Medical Uses of Marijuana in Florida
According to a poll taken by the University of North Florida, 74 percent of registered voters support the Florida state constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. For the Florida amendment to pass, a 60 percent vote is needed. While the poll certainly does not guarantee the of outcome of the actual vote which will take place in November 2014, it provides evidence of support from Floridians.
If the amendment passes, new treatments will be available for Florida natives and an entirely new niche in the medical field will emerge in the state. This article introduces several medical uses of marijuana; the conditions it can be used to treat and the medical options that may be available to Florida citizens this fall.
Common Medical Uses of Marijuana
In the United States, marijuana is most commonly used to treat pain caused from a variety of diseases and medical conditions. However, the potential for the medical use of marijuana goes far beyond just pain. Marijuana has been used to increase the appetite in patients struggling to eat and to decrease the number of seizures in epileptic children.
Using Marijuana to Increase Appetite
Marijuana is also used to treat patients who have trouble eating or suffer from suppressed appetite or nausea that can be caused from chemotherapy. Marijuana can increase the appetite of these patients by literally giving them “a case of the munchies.” This treatment is most commonly used to treat patients with AIDS or who are going through cancer treatment with chemotherapy.
The “Secret” Strain that Helps Children With Epilepsy
“Charlotte’s Web” is a unique strain of the cannabis plant that has been shown to reduce the instances of seizures in young children. Over 100 families packed up and moved to Colorado when the state legalized marijuana in order to get access to the plant to treat their children who have epilepsy. The Charlotte’s Web strain is unusually high in the chemical called cannabidiol (CBD) and low in the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Medical Marijuana Products
One of the strongest arguments against using marijuana for medical reasons is the fact that marijuana contains multiple compounds, some of which can adversely affect the human body. To combat this fact, some researchers have developed ways to extract specific compounds from the plant and isolate them in medical products. This provides a stronger, more condensed form of the effective compound found in marijuana and eliminates the unnecessary compounds that can cause harm.
Sativex® is a pharmaceutical product made from the cannabis plant that is used to treat muscle spasms most often caused by multiple sclerosis. Sativex® is taken orally and delivered through a spray bottle with a tiny pump. The medicine can be used to treat pain caused by cancer as well as a wide variety of neuropathic pain.
Research for Medical Uses of Marijuana
Ongoing research is being conducted to discover new medical uses for marijuana and to validate the effectiveness of current treatments. While much of the research on marijuana is still in its infancy, the potential for providing an effective treatment option for conditions where there are few options is impossible ignore.
Using Marijuana to Treat Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Researchers are currently exploring the possibility of using marijuana to treat brain injury. The cannabis plan is the focus of this research due to its ability to protect neurons from injury or degeneration as well as its anti-inflammatory properties. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken about the possibility of using marijuana to treat concussions in NFL players.
Ongoing Research for More Treatment Uses
Marijuana is also being looked to as a possible treatment option for memory loss and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The drug has even been found to help relieve some of the conditions of bipolar disorder causing a “leveling” effect in some patients.
Medical Marijuana in Florida
If the amendment to allow the medical use of marijuana in Florida a whole new world of treatment options will become available to Florida citizens.
For individuals diagnosed with cancer, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma, or Tourette syndrome, the use of medical marijuana may be an available treatment option.
Many of the potential medical uses of marijuana are still in the research phase and it may be several years before some of the current concepts become available to use for treatment.
Please leave a comment below with other medical uses for medical cannabis.