As states all around the country debate the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing marijuana, many are unaware of the impact that medical marijuana can have on patients struggling with certain illnesses. With the Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Initiative passing with approval from over 70 percent of voters, medical marijuana is now legal in Florida to treat certain illnesses.
Studies done with HIV-positive patients who smoke marijuana showed that they slept better, ate better and enjoyed better moods. Other studies have also shown that a decrease in neuropathic pain was reported by those with HIV who smoked cannabis. HIV is one of the diseases that is now treatable with medical marijuana in Florida.
2. Chronic pain
Cannabinoids have been known to have an analgesic effect for those who deal with chronic pain, and were commonly used to relieve pain in the 1800s. Patients with pain from cancer and multiple sclerosis are involved in testing to approve drugs that are based on cannabis. Some drugs are already legal in European countries and Canada.
3. Multiple sclerosis
Those with multiple sclerosis regularly deal with stiffness, tremors, muscle spasms and pain. Studies done on animals and a few human patients show that some chemicals in the marijuana plant may help prevent these symptoms. The concern with treating multiple sclerosis with medical marijuana is that it may also cause memory loss or memory impairment.
4. Crohn’s disease
Experts believe that Crohn’s disease may be caused by the immune system reacting abnormally, and those who suffer deal with fever, weight loss and bleeding from the rectum. Studies show that medical marijuana can help with weight gain and decrease the occurrence of diarrhea in those with the condition. Those who deal with ulcerative colitis may also benefit from treatment with medical marijuana.
As one of the biggest causes of blindness, doctors regularly study the effects of medical marijuana on treating glaucoma. It is believed that THC can help preserve the nerves in the eye, lower blood pressure and lower eye pressure that damages the optic nerve.
In Florida, medical marijuana can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, hepatitis and cancer, along with the five conditions listed above. Under certain conditions, you may also benefit from Florida’s broad-spectrum approach to medical marijuana and receive an exception for other illnesses.
As the law evolves and adapts, if you find yourself in trouble with the law for using marijuana to treat a medical condition, you may benefit from speaking to an attorney about your rights immediately.