Medical Marijuana Treatment
At Advanced Pain Medical Center, Dr. Stewart believes that all viable treatment avenues should be explored. This includes considering the use of prescribed medical marijuana in certain treatment scenarios.
Dr. Stewart is approved by the State of Florida to recommend medical marijuana. Current law allows ordering of low THC cannabis for patients who suffer with cancer or with seizures and muscle spasms that have not responded well to conventional treatment.
Additionally, full medical cannabis (marijuana) is available to patients for whom two physicians (not including Dr. Stewart) have certified that the patient has less than one year to live. Examples may include an oncologist, primary care physician, or a hospice physician. Importantly, the State requires that the patient, even a terminally ill patient, must be a patient of Dr. Stewart’s for 90 days prior to obtaining an order for cannabis. Therefore, it is important to start the process with Dr. Stewart as soon as possible.
On November 8, 2016, Florida voters approved Amendment 2. Please note that nothing changes until the state has implemented the regulations, as mentioned in the amendment. This process could take up to 6 months. Until then, we are under the same restrictions. Once Amendment 2 is implemented, we can use medical marijuana to treat anything we choose.
Medical marijuana is still a schedule 1 substance, as the Federal Government reaffirmed this on August 11, 2016. (Click for more information).
Important Items to Know Prior to Setting an Appointment for a Medical Cannabis Evaluation
- Marijuana is not covered by insurance. You will be required to pay for the drug.
- Medical marijuana cannot be smoked. That form of the drug will remain illegal in Florida under all circumstances. Vaporizing, oral ingestion (edibles, tinctures, capsules, and oils), sublingual application (dissolvable strips, sublingual sprays, medicated lozenges, and tinctures), and topical application (lotions, salves, patches, bath salts, and oils) will be permitted.
- There is a separate reporting requirement for the physicians who order medical cannabis.
- Marijuana remains federally illegal, and physician’s DEA license is federally-based. Therefore, the physician must make responsible recommendations, and that may mean that you do not receive this therapy. On your initial visit, you will receive a consent form detailing such examples of how that could occur. Your payment will be refunded prior to your seeing the physician if you do not agree to those terms.
- Initial and ongoing medical cannabis evaluations are self-pay only. No insurance is accepted for this visit. No checks are accepted for this visit type.
- The initial and monthly evaluations for medical cannabis will not be combined with regular office visits (for the purposes of health insurance) if you are a current patient of Advanced Pain Medical Center. If you are a regular patient of Advanced Pain Medical Center, you can may schedule both regular and medical marijuana visits on the same day. They will be treated as separate encounters.
- Following your initial encounter, the usual and customary clinic standards will be enforced (e.g. Appointment scheduling, cancellation fees, no-show fees, etc.).
Medical Marijuana Related information
- CBD Misconceptions – There has been a surge of interest in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with significant therapeutic properties.
- Is CBD Really Non-Psychoactive – Scientists have identified more than 60 different molecular pathways through which CBD operates.
- Medical Marijuana Laws Linked to Fewer Opioid-Related Fatal Crashes
- Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Linked To Less Prescription Drug Use, Medicare Spending
- Cannabis for the Management of Pain (pdf)
- Efficacy (effectiveness) of Inhaled Cannabis on Painful Diabetic Neuropathy
- Cannabis in Painful HIV-Associated Sensory Neuropathy
- Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Efficacy, Safety, And Tolerability of THC:CBD Extract and THC Extract in Patients with Intractable, Cancer-Related Pain
- Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain
- Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Chronic, Non-Cancer Pain: An Updated, Systematic Review of Randomized, Controlled Trials
CNN Special Reports about Medical Marijuana
CNN WEED A Special Report by Dr Sanjay Gupta. Produced in 2013, this is a documentary about medical marijuana and how his views have changed on the subject.
CNN’s Special Reports by Dr. Sanjay Gupta showing the clear proven medical benefits of both high THC (for PTSD and pain relief) and high CBD (for seizure disorders) that marijuana provides. The documentary also discusses why marijuana should not be classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance by the U.S. Federal Government.
CNN’s lead medical corespondent Dr Sanjay Gupta MD explores and validates the medicinal claims being made by the use of medical marijuana.