Last year it was reported that there are hundreds of thousands of patients registered to receive medical marijuana for treatments and Florida, that number was nearly 150,000. Part of this is likely due to the fact that many prefer this natural remedy over pharmaceuticals – specifically, opioids, which have historically been used to help with chronic pain but which also led to an opioid epidemic in the U.S.
Reasons for Medical Marijuana Use
In Florida, there are guidelines around which conditions can be treated with medical marijuana. These include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Terminal Illness
- Chronic Nonmalignant Pain
In addition, qualified doctors can consider “medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed,” which means a qualified doctor can examine and identify possible conditions that may not be specifically listed by Amendment 2, but can be treated with medical marijuana under the law.
For the most part, each of these conditions have one thing in common: pain. This pain may be acute but in most cases is chronic, requiring relief for a long period of time. Since opiates have been used in the past to treat pain, many patients experienced adverse effects ranging from constipation and hypothalamic-pituitary-
In fact, a study done by the American Pain Society showed that more than 100 million Americans struggle with chronic pain – costing up to $635 billion per year. Their research indicates marijuana treatment can be an “effective pain medication and as an effective agent against opioid overuse and overdose.”
Not surprisingly, then, research shows that 44 percent of medical marijuana patients “stopped taking a pharmaceutical drug, or used less of one, or both, in favor of cannabis.”
The Number One Use
It stands to reason, then, that the number one reported use of medical marijuana is chronic pain in Florida and in all 15 states that were included in the study.
They report that “…85.5 percent — of medical cannabis license holders indicated that they were seeking treatment for an evidence-based condition, with chronic pain accounting for 62.2 percent of all patient-reported qualifying conditions.”
CBD or THC?
More recently, a study conducted by the University of New Mexico of more than 3,300 people found that the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – is more effective than cannabidiol (CBD) for treating pain. They note, however, there are different strains of marijuana – indica and sativa – and the indica strains appeared to be more effective than sativa.
Still, there is plenty of scientific evidence that CBD can be used for many ailments from pain to anxiety, without the psychoactive side effects of THC.
The Best Way to Know
If you’re considering medical marijuana to treat your chronic pain or any other supported condition, the first step is to become educated and learn as much as you can about marijuana treatments. The stigma that has been historically attached to marijuana is becoming less popular which means it’s important to research how medical marijuana can help you.
Once you have a better idea of what kind of treatment you want to seek, you’ll need to speak with a licensed, qualified physician who can guide you on what kind(s) of treatments will work best for your condition(s). It’s important to know that medical marijuana patients will need to obtain a medical marijuana card before they can begin treatment since marijuana is still a Schedule I drug according to the federal government.
At Green Relief, we invite you to contact us and make an appointment today for a consultation and to learn more about the many ways medical marijuana can help you get back on your feet to enjoy living again.