The legalization of marijuana has been a controversial subject for years and has been debated by lawmakers, healthcare professionals, and patients alike. Some believe that the risks of using marijuana far outweigh any benefits it may have. Others see it strictly as a recreational drug that should remain illegal. However, the medical benefits of marijuana are being recognized more and more.
There is still a lot of stigma surrounding the use of marijuana, but many who have severe health issues have found that using marijuana or marijuana-based products, such as cannabidiol oil, has lessened or eliminated their symptoms. It’s not just the patients who see the difference. Hundreds of medical studies agree with them!
While it is still illegal on the federal level, individual states have passed laws making marijuana for medical use legal. The reason for this is the proven health benefits marijuana offers that some patients truly can’t live without.
What is medical marijuana and how does it work?
Medical marijuana comes from the cannabis plant, the same as recreational marijuana, but taken for medical purposes. Doctors prescribe medical marijuana to treat certain diseases or medical condition.
There are over 100 different chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, called cannabinoids. Each cannabinoid has a different effect on the body, but the main chemicals used for medicinal purposes are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC produces the “high” felt when smoking or consuming marijuana. However, there are CBD-dominant strains of the cannabis plant that contain little to no THC and have no mind-altering effects.
Although many medical marijuana patients use the plant or products with THC, some find that products with CBD alone offer them plenty of relief. Patients using CBD oil or other CBD products claim that it has relieved insomnia, anxiety, depression and chronic pain. There have also been cases of certain strains of CBD controlling the effects of Dravet syndrome, a type of childhood epilepsy.
What is medical marijuana used for?
Medical marijuana is used for a variety of ailments, but it is most often used for pain management. Although it’s typically not strong enough for severe pain, it can be used to control chronic pain. It is also a much safer option than opiate pain killers, as it is impossible to overdose on and is much less addictive than medication such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
In Florida, the law allows medical marijuana to be prescribed for certain diseases or under specific conditions. If a disease or medical condition is not mentioned in the law, it allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients who have similar diseases or have one that is debilitating or chronic.
Some common conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana include:
- Neurological disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Medical marijuana has proven to have positive effects as a muscle relaxant, which is beneficial to those who have diseases that affect the muscles in the body. Studies show that marijuana helps patients with multiple sclerosis by relaxing the muscles and reducing stiffness and spasticity. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, it has been shown to reduce muscle tremors.
The benefits of medical marijuana were popularized several years ago with the rise of parents using marijuana-based medicines to control seizures in their children. While this was highly controversial at the time, it has led the FDA to research the effects of the plant-based medicines. The FDA has approved a few marijuana-based medicines, two of which contain man-made cannabinoid.
Most recently, the FDA has approved Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical drug composed of CBD, to treat patients with severe seizures. Studies show that this drug caused a sizeable reduction in seizures of patients. However, some patients and caregivers believe that more natural options make a greater difference in controlling and treating seizures.
Why We Do What We Do
At the Marijuana Law Division, we believe patients and their doctors have the right to decide what is best for a patient’s health. We advocate for a patient’s right to the proper medical treatment in medical marijuana, and we serve the healthcare professionals and facilities that serve them.
Our attorneys offer compliance consultation to medical marijuana physicians, MMTCs, and dispensaries. Contact us today for your initial consultation.