Medical Marijuana Debates in South Florida
Before its prohibition in 1937, marijuana extract was among the three most prescribed drugs in the United States. Once it was declared illegal, the drug’s use in the medical world was restricted. In spite of the regulations, studies on cannabis use as a medicinal drug continued yielding positive results. In 2016, Florida became the 26th State to accept its use.
Since its legalization in so many states, medicinal cannabis is becoming a constant topic of contentious debates. Will therapeutic use lead to more recreational use? Should patients start growing herbs for their use?
The active chemical compounds in cannabis are very similar to the type of molecules in the brain known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid systems influence your immune system, your mood, appetite, movement, sensation, and sleep. They even protect your nerve cells from dying prematurely. Both endocannabinoids and compounds in cannabis attach to proteins known as cannabinoid receptors throughout the body.
When a patient named Margaret experienced her first seizure in the year 2005, she did not expect the worst. However, when doctors diagnosed her with epilepsy and prescribed some drugs, things took a turn. “I thought that I would take two pills in a day and my condition would improve,” Margaret recalls. Much to Margaret’s grief, the pill was not the answer she expected. In addition to her pills, Margaret tried 23 other medications, all of which did not improve her condition. She suffered over 700 seizures within ten years and struggled with severe pharmaceutical side effects. Margaret finally had enough. She decided that marijuana was going to be the 24th try. Lucky for her, Margaret is now seizure free.
The doctor who handled this case, says that Margaret’s results are not extraordinary, but somewhat expected. Cannabis is widely known for reducing seizures epilepsy patients endure, without the many side effects associated with seizure disorder drugs.