Throughout history, cannabis has been used to effectively treat a variety of medical conditions. Today, state-certified physician Dr. Lora L. Brown can help you find relief for a number of illness and symptoms through the legal recommendation of medical marijuana.
If you are ready to learn more about how medical cannabis can help ease your discomfort, call Access Marijuana RX (AMRX) today at 727-209-5470 to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Brown. AMRX helps individuals suffering from disease and chronic pain throughout Florida, including St. Petersburg and Tampa. If you don’t receive a recommendation for marijuana therapy, you pay nothing for your visit.
Conditions We Can Treat with Medical Cannabis
There are a number of conditions medical marijuana can treat. In Florida, medical cannabis can be used as treatment for the following specific diseases:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Do I Qualify for Medical Cannabis?
Symptoms We Can Treat with Medical Cannabis
In addition to the conditions listed above and described below, state law also permits licensed Florida MMJ doctors to prescribe medical cannabis for other debilitating medical conditions that are comparable to the diseases listed above, such as:
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain and illness
- Nerve pain
- Loss of appetite
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain disabilities
Cancer is a genetic disease, caused by changes to the genes that manage the way our cells grow and divide. With cancer, cells become increasingly more abnormal: new cells form when they are not needed; old and damaged cells survive when they should die.
There are more than 100 different types of cancer and each case of cancer comprises a unique combination of genetic changes.
According to the National Cancer Institute, almost 40% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetimes. Cancer symptoms may vary depending on the where the cancer is located on the body, but may include:
- Lumps or swelling
- Difficult breathing
- Coughs lasting more than a month or accompanied by blood
- Blood in stools or urine
- Unexplained bleeding
- Changes in genitalia
- Sores that won’t heal
Cancer treatment can involve a number of costly and time-consuming treatments, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and more.
Medical cannabis for cancer can help address several symptoms of the disease and the subsequent side effects of treatment, such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a group of diseases that is caused by the disruption of the body’s immune system. AIDS infects sufferers as a virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This virus initially attacks T-cells within a patient’s body.
Conventional AIDS treatment typically includes a regimen of strong drugs that can produce a number of negative side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, making it even more difficult for patients to keep their much-needed medications down. Other side effects can include loss of appetite and severe pain.
Medical cannabis has been found to help patients with HIV/AIDS by:
- Reducing the nausea that frequently accompanies some HIV treatments
- Managing nerve pain caused by HIV (neuropathy)
- Improving sleep
- Easing depression
- Increasing appetite and preventing weight loss (wasting)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition caused by the deterioration of the myelin sheath, your body’s protection of the nerves that comprise the nervous communication system. When this occurs, your immune system cells attack the myelin sheath, causing nerve degeneration and muscular dysfunction. During the early stages of MS, symptoms often include:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of motor control
- Unstable mood
- Difficulty sleeping
Medical cannabis therapy can effectively manage several symptoms of MS by:
- Managing inflammation: Cannabis has been used as an anti-inflammatory for centuries. Exhaustive research has shown that marijuana helps to reduce the inflammation of neural tissue, a primary characterization of MS.
- Managing pain: Pain is one of the most common symptoms of MS patients, affecting nearly 50-70% of sufferers. Pain can result from muscle spasms or inflammation of neural tissue. Marijuana reduces pain MS-related pain by reducing the immune response and resultant inflammation. It also eases musculoskeletal pain caused by spasticity.
- Managing spasms: Muscle spasms are common among MS sufferers, and are reported by nearly 80% of those who have the disease. Marijuana helps to reduce both the severity and the frequency of muscle spasms. This is likely due to marijuana’s ability to reduce inflammation and decelerate the overall progression of the disease.
- Managing gastrointestinal issues: Close to half of all MS patients complain of abdominal conditions such as pain, constipation and bowel incontinence. Marijuana has been found to ease these painful, distressing and often embarrassing symptoms.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative neurological disorder that can cause weakened muscles and limb paralysis. The condition can also affect the muscles that control breathing, swallowing and speech. The deterioration of these critical muscles can be so severe that even with breathing aids or a tracheotomy, there is a risk of respiratory failure.
Marijuana has the potential to relieve a number of ALS symptoms, due to effects such as:
- Muscle relaxant to treat spasticity
- Appetite stimulant to treat wasting
- Neuroprotective antioxidant to address neuronal oxidation
- Expansion of the bronchial air passages to help with difficult or labored breathing
- The dilation of blood vessels to treat dysautonomia
- Dry mouth to reduce drooling
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It progresses gradually, often taking years for symptoms to develop. Some early signs of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Tremor or shaking in the hands, limbs, chin or lips
- Loss of smell
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty walking or moving
- Dizziness or fainting
- Hunching over or stooping
Cannabis can help manage many of these symptoms, including pain, diminished appetite and troubled sleep. Marijuana can also help a patient’s general mood, offering euphoria and relaxation, increased excitement and a sense of peace. Cannabinoids contain anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and protective properties. They can also affect dopamine-producing brain cells, which deteriorate with Parkinson’s disease.
Affecting about half a million people in North America, Crohn’s disease is a potentially fatal condition of the gastrointestinal tract. It can produce nausea, pain, inflammation and severe weight loss. The condition may also cause fatigue, bloody stool, chronic diarrhea and malnourishment.
In severe cases, chemotherapy is often recommended to treat the disease. In fact, along with cancer patients, Crohn’s sufferers are among the largest recipient groups for chemotherapy.
While cannabis cannot cure Crohn’s, it can effectively treat many of the condition’s symptoms and the negative effects of chemo therapy by reducing nausea, pain and inflammation.
The second-leading cause of blindness, glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that gradually leads to irreversible vision loss. The condition is often linked to a buildup of pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure. This pressure damages the optic nerve responsible for transmitting images to the brain.
Medical marijuana has been found to improve glaucoma symptoms by:
- Reducing intraocular pressure
- Treating mydriasis, the dilation of the eye’s pupil
- Easing pain
- Reducing inflammation of the trabecular meshwork, the tissue around the eye responsible for draining eye fluid.
- Reducing nausea that can sometimes accompany glaucoma
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects nearly two million people in the United States and 30 million people around the world. The condition is associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain and is characterized by episodes of convulsions, loss of consciousness and sensory disturbance. Tragically, some sufferers experience hundreds of seizures every day.
The exact cause of epilepsy is unknown but it may result from hormonal imbalance, head trauma or even viruses. Epileptic seizures are usually triggered by strobing lights, high fever, stress and low blood sugar.
Cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorder for centuries, even until 1937, when marijuana was made illegal in the United States. While not a panacea for epilepsy, it has been found to be a beneficial component of a comprehensive treatment program. Research suggests that marijuana may provide unique advantages in the treatment of seizures compared with currently prescribed anticonvulsants.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a devastating, and sometimes tragically fatal, condition. PSTD sufferers can range from military veterans and emergency first-responders to survivors of natural disasters and domestic violence. However, not all cases of PTSD are triggered by experiencing a catastrophic event. Some people get the condition after a friend or family member suffers danger or harm.
- High stress
PTSD symptoms can be alleviated with cognitive behavioral therapy and certain medications, but these approaches are not always successful. In fact, doctors have been noticing that over the years, the psychiatric drugs commonly prescribed to address anxiety and depression provide little relief for PTSD sufferers, and many patients have turned to medical cannabis for relief.
New research indicates that a common thread in PTSD patients is endocannabinoid deficiency. This occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough endocannabinoids to fill receptor sites. Researchers believe that by replenishing these missing endocannabinoids with those found in marijuana, patients may find relief.
Finding out if you qualify for medical marijuana therapy is easy and risk-free. Your initial visit will be at no-charge if Dr. Brown does not believe that medical marijuana is appropriate for your condition. Call us today to schedule your initial medical evaluation at 727-209-5470. We welcome patients from St. Petersburg, Tampa and throughout Florida.