Medical Marijuana Jupiter, Delray Beach, Wellington & Pompano Beach
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See our FAQ for common information and frequently asked questions about medical marijuana in the State of Florida.
Is it Legal for Me to have Medical Marijuana Treatment?
The legal use of Medical Marijuana for the viable and effective treatment and management of pain has been gaining momentum across the U.S. One of the significant benefits is that it is a quantifiable alternative to opioids.
According to Florida SB 1030, known as the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, medical cannabis can be recommended and ordered for delivery by physicians, by law. The following is stated in the Office of Compassionate Use:
Florida law permits qualified physicians to order low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis for patients diagnosed with certain conditions. There are two types of cannabis products that may be ordered by qualified physicians:
- Low-THC Cannabis: Patients with cancer or a condition that causes chronic seizures or muscle spasms may qualify to receive low-THC cannabis. Low-THC cannabis has very low amounts of the psychoactive ingredient THC and does not usually produce the “high” commonly associated with cannabis.
- Medical Cannabis: If a patient is suffering from a condition determined to be terminal by two physicians, he or she may qualify for medical cannabis. This product can contain significant levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC and may produce the “high” commonly associated with cannabis.
The department recommends speaking to your health care professional to determine if low-THC or medical cannabis products are right for you or your loved one.
Via Amendment 2, which went into effect on January 3, 2017, medical marijuana can be recommended to patients with the following eligible conditions:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
Medical Marijuana is an Effective Treatment for Pain Management
It has been proven through scientific research that medical marijuana may be therapeutic for numerous conditions. Medical marijuana is an eligible treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of persistent and severe muscle spasms or of seizures. Specific recommendations vary, based on an individual patient’s condition.
How Does Medical Marijuana Work?
Your body naturally makes chemicals like marijuana that have an effect on inflammation, pain, and other processes. In many instances, marijuana can help those natural chemicals work even more effectively, according to experts.
Since at least the 19th century, marijuana has been used as a botanical medicine. Countless studies have since been done that support evidence of marijuana having healing potential because of its cannabidiol content.
Part of our human makeup is that we have naturally-occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes in our liver, brain, lungs, kidneys, immune system, and throughout our body.
Marijuana’s therapeutic effect occurs when cannabinoid receptors are activated by a cannabinoid.
Research is still ongoing, to determine how health is impacted by cannabis, but conclusive results to date show that cannabinoid receptors in our body play a crucial role in many body processes, including immune function, anxiety, pain, bone growth, cravings, and metabolic regulation. Marijuana used medically has been credited in some cancer patients with reducing the size of tumors.
Currently in Florida, patients may qualify for medical marijuana treatment only for:
- Chronic seizures
- Chronic and severe muscle spasms
- Terminal illness
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
The following are maladies commonly being treated with medical cannabis in other states:
- Dystonia and other degenerative neurological disorders
- Mood disorders
- Cannabis oil administered topically is proven to heal sunburn overnight.
How Can I Get a Recommendation for Medical Marijuana Treatment?
The following criteria must be met, to receive an order by a physician for low-THC medical marijuana:
- Set up an appointment for a consultation in person with Dr. Edwin Maldonado or another physician who is trained and qualified to order cannabis treatments for patients. A patient must be treated by the physician for three months immediately preceding the order of low-THC cannabis.
- A determination the physician makes is whether the risks of ordering low-THC cannabis are reasonable when potential benefits of the patient are also considered. Patients who are 18 years old or younger must have an opinion from a second physician who concurs with this determination; it must be duly noted in the patient’s medical record.
- The physician is required to adequately explain the medical community’s current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of treatment for the patient’s condition using low-THC cannabis, alternatives that are also medically acceptable, and the potential side effects and risks. The physician can then obtain informed, voluntary consent in writing from the patient or the patient’s legal guardian to medically treat him or her with low-THC cannabis.
- The ordering physician is required to enter the name of the patient low-THC cannabis has been prescribed for into the Compassionate Use Registry and update the registry so that it reflects the contents of the order. When the treatment is discontinued, the doctor must then deactivate the patient’s registration.
- A patient treatment plan must be maintained by the ordering physician which reflects the dose, route of administration, planned duration, and monitoring of the patient’s symptoms as well as other indicators of tolerance or reaction to the order for low-THC cannabis. The patient treatment plan must be submitted quarterly to the University of Florida, College Of Pharmacy, for research on the safety and efficacy of low-THC cannabis on patients.
- Lastly, a patient may fill their order of low-THC cannabis at a qualified dispensing organization, where the identity of the patient or legal representative will be verified as well as the existence of the order in the Compassionate Use Registry. A dispensing organization may not dispense more than a 45-day supply.
How is Medical Marijuana Administered?
In Florida, medical marijuana can be administered in the following forms:
- Vaporized (heated until active ingredients are released but no smoke is formed)
- Edible forms
NOTE: The availability of the above applications varies between dispensaries.
Possible Side Effects of Medical Marijuana
Any side effects that may occur from the use of medical marijuana don’t last long and can include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Euphoria, though it is not a typical side effect of low-THC dosages
- Severe anxiety and psychosis are more serious side effects that may occur, but neither effects are typical of low-THC dosages
NOTE: Important Information about Medical Marijuana in Florida
In the entire state of Florida, the approved use of medical marijuana does NOT include the following:
- The use, administration, or possession of medical cannabis by smoking.
- The transfer of medical cannabis to any person other than the qualified individual for whom it was ordered.
- The use of medical cannabis in any public place; on any form of public transportation; in a qualified patient’s place of employment, if restricted by the employer; in a state correctional institution; on the grounds of a preschool, primary, or secondary school; or any school bus or vehicle.
NOTE: We are able to legally provide low-THC medical marijuana only for patients diagnosed with cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms.