Medical Marijuana/CBD – Screening for the qualifying conditions allowed in the state of FL.
I was fortunate to be one of the first practitioners in the state of Florida to specializing in screening for the use of medical cannabis, medical cannabis certifications and the management of medical marijuana use after it became legal in 2016. I have been a staunch advocate of the responsible, physician-led use of Medical Marijuana for several years.
All the talk shows, podcasts, radio interviews I have participated in throughout the world have only strengthened my belief in the importance of medical adoption of cannabis (marijuana), CBD and other phytocannabinoids, after I heard and saw story after story of people finding relief from a plethora of different mental and physical health ailments when nothing else taken prior had worked.
As someone who has seen the transformative benefits firsthand, I can attest to the remarkable advantages of medical marijuana and its components. It has been a game-changer in managing many of my patients’ mental and physical health. I have seen patients find relief from cancer, epilepsy and seizures, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The largest segment of patient use is for general chronic pain management. People who have suffered tremendously from neck pain, back pain, migraines, and other symptoms can find relief without the debilitating side effects of traditional medications. Beyond pain management, it has helped alleviate symptoms of anxiety and insomnia, granting people a sense of calm and improved sleep quality. One of the things I am told most often is “Dr Joe, I just want a good night’s sleep.”
Moreover, the versatility of chemovars (strains) and consumption methods allows for personalized treatment, catering to individual needs and preferences. Cannabis isn’t just a plant; it’s a source of hope and healing and a vital component in improving quality of life for many individuals.
What is the difference between Marijuana and CBD?
The primary difference between marijuana and CBD (cannabidiol) lies in their composition and effects. Marijuana refers to the entire plant of Cannabis sativa, which contains hundreds of compounds, including cannabinoids like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD. THC is one of the euphoric compounds responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis, while CBD is non-euphoric and doesn’t produce a “high”.
CBD, on the other hand, is just one of the many compounds found in cannabis. It can be derived from both cannabis and hemp plants. CBD products are made from hemp-derived CBD, containing minimal THC (usually less than 0.3%), making them non-euphoric. These products are often used for potential therapeutic benefits such as pain relief, reducing anxiety, alleviating seizures, and promoting relaxation without the mind-altering effects of THC.
Steps to Getting a Medical Marijuana Use Card in Florida
In Florida, obtaining a medical marijuana card involves several steps and criteria set by the state. Here’s a general overview of the process:
Qualification: You must have a qualifying medical condition recognized by Florida law. These conditions include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) or any chronically debilitating condition equal to or greater severity than the one’s mentioned above, such as, but not limited to anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and many others. A physician must determine that you have a qualifying condition that can benefit from medical marijuana use.
- Find a Qualified Physician: Search for a licensed medical marijuana doctor in Florida. Not all doctors are certified to recommend medical marijuana. You need to visit one of these physicians for an evaluation. They will review your medical history and determine if you qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation.
- Get a Medical Evaluation: Schedule an appointment with a qualified physician. This appointment must be in person for medical marijuana, however, follow up visits may be done via telehealth. During the evaluation, be prepared to discuss your medical history, symptoms, and how medical marijuana may benefit you. If the doctor agrees that you qualify, they’ll issue a recommendation.
- Apply for a Medical Marijuana ID Card: Once you have the recommendation, you can apply for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card (MMUR) from the Florida Department of Health (DOH). Your physician will enter your information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, and you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to complete your application. Patients and caregivers are required to have an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) identification card to purchase and be in possession of medical marijuana.
- Submit Application: Complete the application online through the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) website. You’ll need to pay a fee and submit your identification, proof of residency, and a physician’s recommendation.
- Wait for Approval: The DOH reviews your application. If approved, you’ll receive your Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card by mail.
- Purchase Medical Marijuana: Once you have your ID card, you can visit a licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC), also known as a dispensary, in Florida to purchase approved medical marijuana products. There are several throughout the state that your recommending physician can recommend.
While there are huge benefits of medical cannabis or CBD for alleviating various medical symptoms, it is essential to emphasize the importance of consulting a doctor experienced in cannabinoid therapy. Individual responses to medical cannabis or CBD products can vary, and a tailored approach is crucial to ensure the safe and effective use of cannabis as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. In my evaluation
I have seen patient’s health, sleep, relationship, happiness and overall quality of life increase substantially through the help of medical cannabis and/or CBD. I care deeply about the lives and welfare of every patient I work with and want people to be happy and pain-free.
I am currently accepting new patients and certifying for expanded medical conditions for the state of Florida.
Contact me to schedule a free 15-minute consultation by clicking the link below or calling me at tel: 8667637991 to discuss possible options for your best mental and physical health.