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 medical marijuana (medical cannabis) in certain treatment scenarios, and Dr. Stewart is approved by the State of Florida to recommend medical marijuana.

If you plan to follow a marijuana treatment plan. Please download, print and complete the Medical Marijuana Consent Form

 Medical Marijuana Introduction

What is medical marijuana?

The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant (or its basic extracts) to treat certain conditions.

CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) is an extract found in hemp plants (a variety of the marijuana plant) which has very little, if any, intoxicating properties. Marijuana itself has more than 100 active components, including THC (which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the chemical that causes the “high” that goes along with marijuana consumption. CBD-dominant strains have little or no THC, so patients rarely communicate alteration in consciousness according to a medical marijuana doctor in Gainesville.

Legal aspects

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved marijuana (the plant) for treating any health problems. However, some states allow its use for certain health purposes.

The FDA has approved three cannabinoids as drugs. In 2018, the agency approved Epidiolex® (cannabidiol or CBD) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy. The FDA has also approved the synthetic cannabinoids dronabinol and nabilone to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in people who have already taken other medications to treat these symptoms without desirable results. Dronabinol is also approved to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with AIDS.

How might medical marijuana in Gainesville be useful as medicine?

CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn’t make people “high,” which makes it unpopular with recreational users.  It is, however, believed to reduce pain and inflammation, control epileptic seizures, and possibly treat mental illness and addictions. The FDA approved a CBD-based liquid medication called Epidiolex® for the treatment of two forms of severe childhood epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

For instance, recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others (the National Institutes of Health). Evidence from one cell culture study with rodents suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most severe types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that treatment with purified extracts of THC and CBD, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.

Conditions qualified for medical cannabis use in Gainesville, FL

In order to qualify for medical marijuana order in Gainesville (we don’t use the term “prescription”), patients must have a diagnosed condition that is on their state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions. Qualifying conditions in Florida include:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above
  • Terminal condition* diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification.
  • Chronic, nonmalignant (non-cancer) pain

*Terminal condition means a progressive disease or medical or surgical condition that causes significant functional impairment, is not considered by a treating physician to be reversible without the administration of life-sustaining procedures, and will result in death within 1 year after the diagnosis if the condition runs its normal course.

The videos below illustrate Dr. Stewart’s thoughts on medical cannabis and Amendment 2, which was passed in November 2016 and became law in the summer of 2017.

Dr. Stewart weighs in on the expanded medical marijuana laws during a WCJB TV20 news segment.
Dr. Stewart weighs in on the expanded medical marijuana laws during a WCJB TV20 news segment.
Dr. Stewart discusses Amendment 2 implementation on WCJB TV20 news.
Dr. Stewart discusses Amendment 2 implementation on WCJB TV20 news.

Medical marijuana is still a schedule 1 substance, as the Federal Government reaffirmed this on August 11, 2016. (Click for more information).  So, to the Federal Government, there is no such thing as “medical” marijuana.  It either is marijuana or it is not.

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.  WE DO NOT TYPICALLY OFFER A “VAPE” OPTION.  Please plan on an ORAL formulation.
  • 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 periodic 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.  However, 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.).

Additional Information about Gainesville Medical Marijuana

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