Medical Marijuana Doctor Issuing Recommendations for Patients Near Tampa, St. Petersburg and All of Florida
Parkinson's disease is one of the qualifying conditions listed in Florida's medical marijuana law. You must be certified by a physician before you can purchase marijuana products in our state. At Access Marijuana RX, our experienced doctors can determine your candidacy and discuss all aspects of using cannabis. To learn more, please call us in St. Petersburg at 727-209-5470. If for some reason you do not qualify under the state's law, the cost of your evaluation with us is waived.
What is Parkinson's and How Might Cannabis Help?
In Parkinson's disease, nerve cell damage leads to reduction of the chemical called dopamine. The result is altered brain activity, causing Parkinson's symptoms. Although the disease itself is not considered fatal (however, an accident caused by symptoms could be fatal), it deeply affects a person's life. The disease often manifests as:
- Tremors and shaking, which often begins with the hands, limbs and fingers
- Muscle rigidity
- Slowed physical movement
- Changes in how you speak
- Changes in how you write
- Poor posture
- Loss of certain movements and expressions that used to be automatic, such as blinking or swinging your arms as you walk
Research is limited, but cannabis can help a person live more compatibly with the effects of Parkinson's. While there is not currently evidence showing that marijuana can be an effective treatment for the disease, there is promising research and a wealth of anecdotal evidence that it can ease the symptoms of Parkinson's, such as:
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
Research is ongoing. Some scientists have published findings showing that marijuana has a neuro-protective effect, protecting some nerve cells from dying. Mixed findings have indicated that marijuana may reduce tremors and shaking for some people, some of the time. Discuss with our experienced physicians whether marijuana will work for you. We help you weigh the benefits against the possible side effects.
What Forms of Cannabis Are Available for Parkinson's?
If you are approved to purchase cannabis in our state, there are several methods of taking the medication that are legal:
These products and others are sold at dispensaries across Florida. Products can be chosen to contain THC, which is the component in marijuana that causes a euphoric high, or CBD, which is not associated with a high. All of the products will have similar benefits for sleeplessness, anxiety, nausea and other symptoms, but our doctors can make recommendations based on the exact symptoms you are experiencing and what you want to feel like.
What Method of Taking Cannabis Is Best For Parkinson's?
Medical marijuana is available in several delivery methods. Our physicians can help determine which of these methods will work best for you.
Know that you might need to try different options to find your perfect match. Because the products all have similar benefits, it largely comes down to personal preference.
Say you cannot tolerate inhaled smoke. In that case, alternatives such as tinctures or edibles might be a great fit. Marijuana oils rich in cannabidiol (CBD) are another popular choice. Meanwhile, topical balms could work well if you are looking for localized pain relief.
What Are the Potential Health Risks a Person With Parkinson's May Face When Using Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana may have a range of health effects on the body and brain. Research to understand these effects is still ongoing. There is some evidence that it may cause memory problems, impaired judgment, and mood changes, among other things.
If you are interested in using medical marijuana for Parkinson’s, it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks. Our state-licensed physicians will help you do just that.
What Questions Should You Ask Your Doctor When Seeking Cannabis To Help With Parkinson's?
We understand that medical marijuana can be intimidating to first-time users. Our physicians will make sure you walk away from your evaluation appointment feeling well-informed and empowered to make decisions about your treatment.
You can count on us to steer this visit. However, it is a good idea to come prepared with some questions that you want to ask, such as:
- How should I consume marijuana?
- Will medical marijuana interfere with my current medications?
- What dosage do you recommend?
- Are there any activities I should avoid while using medical marijuana?
How Commonly Is Medical Marijuana Used for Parkinson's?
Millions of Americans use medical marijuana to relieve chronic pain and other symptoms. In the state of Florida alone, there are over 400,000 patients with active medical marijuana ID cards. A percentage of these patients use cannabis for Parkinson's disease. The exact number is unknown.
You are not alone if you are interested in medical marijuana for Parkinson’s. Our physicians have helped people living with this disease improve their quality of life.
Which Strain of Cannabis Is Best For Parkinson's?
Finding the right strain for your needs can be challenging. It may involve some trial and error. Usually, the staff at your local MMTC will be able to help you with this process. They may recommend an uplifting sativa strain, a relaxing indica strain, or a hybrid.
Can Cannabis Prevent Parkinson’s for At-Risk People?
A lot of research is being done to better understand the endocannabinoid system and the ways in which different cannabis strains can affect it. Studies continue to provide data regarding the effects of TCH, CBD, and other cannabinoids on a variety of health conditions. In a recent animal model study, researchers discovered a reduction in nigrostriatal degeneration and neuroinflammatory responses in subjects given CBD. Additionally, CBD showed anti-inflammatory activity and it slowed down both oxidative stress and the depletion of dopamine. These are promising findings that indicate neuroprotective benefits for people with Parkinson's Disease.
Looking that the potential for neuroprotection while using cannabis, specifically CBD, many people wonder if cannabis could offer some protection against the onset or worsening of Parkinson's Disease. While studies continue to observe how cannabis can affect people with this disease, there is no current research that indicates that there are preventative qualities to be gained. The purpose of using medical marijuana, then, is to help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.
Indica or Sativa for Parkinson’s Disease?
When studying the uses of cannabinoids for various conditions, researchers look at the two most commonly known types, Indica and Sativa. However, it's advantageous to also observe how CBD, cannabidiol, can help address the various symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. CBD is a type of cannabis that does not contain THC. Therefore, it doesn't create a "high" feeling like Indica and Sativa can. That said, studies suggest that strains with high levels of CBD versus THC reach endocannabinoid receptors more quickly than high-THC strains.
Studies also show that CBD has antidepressant, panicolytic, anxiolytic, anticompulsive, and antipsychotic properties. At a dose of 300mg/d, CBD improved the communication, physical comfort, emotional state, and mobility of Parkinson's patients. In one clinical project, patients who used medical marijuana, including CBD and TCH products, reported an improvement in stiffness and tremors, mood, sleep, and overall comfort.
In addition to asking which strains of medical cannabis can be most helpful to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, it's important to also keep in mind that your body is unique. Cannabis works through the endocannabinoid system, and no two people are exactly alike. This means it can take some time and experimentation to discern which strains offer you the most benefit. As you begin your exploration, ask questions of staff members at your local MMTC retailer. Generally, different strains of Indica are recommended for Parkinson's Disease. This is due to the sedative effect of this type of cannabis and its ability to create greater physical and mental relaxation.
How Does Cannabis Work?
Believe it or not, the body's endocannabinoid system was named before cannabis became a known natural medicine. Over time, the effects of the cannabis plant were found to be linked to the binding of certain chemicals in the plant to the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. There are dozens of these chemicals in cannabis strains, and, when they bind to endocannabinoid receptors, they affect the variety of functions that the endocannabinoid system regulates. Examples include mood, appetite, memory, and pain.
How Do I Know If I'm Eligible For Medical Marijuana in Florida?
The experienced, caring physicians at Access Marijuana RX can determine your eligibility. During a visit to our St. Petersburg practice, you can discuss your diagnosis and your goals with the physician. If they determine you are qualified to purchase Florida medical cannabis, they will discuss with you all of the potential benefits, potential side effects, methods of use and other issues. To arrange your appointment, please call us at 727-209-5470.