Medical marijuana gains acceptance for treating pain, other ailments

Marijuana plant leaves are checked during a harvest.

Marijuana, in various forms, is growing in popularity as a remedy for body pain. Whether medical marijuana or CBD products, those purchasing the items usually are sourcing to resolve all types of pain.

Medical marijuana contains all the compounds associated with cannabis (mostly THC and a little CBD), but CBD oil and creams are only CBD (no “getting high” properties).

“Seniors continue to be an important and growing demographic of cannabis patients and we are seeing a rapid adaptation of seniors enrolling in the medical program,” said Yesenia Garcia, the vice president of marketing for Curaleaf in the Southeast United States. “Florida is one of the fastest growing medical markets in the country with over 500,000 enrolled. As part of our commitment to cannabis education, and in accordance with state regulations, we work closely with community partners and senior centers to host educational workshops.”

Fifty to 75 percent of the population know what is also making CBD products popular, said Gary Liljegren, the owner of Akash CBD.

“While cannabis still has its stigmas, we’re seeing people more widely share their experiences incorporating this medicine into their lifestyles,” Garcia added. “Currently 2 percent of the Florida market is in the medical cannabis space. Seniors have adapted their routines to include reliable and tested cannabis.”

“Spasms, shakes or Parkinson’s and seizures are helped by the CBD products,” Liljegren said about the milder side of the marijuana spectrum. “Use it in two major areas — inflammation that is a big deal as that is where pain comes from, and skin difficulties such as rashes.”

Garcia said her firm encourages patients to consult with a qualified licensed physician to discuss whether medical marijuana makes sense for their treatment plan.

Medical cannabis can be prescribed to treat cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS).

“The state of Florida has specific qualifying conditions for which patients may be eligible for the medical program. Medical cannabis is offered in a variety of routes of administration,” Garcia added.

Medical marijuana product applications include vaping inhaler or vaporizer, smoking, edibles and capsules. Start slowly and see how the body reacts to the product, Liljegren said. Others are liquids under the tongue for fast effect, creams, salves, gels and patches for CBD and THC infused.

“The Florida market is expanding, and Brevard County is an area where we have seen significant growth,” Garcia said. “While fixed incomes and other factors might determine consumer habits, consumption is generally consistent.”