MMJ was approved in Florida in 2017 and since then more than 567,000 patients have been added to the OMMU registry and are using Cannabis on a regular basis.
As you all know, in 2020 we had the Covid-19 pandemic, which was really hard for everyone. Some people were affected directly and lost their lives to the virus and some lost their jobs leading to tremendous anxiety and depression.
On 3/9/2020 an executive order was issued giving MMJ the status of essential, meaning you could not go to church or buy alcohol, but you could still see your MMJ doctor and buy medicine at the dispensary 🤩. It also allowed the use of telemedicine for established patients, which at that point was not legal in the state of Florida like in other states.
Advantages of Telemedicine:
Save money on gas
Safety from distancing
Quick and Easy
Not having to drive
Nothing was lost using it
Disadvantages of Telemedicine:
On 4/27/2021 an extension of that order was given for another 60 days and it will probably be the last one. With Covid-19 cases dropping significantly more and more patients being vaccinated, and the need to move forward to a more similar life like we had before, it is likely the state will not extend it, making it illegal again. After June 26, we have no idea what will happen.
For those of you who live close to one of our offices, it’s not a big deal, but for those who live far away, this might be an issue. But don’t worry, we will do our best to accommodate to our patient’s, even if it means doing events in Tampa and Melbourne every month. If it ends, we will send you an update on how to proceed.
We all know it should stay because of the stated reasons above, so please call you state representative and tell them how important this is for you, along with all the good things about having telemedicine and that there are really no negatives about it. Hopefully, they’ll listen and either extend it or just take it as a positive change brought by the pandemic and needed by you, the patients, more than anyone else and just keep it permanently.
The Cannabis flower prices in Florida can vary from $27 an eight for small nugs or minis to $60 an eight for the high-quality specialty buds. For patients on a budget, even these smaller buds at $27-$32 are too expensive so most dispensaries now carry an even more affordable option usually called ground flower.
Ground flower is usually made up of 1 or 2 strains grounded up finely for easy consumptions and sold in 7G jars up to 28G. Most patients use it for making edibles while some enjoy it the old fashion way and smoke it. It is by far a more affordable option but patients complain about the availability of these products at the dispensaries. Most sores only have a few jars available and on specific days so in order for patients to get their hands on them, they have to order online really early and hope it’s still available. Have you tried the ground flower from Florida’s dispensaries? What did you think of it?
We are all used to hearing about the multiple medicinal benefits of CBD and THC, but these aren’t the only cannabinoids produced by the marijuana plant. The plant actually produces more than 120 different cannabinoids and, while CBD and THC, might be the most abundant ones, there are other minors one that also has medicinal properties like CBN (cannabinol) among others.
What is CBN (Cannabinol)?
CBN or cannabinol is one of the cannabinoids THC turns into after time. Usually known for being non-psychoactive (actually less psychoactive than THC) and sedating (might not be attributed to CBN). It is present in high amounts in older buds which usually have a more sedating effect on patients. This is why CBN is known as “the sleepy cannabinoid in old weed” and this is why you will start seeing more products that have CBN in it.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of research when it comes to CBN and most of the studies are done using rodents which is not the idea subject. An old 1975 study showed that CBN enhances the sedating effects of THC in rats but these rats were also given THC and this is why they might have more sedation.
In 1999 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) tested cannabis potency loss over time. According to the study, THC content in the tested cannabis sample dropped to half of its original potency after four years. interestingly, as THC oxidized, it began to convert to CBN. The study also found that the first two years of improper storage were when the most THC degradation occurred, drawing a clear connection between THC-CBN conversion and plant vulnerability. Basically, this study shows that THC turns into CBN over time, which means cannabis will typically become less psychoactive.
Here are a few of the potential benefits of CBN currently being researched. Keep in mind, current research on CBN is limited with very few studies demonstrating its effects in the human body.
In lab settings, CBN was tested on strains of MRSA or bacteria that are resistant to some antibiotics and found it to be a potent antibacterial agent against these resistant strains. Maybe in the future, we will see CBN being used to fight off bacterial infections that our usual antibiotics can’t treat but, obviously more research needs to be done.
Researchers used CBN as a treatment for ALS and found that it was able to delay the onset of the condition. While human studies need to be done, this suggests that CBN may provide a powerful tool in the fight against neurodegenerative conditions.
CBN increased the amount of food that rats ate in a research study, suggesting that it could be an effective appetite stimulant. This could be of benefit for those who need to gain weight but, don’t like the psychoactive effects of THC.
One study using rabbits found that CBN (as well as THC) reduces intraocular pressure—the biggest risk factor for glaucoma. Still, more research needs to be done and currently CBN hasn’t been shown to be superior to other glaucoma medications.
Through a different mechanism than CBD and THC, CBN can help manage pain. Rather than alleviating pain by way of CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBN releases peptides from sensory nerves, activating an alternative nerve mechanism to achieve the same ends.
In rodents, CBN was shown to reduce arthritis. While more research needs to be done, this could end up being an incredible help to those suffering from this debilitating condition but, more research needs to be done.
Can CBN really help you sleep better?
Is called “sleepy weed” so it should help you sleep better, right? Even recently there’s been an increase in products at the dispensaries that have CBN in them and it’s been marketed as a powerful sedative sleeping aid without the euphoria, but this might not be the case. The only study done in humans was a small study conducted in the 1970” s and none of the respondents reported that CBN made them feel sleepy.
So why does everyone say that it’s sedating?
People have noticed that older cannabis (which is high in CBN) makes them sleepy and assumed it must be due to the CBN. But it might also be that the THC still present is causing these effects.
In the same study that found CBN on its own didn’t make subjects sleepy, researchers also tested CBN with THC, and THC alone. While THC produced some drowsiness on its own, the combination of the two produced even higher levels of drowsiness. So perhaps it’s more due to an entourage effect caused by using both of them.
There may be other factors which cause higher CBN cannabis to be sedating.
“Pure CBN is not particularly sedating,” explains leading cannabis researcher Dr. Ethan Russo, “But it is typically found in aged cannabis in which the monoterpenoids have evaporated leaving the more sedating oxygenated sesquiterpenoids. This accounts for the discrepancy.”
So, the older cannabis that is high in CBN is also high in terpenes that cause sedation and these terpenes, rather than the CBN, could account for the sedative effects.
While CBN on it’s own may be as sedating as described by some people you may be able to take advantage of its synergistic effects with THC to get the sleep you are needing.
How to Find CBN?
Leave your weed exposed to the light for 2-3 years and most of the THC will have converted into CBN. This is not an effective way and simply just not feasible. Fortunately, Some dispensaries like Trulieve and Liberty Health Sciences are offering CBN tinctures and patches marketed for sleeping… If you have tried any of these please give us your feedback and leave us a comment below with your experience specifically if it helped you sleep better.
A medical cannabis caregiver is someone who under Florida law has the legal right to purchase and possess medical cannabis only for it to be use by a qualified medical marijuana patient. They are the legal representative for the patient. Caregivers may be the patient’s parent, legal guardian, health care surrogate, or an individual with power of attorney to make health care decisions.
Who needs a Medical Cannabis caregiver?
Usually reserved for patients who are severely ill like bedridden patients, patients with communications issues like severe autism or patients who otherwise can’t drive themselves to the dispensary or receive deliveries at their door.
How to Become a Medical Marijuana Caregiver?
The application process for becoming a Florida medical cannabis caregiver is very similar to the application process for becoming a medical cannabis patient. Caregivers must apply and be approved for a Medical Marijuana Patient ID Card and must supply proof of Legal Representation status (power of attorney, health care surrogate documentation or certified birth certificate for minor children).
The 3 steps to become a medical marijuana caregiver in Florida:
The patient you represent must have a severe qualifying condition and reasons to require a caregiver, not anyones needs one.
The patient must ask their MMJ doctor to place their caregiver in the MMUR.
The caregiver must apply to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) to become a legal medical cannabis caregiver, pay the $75 state fee and wait the necessary time until the OMMU approves the application. This card must also be renewed every year just like the patients card.
Rules and Restrictions for Medical Cannabis Caregivers
There are several restrictions and conditions that medical cannabis caregivers must meet in order to qualify:
Cannot be a qualified physician
Cannot be employed by or have an economic interested in a medical marijuana treatment center or marijuana testing laboratory
Must be 21 years of age and a Florida resident
Must agree, in writing, to assist with the qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana cannabis products
Must complete a caregiver certification course by the Florida Department of Health
If not closely related to the patient must pass a background check
If you are one of our patients and want to have a caregiver added to your registry please complete the following form. If you are not one of our patients, please contact your treating MMJ doctor.
On Wednesday August 26 of 2020 the Florida DOH and the Office of Medical Marihuana(OMMU) finally published the rules allowing for the recommendation and sell of medical cannabis as an edible.
While must of you have been waiting for this for 3 years, there are several restrictions and edibles while not be the same as in other states that have medical cannabis. Eventually should and and include more options.
Products must be in specific shapes
Cannot have primary or bright colors
Cannot be mistaken for a currently commercially available branded product
Must not be more than 10mg per individual piece and must be packaged appropriately
Most of these measures are put in place to avoid children taking them.
Patients need to have the new route added to their recommendation in order for the dispensaries to sell them.
If you are one of our patients, we can add the EDIBLE ROUTE free of charge. Just complete the following form to have it added and please allow 24-48 business hours to have it added.
If you are not one of our patients, you’ll need to contact your doctor to have it added. Most likely they will not charge you for that but some already have a fee in place if you request it.
Dispensaries still need to have the edibles approved by the DOH and this process might take 3-4 weeks. In the mean time, some dispensaries like Trulieve and Curaleaf are already selling a sublingual form very similar to what will be coming out in the near future.
With Edibles, always remember that they take longer to kick in so wait 1hr to 1.5hrs before taking another dose and START LOW and GO SLOW to avoid any negative side effects.
Recently there’s been some patients complaining on social media about mold in the Medical Cannabis and while this might sound like something hard believe, it is more common than you think.
Despite growers and MMTC’s trying to avoid this issue by doing mostly indoor crops, keeping their humidity and nutrients at the perfect ratio, it happens. It happens in Colorado, California, Oregon, and of course here in Florida. Most likely each and every dispensary here in Florida has gone through it at some point so it’s not just isolated to one or two of them but, how they handle that problem is what sets them apart.
If you have used contaminated weed and have these symptoms, contact your physician.
You can also create a formal complaint with the Florida Department of Health using the link below.
The Cannabis plant is a very complex one made up of different cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic oils responsible for imparting that specific odor to a plant or a fruit. For example, Limonene is a terpene present in oranges and lemons and gives that recognizable odor and flavor to them.
What are cannabis terpenes?
There are more than 200 identified terpenes in the cannabis plant and every strain tends to have a unique terpene profile. Terpenes can help the body destroy bacteria, detoxify, relax, and more. Some terpenes might promote stress relief and relaxation, while others potentially promote energy and focus.
Cannabis terpenes are synthesized in the trichomes and production is increased with light exposure. Unfertilized female cannabis flowers have the higher concentration of them.
Terpenes act on neurotransmitters and their receptors; they act as serotonin uptake inhibitors (similar to antidepressants like Prozac); they enhance norepinephrine activity (similar to tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil); they increase dopamine activity; and they augment GABA (the “downer” neurotransmitter that counters glutamate, the “upper”). However, we need to learn more before we can say with accuracy how is it that the terpenes in cannabis can help us and how much of them we need.
Many dispensaries now test terpene content, so you may have a better idea of what effects a strain might produce. With their unlimited combinations of potential synergistic effects, terpenes will certainly open up new scientific and medical terrains for cannabis research.
Supports sleep and reduced muscle tension, insomnia, and pain. Smells: Clove-like with notes of citrusy fruit Tastes: Sweet citrus Found in: Thyme, fruits like mango, lemongrass
Myrcene, specifically β-myrcene, is the most common terpene produced by cannabis. Its aroma has been described as earthy, musky or herbal similar to cloves. A high myrcene level in cannabis (usually above 0.5%) is usually very sedating like the effects of classic Indica strains. Myrcene, which is found in oil of wild thyme, citrus fruits, bay leaves, eucalyptus, hops, lemon grass and many other plants can be an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antimutagenic. Its relaxing and sedative effects also make it ideal for the treatment of insomnia and pain.
Strains: Grand Daddy Purple, Blue Dream, OG Kush
Helps with depression, anxiety, reflux, and defense against free radicals. Smells: Citrus lemon and orange Tastes: Lemon and mint Found in: Orange, juniper, lemon, peppermint and others
Varieties high in limonene have strong citrusy smells like lemons, limes and oranges. Strains high in limonene usually promote a general uplift in energy and mood. This citrusy terpene is the major constituent in citrus fruit, juniper, rosemary and peppermint, as well as in several pine needle oils.
Eases anxiety and inflammation. Supports motor control and pain management. Smells: Floral with a hint of spice Tastes: Coriander, Floral, Lavender, Lemon, Rose Found in: Lavender, Mint, Cinnamon,
Linalool has been described as having floral and lavender undertones. Varieties high in linalool promote calming, relaxing effects so it has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Linalool should help lessens the anxious emotions provoked by pure THC making it helpful in the treatment of anxiety. Studies also suggest that linalool can significantly reduce lung inflammation, can boosts the immune system; and can restore cognitive and emotional function (making it useful in the treatment of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease).
Strains: LA Confidential, Amnesia Haze, Zkittlez
Helps defend against free radicals, insomnia, nerve pain, and inflammation. Smells: Wood, cinnamon and cloves Tastes: Hops and spices Found in: Basil, all-spice, fig, black pepper, cinnamon
Beta-caryophyllene is found in many plants such as Thai basils, cloves, cinnamon leaves, and black pepper, and in minor quantities in lavender. Its aroma is usually described as peppery, woody, and/or spicy. Caryophyllene is the only terpene known to interact with the endocannabinoid system by selectively binding to the CB2 receptor and functioning as an agonist. Further, β–caryophyllene was identified as a functional non-psychoactive CB2 receptor ligand in foodstuff and as a macrocyclic anti-inflammatory cannabinoid in cannabis. Beta-caryophyllene is used especially in chewing gum when combined with other spicy mixtures or citrus flavorings.
Strains: Girls Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, Chem Dog
Suppresses appetite, aids with inflammation and pain. Smells: Spicy and earthy Tastes: Hops, pepper and spices Found in: Coriander, basil, clove
Humulene is found in hops, Vietnamese coriander and cannabis sativa strains, among other naturally occurring substances. Humulene is what gives beer its distinct ‘hoppy’ aroma.
Humulene is considered to be anti-bacterial, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anorectic (suppresses appetite). It has commonly been used as a major remedy for inflammation specially when blended with β–caryophyllene Humulene has been used for generations in Chinese medicine. It aids in weight loss by acting as an appetite suppressant.
Strains: Gelato, Sherbet, White widow, Skywalker OG
Eases asthma, supports memory, and destroys bacteria. Smells: Pine forest and Rosemary Tastes: Rosemary, cedarwood, pine Found in: Conifer trees, rosemary, basil
Just like the name suggests, pinene has distinctive aromas of pine and fir. There are two structural isomers of pinene found in nature: α-pinene and β-pinene and both forms are important components of pine resin. α-pinene is the most widely encountered terpenoid in nature and is found in many other conifers, as well as in non-coniferous plants. It tends to react with other chemicals, forming a variety of other terpenes (like limonene) and other compounds.
Pinene is used in medicine as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator and local antiseptic. α-pinene is a natural compound isolated from pine needle oil and has been used as an anti-cancer agent in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many years. It is also believed that the negative effects of THC may be lessened if mixed with pinene.
Strains: Jack Herer, Buba Kusk, Trainwreck
In summary, keep in mind that strains have more than one terpene. The most common ones are myrcene and limonene which are great indicators of the overall effect of cannabis so, generally speaking, if a cannabis plant has a terpene profile that is more than 50% limonene, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy it more during the day to increase focus, energy or creativity like with the Sativa family. If there is more than 50% myrcene present, you should expect feelings of relaxation, sedation, and physical ease like with the Indica family.
Kief, an Arabic word meaning “pleasure” or “intoxication”,is the name used commonly to describe the sticky, crystal-like powder substance found on the Cannabis flower.
Kief or keef has been collected and used for thousands of years as a highly concentrated form of cannabis found on the trichomes fo the plant. High-quality kief is generally light blonde or tan in color while Kief that is green likely contains additional plant matter so it’s less concentrated.
Kief packs a much higher concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes than the cannabis flower, making it an ideal option if you’re looking to increase your cannabinoid intake or just looking for a different way to use it.
HOW TO USE KIEF
You can either collect kief from your grinder or you can get it from dispensaries here in Florida. Dispensaries like Rise, Surterra Wellness and Fluent all have kief. Usually sold by the 1/2 gram or 1 gram. Price ranges from $30 to $45 and for some odd reason some MMTC’s dispense it under the patient’s inhalation route so it won’t affect your smokable allowance.
Here are some common ways to use kief:
Smoking kief by itself
You can smoke kief by it self on any pipe or smoking hardware but keep in mind that it’s a very fine powder and it can find it self inside the actual bowl. Also kief tends to burns longer and stay lit so be careful not to loose it all under the flames.
Sprinkle kief on cannabis flower
Sprinkling it on top of ground cannabis flower that is then smoked or vaped is one of the most common ways of using it. Adding kief will boosts your flower’s potency, allowing you to use less to achieve the same results. Some creatives ones are “tarantula joints” and “moon rocks.”
Add kief into your morning coffee or tea
Kief is usually high in the raw and acidic form of cannabis which is non-psychoactive but when mixed in with coffee or tea it gets activated by the heat. To make kief coffee or tea, simply sprinkle some kief powder into your mug and stir. Taking kief this way offers a delayed, yet longer lasting and stronger effects.
In summary, kief is the sticky, resinous, crystal-like substance that has a higher concentration of cannabinoids than the flower and can be smoked by itself or added to flower to get a more powerful relief.
After seeing your BudDoc for your face-to-face evaluation, we will enter you into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (OMMU). The next step is completing the State’s required application for an Office of Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card.
You have two options for completing your application – online or by mail. When submitting by mail, the OMMU must manually scan your items increasing your processing time. Online applications require you to upload digital copies of the required items.
Cannabis is known for it’s powerful and intoxicating effects but these effects usually come from THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol which in reality is not present in the raw form of the plant. The natural form has THCa or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid which is the acidic form of THC and it has no psychoactivity at all.
As the plant dries, THCA converts to THC slowly. Heat expedites this conversion in a process known as decarboxylation. Even though THCa is the precursor to psychoactive THC effects, their chemical composition and effects on the body are different. So why does THC give psychoactivity and THCa doesn’t? The reason is because THCa has a three-dimensional shape and it’s larger molecule doesn’t fit into our cannabinoid receptors, specifically the CB1 receptors.
How does THCA become THC? The answer is through heat and light — or the process of decarboxylation. Heat removes a group of atoms from THCA called carboxilic acid, altering the THC chemical structure, thus becoming the perfect shape to fit into our endocannabinoid system (ECS) CB1 receptors and producing the elevated experience.
THCA is believed to have an assortment of medicinal properties. There isn’t a lot of evidence to definitively support this claims so more research needs to be done. Here are some of its properties:
Anti-inflammatory properties for treatment of inflammatory conditions like lupus and arthritis
Neuroprotective properties for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
Anti-emetic properties for treatment of lack of appetite and nausea
Anti-proliferative properties noted in studies of prostate cancer
The acidic precursors are considered “thermally unstable,” so they will alter their form when exposed to heat. Because of this instability, the molecules lend themselves to several different methods of decarboxylation.
Here are some ways that weed is decarboxylated:
Sunlight conversion: Over a period of time THCA converts to THC through exposure to heat or light. So eating or juicing raw buds that have been exposed to the sun for a long time might cause unwanted high in some patients.
Smoking: The hot temperature from the combustion process of burning the dry weed will rapidly convert THCa to THC.
Vaporizing: Similarly to smoking it, the heat of the vaporizer unit will convert THCa to THC in a very efficient way.
Cannabis concentrates: THCa can be extracted, isolated and made into crystals that can be consumed in dabs. When heated up THCa will convert to THC.
Conventional oven:Raw Cannabis needs to be activated before making edibles. Usually material gets ground up, spread evenly across a baking sheet, and baked around 230 degrees Fahrenheit, or 110 degrees Celsius, for 30-90 minutes. This will decarboxylate the Cannabis and activate it.
Understanding the plant’s properties and how and why they interact with our bodies the way they do is extremely important in achieving the maximal benefits while avoiding adverse side effects. Cannabis molecules each have their own benefits and as raw cannabis is further studied, we will learn more about their benefits.