MEDICAL MARIJUANA DOCTORS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN FLORIDA
With so many Floridians who could potentially benefit from medical marijuana, it’s no surprise that hundreds of thousands of patients have already been approved for an MMJ card. The entire industry has grown exponentially this past year. More than 2,200 physicians are certified with the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) to recommend cannabis treatments to qualifying patients. In addition, new legislation allowing smokable flower took effect this year, giving patients more whole flower products to choose from.
Everything sounds great, but not all the medical marijuana doctors that are certified through the state are actually helping patients get an MMJ card. In fact, only a fraction of the 2,200+ certified physicians are currently accepting new patients or assisting those who need medical marijuana renewals.
However, there are some medical marijuana doctors in Florida who are making a significant impact in their community. With their own unique medical backgrounds and specializing in different fields of medicine, each physician has a common goal in mind: compassionate healthcare. We want to take the time to spotlight these doctors and detail exactly what they are doing to help patients treat illnesses using medical marijuana legally.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO TREAT PAIN
A significant percentage of the population deals with pain, in some form or another, at some point. Many people have severe or debilitating pain that can negatively impact their quality of life, career, and family relationships. There have always been pain management treatments available to patients who qualify; however, these treatments typically use pain medications like opioids, which have been known to cause negative side-effects and addiction – and in far too many unfortunate cases, death.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA CAN REPLACE OPIOIDS
Florida is often considered “ground zero” for the growing nationwide opioid epidemic because of its relaxed laws towards pain clinics and massive amounts of pain pill prescriptions being given out to sick and injured Floridians for almost any pain or condition one could imagine. In recent years, the laws have changed, and opioid medication is much more difficult to obtain. This change has created a void for those who were already addicted or otherwise dependent on their opioid medication, and some have turned to illegal drugs like heroin to avoid withdrawals.
These patients, along with others suffering from pain symptoms caused by illnesses and injuries, can often find relief with medical marijuana.
We work closely with one progressive physician, who is dedicated to helping patients find relief and a better way of life: Dr. Joshua Henry, M.D. His practice – North Florida Sports and Spine Center – has become a well-known medical cannabis clinic in the Jacksonville, FL area.
Dr. Henry maintains a large patient base because he is one of the most active medical marijuana doctors in Jacksonville. Moreover, so many people are suffering from pain and need a safer alternative that works, and are tired of dealing with the negative impacts from opioids and other prescription medications.
Through his educational events (which he hosts himself), Henry personally showcases the benefits from treating pain using medical marijuana. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Henry and others like him, an increasing number of patients are transitioning from powerful pain medications to marijuana; this is making a positive impact on Florida by helping reduce the number of patients with opioid addiction.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS, EPILEPSY & SEIZURES
In 2018, one of the most discussed topics in the medical marijuana community was several scientific studies showing that marijuana – specifically cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could help reduce (or even eliminate) seizures in epileptic patients. The studies showed that when these patients were given high doses of CBD and THC, their seizures were greatly reduced in both duration and frequency.
Shortly after these findings were released, the FDA approved the first cannabis-derived medication (Epidolex) for severe epilepsy patients dealing with one of the worsts type of seizures: Dravet’s Syndrome.
This groundbreaking approval sparked massive interest into what the effects of marijuana are on the part of the brain that controls seizures.
Now, in Florida, forward-thinking neurologists like Dr. Rabih Kashouty M.D., along with his colleagues of educated and committed physicians, are making a huge impact in Florida. Premier Neurology and Wellness Center provides medical marijuana certifications to patients with all sorts of neurological disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson’s, seizures, and many others. They are currently accepting new patients who want to become certified, in addition to those patients who need an MMJ renewal.
PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS USING MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR MANY CONDITIONS
Simply put: medical marijuana has been shown to treat many conditions, illnesses and injuries. It can help patients control symptoms in a safer way than “traditional” pharmaceutical treatments. This is one of the reasons that marijuana legalization swept the nation in recent years, and continues to do so.
With a pro-cannabis mindset, Dr. Adam Berry – “Your THC Doc” – is using medical marijuana within his practice to help qualifying patients treat issues like pain, anxiety, Crohn’s disease, depression disorders, and more. His practice provides marijuana health education to patients who think cannabis-based treatments could benefit them. Their compassionate healthcare approach is currently available to new and established patients in the Greenacres and Palm Beach County areas.
New legislation and court battles will continue to change the landscape of medical marijuana in Florida. But for now, patients that suffer from a host of conditions can find board-certified medical cannabis doctors who care about their well-being and are committed to treating their specific and unique conditions on a personal level.
The number of physicians who are certified with the OMMU continues to grow each month. It’s up to each individual to choose the best medical marijuana doctor for their specific healthcare needs and goals.
Hopefully, patients that need compassionate healthcare will be able to find doctors like the ones we’ve highlighted here. As the medical marijuana industry grows, our commitment to inform patients about the best doctors in their respective fields will continue.
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This article is sponsored by The Florida Healing Connection.