get a Florida medical marijuana card for Arthritis?
- How does medical marijuana help treat arthritis?
- Best marijuana strains for arthritis
- How to treat arthritis with medical marijuana
First off, let’s answer the question you came here to answer.
Can you get a medical marijuana card in Florida for arthritis?
The short answer is yes — and no.
Arthritis is not specifically mentioned on the list of qualifying conditions for a Florida medical marijuana card.
However, depending on the patient’s case, arthritis symptoms might fall under another item on the list – chronic pain.
Patients might be able to get a certified Florida medical marijuana doctor to approve them for a Florida medical marijuana card for arthritis pain. But if the issue is just stiffness and swelling without intractable pain, technically, it doesn’t qualify.
Furthermore, if the doctor is going by the book, the patient will have to show that traditional pain killers aren’t working.
Patients might also have another medical condition for which they can be approved for medical cannabis.
If you or someone you love suffers from arthritis you know it can sometimes be debillitating. And, sadly, many of the traditional treatments for arthritis aren’t very effective and come with unwanted side effects.
However, legions of arthritis patients are finding medical marijuana to be a safe and effective option for relieving arthritis pain and even slowing the progression of arthritis.
Qualifying Medical Conditions In Florida
Just for the record, the list of qualifying conditions for a Florida medical marijuana card are:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to the others listed.
- 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.
Which marijuana strains are good for treating arthritis?
Cannabis is a complex plant made more complex through years of breeding.
Two particular active compounds are produced in cannabis flowers — cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids include THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, etc. Cannabinoids can account for as high as 30 percent of the flowers by weight. As for which ones are good for pain, that really depends on the patient. Every patient’s case is unique, every patient responds differently to the various cannabinoids, and every patient has a unique lifestyle to consider.
Marijuana strains that are high in CBD and low in THC are probably a good place to start. Strains that are high in THC with no CBD can cause extreme intoxication, anxiety, and paranoia, and increase blood pressure. Furthermore, excessive use of THC has also been connected with psychosis.
CBD, as it turns out, protects brain cells, reduces anxiety and paranoia, and lowers blood pressure. On the other hand, CBD can cause drowsiness in some patients.
Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give cannabis buds their potent and distinct aroma. We’re not going to get into a lot of detail here on terpenes but you can learn more about terpenes in this article: Marijuana Terpenes Guide
There are scores of different terpenes. Each has a particular odor and also particular effects. Certain terpenes are more effective at reducing the inflammation and pain that come with arthritis such as linalool, myrcene, alpha-pinene, limonene, and caryophyllene.
Some terpenes also help to tame the causes of arthritis. Again, which terpenes will have the best effect depends on the patient and their case.
The bottom line is some experimentation might be required to find the ideal strain for the patient’s condition and lifestyle.
Some patients keep more than one strain handy — one for nighttime use, one for daytime use.
A recent study in the Journal of Headache Pain reviewed the effects of various strains of marijuana on more than 2,000 patients with various types of pain including chronic headaches, migraines, and arthritis. In that study, patients suffering from arthritis tended to prefer these marijuana strains for arthritis pain:
- OG Shark
- Sweet Skunk
- Jack Herer
- Warlock CBD
- Lemon Sour Diesel
- White Widow
- Pink Kush
- Master Kush
- Island Sweet Skunk
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Skywalker OG
- Jean Guy
Patients should take this list with a grain of salt, but it’s a good place to start.
Local Florida dispensaries might not carry these particular strains. Show the budtender the list and see if they have similar marijuana strains or other strains that are recommended for arthritis pain.
Remember that is the first strain doesn’t do the trick, that doesn’t completely rule out medical marijuana as a treatment for arthritis pain. Try another strain with different terpenes and cannabinoid ratios.
Which medical marijuana products are best for treating arthritis?
Keep in mind that smoking marijuana isn’t the only option for arthritis patients. In fact, it’s probably not the best option. Smoking can cause chronic bronchitis and raise blood pressure. Smoking is also messy and indiscreet. Vaping is a bit less messy, but is also not very discreet.
Cannabis topicals can be applied to the skin in the affected areas for local relief. Topicals that are made to treat pain often include other ingredients that help the medicine penetrate the skin and reduce inflammation.
Cannabis capsules, tinctures, oils, and edibles are best for systemic effects such as taming the causes of arthritis such as autoimmune conditions. Cannabis transdermal patches and cannabis suppositories are also decent options.
One last piece of advice would be to reach out to other arthritis patients who are having success treating their condition with marijuana and see which strains and delivery methods are working for them. Arthritis patient groups can often be found on social media sites such as Facebook.
Patients can learn more about medical marijuana for treating arthritis pain here: Medical Marijuana For Treatment Of Arthritis