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How to get a Medical Cannabis Card in Florida

Medical Marijuana has been available as a safe treatment in Florida since Amendment 2 pass in October of 2016. Since the more than 100,000 patients have benefit form it.  To get a card you need to have a qualifying condition like cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class”.

You need to be seen by a certified Medical Cannabis doctor who will recommend the use of it and register you in the MEdical Marijuana Registry. To find a local doctor you can go to Floridahealth.gov Medical Marijuana Registry or call the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use at 850-245-4657.

After been registered by their MMJ doctor, patients have to register themselves with the Florida DOH, pay a $75 fee for the card and wait 3-4 weeks to get a temporary card.

Patients can receive a 70-day supply at a time x 3 equaling the 210 day certification time allowed. After that, they have to be seen again in order to get a new recommendation. 

Prices typically range from $200-$300 for the initial evaluation. We come in around the same price but we offer to comfort and confidentiality of being evaluated in your home. We also don’t charge for follow-ups or per 70-day prescription like other MMJ office do. We strive in keeping it transparent for the patient. 

After receiving their temporary card patients can go to any of the approved dispensaries statewide and get their medication. Patients can expect to spend around $100-$200 for their medication per month but this number really depends on the amount of milligrams the patient uses and how many times per day.

Keep following for more info on Medical Cannabis.


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Can Marijuana help you lose weight?

Can Marijuana help you lose weight?



If the questions is: Can Marijuana help you lose weight? then the answer is yes, but make sure to read the fine print. There is no doubt that Cannabis provides stress relief, helps with pain and makes your creativity bloom. Approved as a medical treatment for seizures, chronic pain, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis among other, proves its versatility. It is also approved for patients that suffer from wasting syndrome associated with AIDS and chemo induced nausea/vomiting in cancer patients because it helps them gain weight by increasing appetite.

It is of popular knowledge that Cannabis can give you “the munchies”. Patients usually describe it as a voracious hunger that makes them want to eat everything they see. So this might lead you to think that potheads are more obese than non-smokers but in realty they are less.  Several recent studies have found that daily marijuana use is associated with a lower BMI, smaller waist circumference, and lower fasting insulin blood levels. Does that mean cannabis is the secret to weight loss? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

This might be a multi-factorial coincidence that can be explained in many ways.

  • Studies have shown that the weight gain seen with Cannabis applies to patients that are underweight and sick. Patients that had a normal BMI did not gain more weight but did choose a less healthy diet.
  • Another reason may be substitution; the smokers could be seeking comfort by smoking more marijuana, rather than eating more, non-smokers might used food to treat their anxiety.
  • Others have suggested that obese people, or people who chronically over eat, do so because the process triggers a reward center of the brain. By stimulating the same area of the brain, overeating acts like a “drug”. Cannabis users get their own high and don’t need to overeat in the same way so tend to be less obese.
  • Some speculate that cannabis can regulate weight by interfering with CB1 receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for regulating memory and appetite, and when triggered, can cause memory lapses and an increase in appetite. With chronic use, these receptors can become desensitized making the user less likely to gain weight.

Appetite regulation

Appetite is controlled by region of the brain called the hypothalamus which then regulates the secretion of two different hormones: ghrelin and leptin.

Leptin creates the sensation of satiety while Ghrelin stimulates hunger.

Ghrelin, which is regulated in the hypothalamus is stimulated by CB1 receptors. This is how THC creates such powerful cravings.

CBD, however, happens to be an super effective CB1 blocker. Animal studies showed that rats given CBD ate less food than the control, and CBD has been shown to increase leptin levels.

Appetite Supressant Strains

  • Strains that contain THC-V (tetrahydrocannabivarin) deliver a high energy and euphoric feeling along with appetite-suppressing qualities. One high THC-V strain some users can access is Black Beauty, Pineapple Purps and Doug’s Varin.
  • Those rich in the terpene humulene that has a similar effect to THC-V with appetite. Sour OG, Sour Diesel, Girl Scout Cookies, and Skywalker OG are good examples.
  • A sativa dominant strain with the terpene limonene, for instance, has been found to help promote weight loss. Ex. Super Lemon Haze, or Jack Herer
  • Strains that combine high levels of THC-V and humulene, like Green Crack, will pack an energetic punch while preventing you from reaching for the fridge;
  • Cannatonic is high in CBD giving patients an upbeat feeling while helping crave their appetite.

In conclusion; There’s simply no silver bullet when it comes to rapid, lasting weight loss. Losing weight requires discipline, dedication, and time. Still, anyone who uses Cannabis for medical or recreational purposes can rest assured that marijuana won’t make them fat. What Cannabis can do is help get your body and mind in rhythm and help you enjoy and get more out of your workouts by keeping you motivated. Just make sure to chose the correct strains that provide appetite suppressant properties and the correct diet to match your healthy needs.

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Treating Anxiety with Cannabis

Treating Anxiety with Cannabis


A number of distinct compounds play a role in the cannabis effects. These are called Cannabinoids. Some increase appetite, some reduce inflammation, some even show promise for fighting cancer. Of these compounds, THC(tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most known. These cannabinoids impact our sense of well-being and state of mind.

We’ve learned that endocannabinoids play a role in regulating everything from appetite and sleep to the joyful bliss of a runner’s high. They do so by modifying the release of other neurotransmitters that have a more direct impact on mood, energy and anxiety.

Endocannabinoids help maintain homeostasis” (the brain’s baseline state) via what’s known as retrograde signaling (feedback loops that travel backward through a neural circuit to reset the system.) Their regulating activity at CB1 receptors influences both excitatory and inhibitory signaling in the brain.

CB1 receptors are distributed all over the body but mostly in high numbers in areas of the brain that appraise threats and manage our fear response. Binding of endocannabinoids appears to decrease the brain’s reactivity to threat — which helps explain why many people experience the cannabinoids as anxiety-relieving.  

But with regular use of cannabis, your number of CB1 receptors decreases — that is, they are down-regulated. So although the compounds in cannabis can induce a feeling of calm and well-being by binding to CB1, they leave areas of the brain less sensitive to our own natural endocannabinoids. With cessation of cannabis use, CB1 receptors begin to recover their normal numbers within days.

Here’s where it gets interesting: THC demonstrates a bi-phasic dose effect. This means that at low doses it does one thing, and at higher doses it does the opposite. This is not really news to anyone who has ever tried marijuana, as it’s common knowledge that a little makes you mellow, a little more can give you anxiety. What’s surprising is how narrow the dose window between happy and anxious – especially for the new or infrequent user. A significant proportion of patients with new-onset panic attacks report cannabis as the trigger and worry that they’ve caused lasting damage. (The answer is no, but when your brain has an intense scare it tends to revisit the experience again and again, perhaps to assess the actual threat.)   

Medicating with marijuana isn’t as simple as getting any kind of Marijuana — every strain has unique effects and different routes offer different effects. But it isn’t terribly complicated as long as you do your research and consult with your doctor and dispensary. Indica is high in CBD, which is known for its ability to decrease anxiety, while Sativa has THC, which can cause anxiety. So you’ll want to find an Indica or Indica dominant hybrid that has a high amount of CBD.

  • Cannatonic: For the THC-sensitive, we recommend this high CBD strain. It typically has a CBD profile that sizes up to its THC content in a 1:1 ratio, which helps blunt the anxious edge that a lot of anxiety-sufferers experience with cannabis.
  • Amnesia Haze: Has about 20 percent Sativa in it, meaning it doesn’t make you as tired as a pure Indica strain would. On the other hand, you may want to be extra careful when using Amnesia Haze, since the THC in Sativa can make you more anxious.
  • Chocolate Chunk: Chocolate Chunk provides full-body relaxation and its another example of a pure Indica. Since it’s so powerful, you may only need a small amount to get results.
  • Girl Scout Cookies: Hybrid with 60% Indica and 40% Sativa. Great for PTSD patients since it replaces some missing chemicals compounds in their brain that affect memory. 
  • Harlequin: Harlequin works similarly to Amnesia Haze, due to its small amount of THC. It relaxes users while keeping their minds clear and alert.
  • Northern Lights: This full Indica gives you a powerful body relation will providing stress relief, in addition to helping you sleep and relieving pain.

University of Chicago recently published a study in which they looked at people who had used cannabis before but were not regular users.  It showed that 7.5 mg of THC induced a mild elevation of mood and sense of well-being while 12.5 mg of THC made subjects anxious. So for the infrequent cannabis user, the line between relaxation and anxiety comes down to just a few milligrams. With regular use of cannabis, this window appears to widen: regular users have less anxiety and paranoia associated with THC ingestion than infrequent users.  

CBD also appears to combat the anxiety-inducing impact of THC. Depending on what kinds of signaling activity is going on, what your own endocannabinoids are up to (factors controlled by your mood and physical settings), the arrival of THC and CBD on the scene has a widely varying impact.

Take home point is that for anxiety not always more is better. Trying to find that sweet spot in which Cannabis helps calm your anxiety without overshooting the mark with a dose that makes it worst will be your job since you know your brain better than anyone. And, if you did take too much, remember that no one has died from Cannabis and no one will, also know that CBD helps counteract that feeling and make sure you drink lots of water.

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Understanding our Endocannabinoid System

Understanding our Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system plays many important roles in the human body utilizing its receptors distributed mostly in the brain and gut. It help regulates and keep the body in homeostasis which is the perfect body balance. First discovered while trying to understand the effects of cannabis, and named the endocannabinoid system for this reason.

Because of its widespread effects and therapeutic potential the endocannabinoid system is a major target of medical research. While we have been able to figure out the basics of the system, much more remains to be uncovered and now that more research is allowed soon more information will come out.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoid are the chemical messages used by the endocannabinoid system. Our bodies produce our own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids.

These interact with cannabinoid receptors named CB1 and CB2 to regulate basic functions including mood, memory, appetite, pain, sleep, and many more.

There’s about 80 different cannabinoids found in Marijuana, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and are considered exogenous cannabinoids. When consumed, they interact with cannabinoid receptors to produce different physical and psychological effects in the body.

What is the Endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system has two receptors known as CB1 and CB2. The distribution of CB1 and CB2 receptors within the brain and body explains why cannabinoids have certain effects.

CB1 receptors are distributed throughout the body but, are mostly present in the brain and spinal cord. Found in high numbers in brain regions associated with the behaviors they influence. For example, there are CB1 receptors in the amygdala, which plays a role in memory and emotional processing and the hypothalamus, which is involved with appetite regulation, and . CB1 receptors are also present in nerve endings where they help to reduce sensations of pain.

CB2 receptors tend to be distributed in the peripheral nervous system. They are especially concentrated in immune cells. When these receptors are activated, they help to reduce inflammation which is believed to play a role in many diseases and conditions.

With respect to the cannabinoids found in cannabis, researchers found that THC binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, activating them just like an endocannabinoid would do.

CBD does not seem to bind directly to cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it works by inhibiting an enzyme called FAAH, which is responsible for the breakdown of Anandamide, the most important endocannabinoid in the body. When FAAH is inhibited, it cannot break down Anandamide at it’s normal rate which leads to a Anandamide buildup in the brain.

How does the ECS work?

Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced naturally within the human body and are “short-order” neurotransmitters, meaning they are synthesized on demand. In other words, they are only produced when the body signals that they are needed, and they are only present for a short amount of time.

After released, endocannabinoids are quickly broken down by enzymes, which include FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) and MAGL (monoacylglycerol lipase).

When you consume exogenous cannabinoids like Marijuana, large amounts of cannabinoids enter the body and stick around so the endocannabinoid system is activated more strongly and for longer than it would usually be.

The ECS is involved with regulating many basic functions of the human body, including:

ECS Functions

The ECS is involved with regulating many basic functions of the human body, including:

  • Appetite
  • Metabolism
  • Pain
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Movement
  • Temperature
  • Memory and learning
  • Immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Neural development
  • Neuroprotection
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Digestion
  • Reproduction

Besides maintaining basic functions, the ECS also acts in response to illness. Tumor cells,for example, have been shown to express more cannabinoid receptors than healthy cells. Studies also show that patients with conditions like Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, chronic pain and arthritis show higher levels of endocanabinoids.

As a result, some scientists believe the overall function of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate Homeostasis which is a key in maintaining a good balance in life.

Diseases are largely a result of a failure in achieving homeostasis. Thus, the endocannabinoid system’s role in maintaining homeostasis makes it a unique target in medicine.

The Endocannabinoid system and current medicine

Due to its widespread effects in the human body, the endocannabinoid system shows a promising future in treating many diseases and conditions.

There are currently two major ways of targeting the endocannabinoid system: synthetic cannabis and medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana is the most commonly used way of targeting the endocannabinoid system to treat various conditions. Compounds in marijuana, including THC, CBG and CBD, are known to produce therapeutic effects by interacting with the ECS.

Medical marijuana can be used for a wide variety of conditions including chronic pain, nausea, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and palliative care.

Despite the success of medical marijuana, some users experience unpleasant side effects, such as feeling dizzy, lightheaded and high. Some people do not enjoy the psychoactive effects of cannabis like paranoia and would prefer a treatment that avoids this.

Some researchers are currently looking into whether the endocannabinoid system can be targeted peripherally using synthetic cannabinoids which cannot cross the blood-brain-barrier. This would avoid the side effects of cannabinoids entering the central nervous system and affecting the brain, in other words feeling high.

In sum, the endocannabinoid system is truly a remarkable treasure for scientists and medical professionals. It is very complex, plays many important roles in many vital processes, and holds promising future as a treatment target for many debilitating conditions.

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Different Ways of Using Medical Marijuana in Florida

Different ways of medicating with Cannabis in Florida


Medical Cannabis can be used in many different forms and via many different routes. Depending on that specific form and route taken, there will be a different onset of the medication, how long it will last and what type of experience the patient gets. Florida law permits patients to utilize it as Oral, Sublingual, Topical, Vaporized, Rectal and soon also smoking bud and eating edibles will be legal in Florida. Make sure you experiment around to find out which one works better for you. Also keep in mind that orals have a very slow onset when compared to vaporizing which is almost immediately. 


Oral

The oral route is very popular but sometimes difficult to dose due to different metabolism and absorption rates. It has a slow onset at 30-90 minutes so make sure not to over medicate. Also it will give you a longer relief since it will last 4-8 hrs depending on the patient and the amount used. Anything ingested orally and swallowed falls under this category like capsules and oils and soon edibles. 


Sublingual

Usually used in tinctures forms which are created by soaking cannabis in very high-proof alcohol creating a very potent medication. Cannabis tinctures are dosed sublingually – applied under the tongue or to the lining of the mouth and letting it for 10-15 sec. Start tincture dosing at 2.5 milligrams of THC and titrate up to avoid over medicating which is fairly easy with this method. Onset and duration are shorter than with the oral route.


Inhalation

Vaporizing cannabis heats the active ingredients to a boil, turning them into an inhalable vapor. While vaporizing avoids the health drawbacks of smoking, it delivers terpenes and cannabinoids to the bloodstream just as fast. Vape pens are the 1# prefered by patients but also patients can vape flower in cups or pods available only in a few dispensaries.The process of vaporizing is fairly similar as smoking; inhale, hold for three to five seconds, and exhale. 


Topical

As technology advances, methods are being created to enhance the absorption of cannabinoids through the skin. Patients have the option of purchasing creams infused with THC & CBD, which are often used to relieve pain and muscle spasms. Topicals don’t get you high making them a great choice for pain relief when working or on the go. 


Rectal

The rectal route is not a preferred one and not commonly used. As a patient you might benefit from it if you have problems swallowing, cannot vape or need specific relief in the rectal area. It has a fast absorption rate due to the large venous plexus in that region.

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Indica vs. Sativa

INDICA vs. SATIVA

Understanding the different strains used in Medical Cannabis is really important in the patients treatment. Sativa and indica are different species of cannabis with distinct properties and experiences. Sativa strains are known to have a higher THC to CBD ratio, while Indica strains usually have a lower THC to CBD ratio. This results in distinctly different effects and experiences so its really important when choosing your medicine. Make sure to medicate with products from a strain that will produce the symptom relief you need for.


Sativa

Sativas strains are known for their uplifting mental effects. The invigorating, cerebral effects of the sativas make these strains ideal for social gatherings and creative pursuits like music, art and writing.

The plant tend to be tall and gangly, with skinnier leaves. Originating in the warm and sunny climates of Southeast Asia, Central America, and Mexico, these plants are sun-worshippers. They regularly grow between 8 and 12 feet tall, but in optimal conditions outdoors, 18-foot monsters are not unheard of.

Sativa is the Red Bull of marijuana, with an energetic, stimulating, and uplifting effect. It makes sativa strains the best choice for battling depression and fatigue or day time pain relief. Be careful not to use a sativa dominant strain at night because it’s likely to keep your mind racing.


Indica

Indicas are known for more of a body high. Some people use the mnemonic, “in da couch,” referring to the well-known body high of strong indica strains that make a person want to sink into their couch. Indicas are good for relaxing with a movie or music in the evening as a way to relax after a long day’s work or as a relaxing interlude before bed. 

Trees tend to be short, squat, and bushy. The leaves are plump and the foliage is dense. Indica plants are also excellent producers of hash because the have been bred that way, as hashish is the preferred method of cannabis consumption in much of the area from which they sprang.


Hybrids

Over time growers have produced a lot of new strains, known as hybrids, by cross breeding indica and sativa species together. They are usually described as indica-dominant, sativa-dominant, or pure hybrid (50/50). You can expect an indica dominant strain to have the typical indica effects and vice versa, but each may also have some qualities of the other.