Top 5 Qualifying Conditions for Marijuana in Florida
In this post, we’re going to go over the top five medical conditions for which patients are applying for a Florida medical marijuana card. We’re also going to provide resources to help patients apply for a card as well as to find local medical marijuana dispensaries.
Florida’s medical marijuana program and its original list of qualifying medical conditions were established with the passage of Amendment 2 during the elections of Nov. 2016. Shortly thereafter, Bill SB8A was passed by lawmakers establishing the rules for medical marijuana doctors and dispensaries in Florida.
In January of 2020, there were under 300,000 medical marijuana patients in Florida. In October 2020, that number grew to more than 424,000 — a whopping 41% increase.
The most common conditions that Floridians are treating with medical marijuana include:
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic Pain
You can find the complete list of qualifying conditions here. Let’s take a brief look at how medical marijuana is being used to treat the most common conditions to get medical marijuana in Florida.
Medical Marijuana for Cancer
Medical marijuana has been prescribed for cancer patients for decades as a way to lessen the symptoms of the disease as well as the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Initially, cannabis was mainly used to relieve chemo-induced nausea and vomiting in addition to stimulating appetite. However, it was discovered over time that cannabis, in addition to relieving nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss also alleviated some other symptoms and side effects associated with cancer and chemo including fatigue and drowsiness, chronic pain, sleep disorders such as insomnia, and depression….Read More About MMJ & Cancer
Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders
Epilepsy and other seizure disorders occur when normal brain functions are disrupted, resulting in convulsions or seizures. Seizures and involuntary spasms result when the disruptions cause a massive electrical discharge.
The region of the brain responsible for seizures is the hippocampus. The hippocampus is highly susceptible to the effects of cannabinoids and responds favorably to treatment with medical marijuana helping to reduce the number and duration of seizures.
Moreover, medical marijuana doesn’t produce the debilitating side effects associated with traditional seizure-medications….Read More About MMJ & Epilepsy
Medical Marijuana for MS, Parkinson’s, and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases
MS or Multiple Sclerosis is a life-threatening neurodegenerative disease that induces the body’s immune system to erode the protective myelin sheath surrounding healthy neurons. When this sheath is destroyed, it causes an interruption in signal transmission throughout the central nervous system. Over time this disruption drastically impairs motor function and coordination and causes multiple, devastating symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative condition. This condition occurs with the death of neurons in the midbrain and produces debilitating symptoms such as postural instability, tremors, loss of coordination, and rigidity.
In most neurodegenerative diseases, a common issue seems to be the chronic inflammation of neurons. Cannabis is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that might retard the onset of neurological conditions. Moreover, the antioxidant properties provided by cannabis may also offer protection against nerve cell and neuron degeneration in the brain.
Due to the relentless pain and discomfort associated with these conditions, neurodegenerative diseases also contribute to severe depression and fatigue. Cannabis has reportedly helped alleviate these accompanying conditions, reduce pain, increase mobility, and induce a sense of well being.…Read More About MMJ & Multiple Sclerosis
Medical Marijuana for PTSD
Many individuals suffering from PTSD are turning to medical marijuana for its effectiveness in relieving symptoms such as panic attacks, anxiety, paranoia, chronic depression, nightmares, and insomnia.
PTSD patients make up one of the top 5 qualifying conditions for marijuana in Florida. They will most likely need some expert guidance when attempting to find the proper strains, delivery methods, and dosages for optimum relief from their symptoms.
Often, PTSD patients who attempt to self-medicate with cannabis without the support of a medical marijuana doctor discover that excessive doses of THC can increase rather than reduce paranoia and anxiety.
Many PTSD patients respond more favorably to cannabis strains that are high in CBD. However, some PTSD patients find that THC can reduce nightmares associated with PTSD when used before bedtime. For this reason, PTSD patients are often advised to have two strains available — one for daytime, and one for the evening.…Read More About MMJ & PTSD
Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain
Millions of cannabis users nationwide have for decades been using medical marijuana to successfully relieve their chronic pain. Cannabis is widely renowned for its inflammation-reducing abilities. The mechanisms by which medical marijuana reduces inflammation are complicated and difficult to put into laymen’s terms. However, cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, and others act to regulate the body’s inflammatory response.
According to Dr. Alisha Kelley at the Trichome Health Center in Pinellas Park, Fla., two of the most common chronic pain-inducing conditions bringing patients into the practice are herniated or bulging disks and degenerative disc disease.
The rubbery discs between the vertebrae act as shock absorbers allow for flexing and bending of the back. If these discs become damaged or inflamed they can cause severe back, neck, and limb pain.
Degenerative disc disease is usually an age-related condition. With age, the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column begin to deteriorate. This can lead to pain, weakness, and numbness in the limbs.
Cannabis not only helps to reduce the inflammation that can cause or worsen these conditions, but it is also known to play a role in regulating pain signals and pain response. It may also play a role in preventing or slowing the degeneration of discs.
Runner-Up: Medical Marijuana for HIV/AIDS
Over 500,000 Americans have succumbed to HIV/AIDS, and over one million individuals are living with the condition, according to WHO.
Both the disease and the medications prescribed to treat it can cause excruciating symptoms including nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, neuropathy, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, all of which are being treated successfully with medical marijuana.…Read More About Cannabis & HIV/AIDS