Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Card in Florida
To apply for a Florida medical marijuana card, you’ll need to meet certain criteria. You must receive a certification from a licensed physician, you must submit proof of Florida residency, and, most importantly, you must have a qualifying condition.
Like all states where medical cannabis is legal, Florida has a pre-approved list of medical conditions that marijuana can treat. The state selected these conditions based on the scientific evidence that shows how medical cannabis can alleviate symptoms and possibly improve patient outcomes. Some of the most common conditions include Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.
1: Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disorder that affects movement, leading to uncontrollable tremors and difficulty with walking and coordination. Medical marijuana may alleviate certain symptoms of Parkinson’s and possibly improve dyskinesia, a side effect of a common Parkinson’s medication.
Research shows that medical marijuana may improve tics in Parkinson’s patients, although further research is necessary. In addition, Parkinson’s patients may develop dyskinesia, or uncontrollable muscle movement, after taking the dopamine replacement levodopa for a long period of time. Studies show that medical cannabis may reduce levodopa-induced dyskinesia.
For HIV/AIDS patients, medical cannabis can provide significant relief. HIV is a virus that leads to the development of AIDS, an immunodeficiency disease that affects the body’s ability to fight infections. AIDS symptoms may include rapid weight loss, fatigue, diarrhea, pain, and loss of appetite.
In 2005, more than 60% of HIV/AIDS patients requested medical cannabis for their condition. This is because cannabis can relieve a great number of HIV/AIDS symptoms; data from Columbia University found that patients who used cannabis had substantial increases in appetite, allowing them to avoid rapid and unhealthy weight loss. Another study found that cannabis reduced pain in HIV patients, who also reported an improved quality of life.
3: Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that erodes the protective covering surrounding the nerves, impacting the brain and spinal cord. This neurological condition causes severe pain, tremors, muscle cramps, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms that impact multiple aspects of a patient’s health and life. For years, doctors have recommended medical cannabis to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms.
One of the major symptoms of multiple sclerosis is muscle tightness, also known as spasticity. People with multiple sclerosis have very stiff, aching muscles that lead to severe pain, and studies show that medical marijuana may improve spasticity and decrease spasms.
Medical marijuana’s pain-relieving effects may also reduce the neuropathic pain these patients experience -- 77% of patients in a University of Rochester study reported that cannabis relieved their symptoms, including chronic pain. While further research is needed, these results are promising.
Cancer is a disease characterized by the abnormal growth of cells. There are many different types of cancer, but they all start with the abnormal growth of cells. These cells can invade other tissues and organs in the body, spreading the cancer. Cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Marijuana has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of cancer, including pain, nausea, and vomiting. It can also help improve appetite and weight gain. Marijuana is also being studied for its potential to kill cancer cells or stop their growth.
5: Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and can cause seizures. The symptoms of epilepsy can vary from person to person, and even from seizure to seizure in the same person. Some people with epilepsy may have occasional seizures, while others may experience multiple seizures each day.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not medical marijuana is effective for epilepsy. However, there is some evidence that suggests marijuana may be helpful in reducing seizures for some people with epilepsy.
Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve. It can cause vision loss and even blindness. There is no cure for glaucoma, but there are treatments that can help control it. One of those treatments is marijuana.
Marijuana can help glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eye. This can help prevent further damage to the optic nerve and improve vision.
7: Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It is a chronic condition that can cause severe pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. Some people with Crohn's disease also have problems with their skin, joints, and eyes.
Marijuana has been shown to be effective in alleviating Crohn's disease symptoms. It can help reduce pain and inflammation and improve appetite and weight gain.
8: Chronic Muscle Spasms
Chronic muscle spasms are a condition that affects a significant number of people. The cause of chronic muscle spasms is unknown, but it is believed to be related to nerve damage, autoimmune diseases, and exposure to toxins. Symptoms can include painful muscle spasms, cramps, and stiffness.
If you suffer from chronic muscle spasms, you know how debilitating they can be. You may find it hard to sleep, work, or even take care of yourself. The good news is that medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective relief for chronic muscle spasms since it's a muscle relaxant.
9: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a mental health disorder that can occur after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. It can cause flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 7.7 million American adults suffer from PTSD in a given year. The disorder can occur in any age group, but is most common in people who are between the ages of 18 and 29.
There is evidence that cannabis can be helpful for PTSD. A study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that patients with PTSD who used cannabis reported a significant reduction in symptoms.
10: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of these neurons leads to muscle weakness and atrophy.
As this disease progresses, patients may lose the ability to speak, eat, move, and breathe. There is no cure for ALS and patients' life expectancy ranges from two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
Medical marijuana has been shown to help slow the progression of ALS, alleviate related symptoms, and increase survival rates. It can help patients manage pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve appetite and help patients gain weight.
Need a Doctor to Certify Your Condition?
Do you have a qualifying condition on Florida’s pre-approved list, or do you believe your condition can benefit from medical cannabis use? You need to visit a certified Florida marijuana doctor who can evaluate your illness and determine if cannabis is recommended.. The staff members at Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help you find a qualified professional.
We advocate for the rights of medical marijuana patients in multiple states, including Florida. Our medical professionals have the training, credentials, and standing necessary to certify your condition.
If you need a Florida cannabis doctor, contact the Sanctuary today. Our friendly staff will help you schedule your physician evaluation and answer your questions about the process!