It’s been almost two years since Florida passed Constitutional Amendment 2, allowing patients with certain debilitating diseases and other ailments the right to seek treatment with medical cannabis (with a physician’s recommendation, of course). And in that time, hundreds of thousands of people have found relief under the law — 136,000 new patients signed up to receive treatment with medical cannabis in the first nine months of 2018 alone.
When first enacted, however, the law, while giving a somewhat strict definition of which conditions qualified a patient to receive medical cannabis treatment, did leave some leeway for doctors to make their own decisions, based on a defined set of criteria.
Well, here at Marijuana Doctor, patients are our top priority. We’re always looking for new and better ways to offer treatment to as many people as possible, based on the scientific method and top patient outcomes.
With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce that after a rigorous review of the research, Marijuana Doctor physicians are now recommending several new conditions to our list of qualifying conditions for smoking and all other forms of medical cannabis use.
A Brief Review of the Law
In January 2017, when state legislators passed Amendment 2, they included a specific list of qualifying conditions which would be eligible for medical cannabis treatment. Those conditions were:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV / AIDS
- Chronic muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
However, legislators did show some forward-thinking when they passed the final version of the law as well, adding in one final caveat to the list of qualifying conditions that gave doctors and physicians the leeway to do what they do best — treat patients.
The final qualifying condition was listed as any ailment/condition “of the same severity/symptoms.” In other words, the law states that any medical condition in which medical cannabis is deemed useful for the patient, and in which the benefits outweigh any side effects will be considered a qualifying condition.
A New List of Qualifying Conditions
After a rigorous review of the research available, the physicians at Marijuana Doctor have added a number of qualifying conditions to the list of treatable ailments for which medical cannabis will be recommended. Thos conditions now include:
- Chemotherapy side effects
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
And as always, if you’re condition isn’t on the list, come by and talk to us anyway. If you don’t qualify, you don’t pay! At Marijuana Doctor, we’re here to help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Our board-certified physicians will evaluate you to determine if you may benefit from medical marijuana.
And after you’ve received your recommendation, we’ll help you with the registration process with the Florida Department of Health as well. Best of all, our process is risk-free with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. If you don’t qualify, you don’t pay.
If you believe that you may qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Call us at (844) 442-0362 or schedule your free consultation online.
Marijuana is arguably the most effective (and safest) drug out there. With that being said, it can produce a few minor side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased appetite and delayed motor skills. Synthetic cannabinoids on the other hand, can cause a number of severe mental and physical side effects. The dangers of synthetic cannabinoids are real and must be taken seriously.
How are synthetic cannabinoids made?
First and foremost, it’s important for you to understand that synthetic cannabinoids are unnatural and made in a laboratory. Synthetic cannabinoids are not to be confused with natural cannabinoids. Natural cannabinoids (THC and CBD) are organic compounds found in real, from the ground, marijuana. These compounds are safe and effective at treating numerous medical conditions. Synthetic cannabinoids are not only dangerous, but also offer no medical value.
How do you use it?
The two most common methods of use for synthetic cannabinoids are smoking and vaping. Mind altering chemicals are sprayed on plant material to be smoked, or sold in liquid form, to be vaped.
How does it affect the body?
Synthetic cannabinoids interact and bind to the same receptors in the brain that THC does. These manufactured chemicals bind much more strongly to the receptors, however, causing much greater, mind-altering effects.
What are the side effects?
The effects of synthetic cannabinoids are unpredictable, dangerous and life-threatening. They produce a few similar effects of natural cannabis, such as a boost in mood, relaxation, altered perception and psychosis. Effects of psychosis include, extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia and hallucinations.
The side effects from these chemical differ from the side effects of natural cannabis when they produce negative effects such as increased heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, increased blood pressure, reduction in blood supply to the heart (heart failure), kidney damage, internal bleeding, seizures and even death.
Natural cannabis has never killed anyone. It’s important to note that operating a motor vehicle under the influence of both natural and synthetic cannabis is dangerous and illegal.
Is it addictive?
Synthetic cannabinoids are addictive. They offer no medical benefit while they retain a high potential for abuse. As a result, regular users will experience withdrawal symptoms like headache, anxiety, depression and irritability if they try to quit.
If they’re dangerous, why are they available for sale?
Synthetic cannabinoids are included in a group of unregulated drugs called New Psychoactive Substances. They are intended to provide the same effects as illegal drugs. Often times, the package will say something to the effect of “made with natural ingredients. This is a tactic to convince users that the synthetic drugs are safe. On the contrary, the only natural component to these “fake drugs” is the plant material that the chemicals are sprayed on.
The dangerous chemicals used to create synthetic cannabinoids are continuously altered in order to keep them on the shelves. Ingredients are constantly being outlawed, so the “recipes” must continue to change. Side effects vary from batch to batch, making these synthetic drugs extremely unpredictable and dangerous.
You will most commonly find these drugs in convenience stores and online. Manufacturers package them in bright, colorful packages, to attract users, specifically younger users. You will find synthetic cannabinoids going by a number of different names, the most common being K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Kush, Kronic, and Joker.
There has been a spike in overdoses and deaths directly related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids. Obviously, you should never use these dangerous drugs. Not only do they offer no medical benefit, but they also can lead to extreme adverse reactions. Never underestimate the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids.
In this article, we’re going to compare and contrast, Alcohol Vs. Cannabis, to discover their similarities and differences. Alcohol and cannabis share the ability to alter a person’s mood and state of mind. Both of these things are also capable of affecting us physically, albeit in different ways.
While alcohol has been linked to approximately 88,000 deaths per year, it has been federally legal for quite some time. Most supporters of the legalization of medical marijuana would agree that cannabis is far less risky than alcohol, which begs the question… Why is cannabis still federally illegal, while alcohol is not?
There are many different types of alcohol (beer, wine, vodka, etc), however, they are all essentially made from sugar and yeast through a process called fermentation. More than 52% of Americans aged 12 or older consider themselves current alcohol users. 1 in 10 Americans aged 12 or older, have admitted to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
Mental and Physical Effects
If you’re a healthy adult, having a drink every now and then is not going to hurt you. A glass of wine or a beer, can help you relax and even provide a boost in mood. With that being said, it doesn’t take much for those positive effects to turn negative.
Occasional and moderate drinkers can experience symptoms such as memory impairment or blacking out. This can cause he/she to engage in reckless activities, such as unprotected sex or driving under the influence. Moderate drinking can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, violent confrontations, falls, drownings and car accidents.
Heavy drinkers are even more likely to experience the previously mentioned symptoms. They are also prone to brain damage, permanent memory loss, increased depression, anxiety & thoughts of suicide, difficulty sleeping, paranoia, panic attacks, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal disorders.
It’s important to note that alcohol is much more likely to negatively interact with other medications. Alcohol has the ability to kill you if you drink too much, too fast. It can shut down your brain and other essential organs.
Cannabis comes in several different forms as well, all of which are made from the natural cannabis flower. Nearly 22% of American adults ( 55 million people) over the age of 18, claim that they currently use marijuana at least 1-2 times per year. 70% of Americans agree that cannabis is less risky than alcohol.
Mental and Physical Effects
The effects experienced after marijuana use, depend largely on the specific strain used. There are many reasons why marijuana is becoming more and more popular in the medical world. The benefits of this plant, far outweigh the risks. As you will see, the possible negative effects of marijuana are much less severe than the negative effects of alcohol.
Different Strains, Different Effects
There are two primary categories of cannabis: Sativa and Indica. Sativa typically contains higher concentrations of THC. THC is the component of marijuana that provides the ‘high’. Sativa is known for its effect on the mind. These strains promote increased energy, making them a great option for those partaking in physical activities. Sativa also promotes creativity and productivity.
Indica is commonly higher in CBD and lower in THC. This means they can provide benefits to people who are not looking to get high. These strains have more effect on the physical body by acting as a natural sleep aid due to their relaxing and sedating properties.
Compared to Alcohol
People that suffer from a variety of diseases, choose to use medical marijuana for a number of reasons. Cancer patients choose to use cannabis to increase their appetites, reduce their pain, and provide them with energy. People suffering from mood disorders and PTSD also use marijuana for pain relief and it’s mood boosting properties. Those suffering from gastrointestinal disorders experience relief through the use of medical marijuana. Have you noticed a pattern here? While Alcohol creates a lot of these same symptoms, cannabis is working to treat them.
While they are less severe, cannabis does come along with a few negative effects. These include short term memory loss, a decrease in attention span and focus, a slowed reaction time and lack of coordination. Driving while under the influence of marijuana is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. It’s important to note that people that are predisposed to high anxiety may experience paranoia or heightened anxiety, although this is quite rare. You may also develop dry mouth and red eyes, as well.
Answering the Question…
Why is cannabis still federally illegal, while alcohol is not? There are many different theories as to why this is the case.
Some people say that it’s just a matter of timing. They claim that if alcohol wasn’t currently legal under federal law, it would probably be just as hard to legalize it in this day and age. People were just more open to things like alcohol and tobacco back then.
Another theory is that the fed is ‘in bed’ with the big pharmaceutical companies. These companies would stand to lose billions of dollars if marijuana was to become federally legal.
The simplest explanation, and probably the most common is the ongoing belief that marijuana is a gateway drug. Most opponents of the legalization of marijuana will claim this to be true, although there are no scientific studies that prove this.
To be fair, there have been many more studies on the effects of alcohol than their have been for marijuana. Alcohol is much more accessible, to a wider range of people. This could explain, at least partially, why there are so many more alcohol related deaths in this country. This doesn’t change the fact, however, that marijuana has the ability to promote many more positive effects when compared to alcohol.
Whether or not cannabis will ever be legalized federally is still up in the air. Fortunately, all that truly matters is the fact that many states are legalizing medical marijuana. When it comes down to it, any American in need of relief should have the right to access marijuana as a viable medical treatment.
If you’re a Florida resident suffering from any of the illnesses or symptoms above, schedule your free consultation with one of our medical professionals, today! You can call us at (786) 224-4005, schedule online, or visit one of our 12 Florida locations.
A large percentage of Americans now have access to medical marijuana. This natural medicine treats a multitude of different symptoms from a variety of illnesses. There are literally hundreds of different strains available to choose from. For many first time users, it can be hard to decipher which one can treat your symptoms. Dispensaries commonly separate strains into larger categories of either Sativa, Indica, or Hybrids. In order to help you understand the differences, we are going to compare & contrast these 3 larger categories.
As far as appearance goes, the Sativa plant is taller in stature with narrower leaves. It goes through a longer flowering cycle and is better suited for warmer climates that have a longer season.
Sativa generally has a greater effect on the mind. It is commonly used during the day due to it’s energizing and invigorating properties. Sativa pairs well with physical activity, creative projects and social gatherings. It typically is a mood and productivity booster. These effects are often caused by the higher concentration of THC.
The Indica plant is the exact opposite of Sativa in the way that it looks. Indica is shorter, with wider leaves. It has a shorter flowering cycle and is better off in a colder climate with a shorter season.
The effects of Indica are usually quite different than Sativa, as well. Indica has more effect on the physical body than the mind. Due to it’s relaxing and sedating properties, it is perfect for night time use. It can act as a natural sleep aid because of its calming effect.
Hybrids are a combination of Sativa and Indica so they can look like either one, depending on the concentration of strains used.
Again, hybrid plants can share the effects of both Sativa and Indica. Generally speaking, a hybrid strain can be a good balance of each, boosting your mood and then mellowing you out without making you too sleepy.
Which is Right for You?
It’s important to note that some studies have shown that there is no scientific proof that Sativas will always make you feel energized or Indicas will always produce sedating effects. Jeffrey Raber, Ph.D. is a chemist that has said we need to be more focused on cannabinoids and Terpenes.
The two most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC produces the euphoric high. People suffering from chronic pain, nausea, migraines, depression and anxiety often choose strains with a higher THC concentration in order to treat their symptoms. CBD offers similar effects of THC, without the high. This is a common choice for people in need of relief that also need to maintain a clear mind for work or school. Mixing strains with THC and CBD offers a slight euphoric effect while still effectively treating symptoms. Terpenes play a large role in producing sedating and/or energizing effects, as well. They are also responsible for cannabis’ aroma, which has a surprising therapeutic effect.
Dr. Raber recommends focusing less on Sativa, Indica, or Hybrids and paying more attention to concentration of cannabinoids (THC & CBD) and aroma of strains. Understanding the effects of THC, CBD and Terpenes will enable you to choose a strain that will better treat your symptoms. Your best bet is to experiment with different strains until you figure out which one works best. Cannabis is a complicated subject. It is extremely diverse, which also happens to be why it is such an effective tool for such a wide variety of people. With so many combinations to choose from, it can help just about anyone.
If you are a Florida resident with questions or concerns, book your free consultation today! We have qualified physicians on staff ready to help! Call us at (786) 224-4005, book online, or visit one of our 12 Florida locations. We’re here for you.