Has Florida Gone “Up In Smoke?”

I have written medical cannabis blogs for more than a year without referencing Cheech and Chong, the stereotypical pot smokers from the late 70’s and early 80’s movies. Now that the courts have ruled it unconstitutional for the State of Florida to prohibit qualified patients from ingesting medical cannabis by smoking it, I figured I would allow myself to “go there” and reference the movie, “Up in Smoke.”  Interestingly, though I have certified over 750 patients in the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry, I have yet to meet anyone who even remotely resembles the “stoners” portrayed in the movies. (more…)

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Can Medical Cannabis Be Effective at Treating Pain?

by David Merger, M.D.

Medical cannabis has been effectively used for pain relief for thousands of years. Today, one of the most common reasons people seek out medical cannabis is to relieve various pain syndromes.

The active ingredients in medical cannabis (i.e., cannabinoids) relieve pain in many ways. In the short-term, cannabinoids can directly reduce pain through stimulation of endocannabinoid receptors. They can also bring about a long-term reduction of inflammation through their interactions with naturally-occurring opioids and neurotransmitters. Furthermore, unlike steroids and other anti-inflammatory medications, medical cannabis is also less likely to have significant  or irreversible side effects. (more…)

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