Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that affect approximately 3.4 million people in the United States. While there are several medications available for treating epilepsy, they are not always effective and can have significant side effects. As a result, many patients have turned to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option. In this blog post, we will discuss the role of medical marijuana in managing epilepsy in Florida.
Medical marijuana was first legalized in Florida in 2014 for patients with qualifying medical conditions, including epilepsy. In 2016, a constitutional amendment was passed to expand the program, allowing more patients to access medical marijuana. Today, patients with epilepsy in Florida can obtain medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries if they have been certified by a qualified physician.
The active compounds in marijuana, known as cannabinoids, have been shown to have anticonvulsant properties. The two primary cannabinoids found in marijuana are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use, while CBD does not produce this effect.
Several studies have shown that CBD can be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in patients with epilepsy. In fact, the FDA has approved a medication called Epidiolex, which contains CBD, for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
In addition to CBD, THC has also been shown to have anticonvulsant properties. However, the psychoactive effects of THC can be a concern for some patients. As a result, many medical marijuana products for epilepsy contain higher levels of CBD than THC.
One of the advantages of medical marijuana for epilepsy is that it can be used as an adjunct to traditional antiepileptic medications. This means that patients can continue to take their prescribed medications while also using medical marijuana to help manage their symptoms.
It is important to note that medical marijuana is not a cure for epilepsy and may not be effective for all patients. Additionally, the use of medical marijuana for epilepsy should always be done under the supervision of a qualified physician.
While medical marijuana can be a promising treatment option for epilepsy, it is important for patients to be aware of the potential side effects. Common side effects of medical marijuana can include dizziness, dry mouth, and increased appetite. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that long-term use of marijuana may have negative effects on brain development, especially in younger patients.
It is also important for patients to be aware of the legal implications of using medical marijuana. While medical marijuana is legal in Florida, it is still illegal at the federal level. This means that patients who use medical marijuana may face legal issues when traveling to other states or when applying for certain jobs or government benefits.
Despite these potential concerns, many patients with epilepsy in Florida have found medical marijuana to be a helpful treatment option. In addition to reducing the frequency and severity of seizures, medical marijuana can also help to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and relieve pain.
If you or a loved one is considering using medical marijuana for epilepsy, it is important to speak with a qualified physician to determine if this treatment option is right for you. With careful consideration and medical supervision, medical marijuana can be a valuable tool in the management of epilepsy in Florida.
As a law firm that specializes in medical marijuana law in Florida, at Serrano Law, we can provide legal guidance and assistance to patients with epilepsy who are interested in using medical marijuana as a treatment option. We can help patients obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card from the Florida Department of Health, navigate the application process, and ensure that all necessary documentation is submitted.
We can also advise patients on their rights and responsibilities when it comes to using medical marijuana and help them understand the legal implications of using medical marijuana, including potential issues with employment and housing.
We can assist patients who have been denied access to medical marijuana or who have had their access revoked. We can help them appeal denials and advocate for their right to use medical marijuana as a treatment option.
We can provide valuable legal guidance and assistance to patients with epilepsy who are interested in using medical marijuana as a treatment option. By working with experienced attorneys, patients can ensure that they are able to access medical marijuana legally and with minimal risk of legal repercussions.