Melbourne, FL

Is Medical Marijuana Safe?

Medical marijuana is used to treat a variety of issues.  Perhaps you are ready to say goodbye to prescriptions and want to take control of your health with a more natural approach.  Medical marijuana may be an effective option for you.

Medical marijuana is generally considered safe.  It must be obtained from a state-licensed dispensary.  Medical marijuana is not the marijuana of the 1970s, grown at home or bought from a buddy out of his VW van.  It is designed specifically for medical use.

While many people may be interested in medical marijuana, it can be hard to shake off old ideas about it or even replace misunderstandings with facts.  Because Dr. Kim Zipper of Fountain of You can provide recommendations for those who may benefit from medical marijuana, we wanted to answer some common questions many people have regarding it.

How Can You Be Sure It Is Safe?

Medical marijuana must be recommended by a doctor, and a patient must get approved for a medical marijuana card which allows them the use of medical marijuana.  Medical marijuana is still marijuana, but some strains will not give the intoxicating, mood-altering effects of recreational marijuana.  In Florida, you are required to purchase your medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary which helps to ensure its safety as opposed to marijuana bought randomly from a stranger.  However, it is not FDA-approved.

Like any medication, medical marijuana might not be the answer for you.  It is not a cure-all, nor is it a one-size-fits-all solution.  Just like a specific medication may help one person but cause adverse reactions in another person, the same can happen with marijuana.  It is important to be under a doctor’s care to determine if it is helping your medical condition and also to quickly recognize any adverse effects.  Some adverse effects are but are not limited to, dizziness, hallucinations, increased heart rate, and slow reaction time.  You cannot drive while under the influence of medical marijuana. It is against the law!  Common side effects like slow reaction time can make driving dangerous for you and others.

What Conditions Are Treated With Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is used to treat a diverse group of medical conditions.  Because it can help reduce pain, it can be used to treat illnesses such as glaucoma, migraines, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. It can also be used to treat anxiety as it can produce a calming effect.   It often increases appetite.  You have probably heard that marijuana gives you “the munchies.”  This is beneficial for people fighting cancer and AIDS as they often experience severe weight loss, sometimes due to their treatments or medications.  Certain strains have proven very effective in reducing seizure activity caused by epilepsy.  It is also used to treat the symptoms of some autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS).  It is important to note that while many conditions can be helped by medical marijuana, it is treating the symptoms, not the underlying cause.  It is not a cure.  It is merely one form of making patients more comfortable.

What Is the Safest Way to Take Medical Marijuana?

The use of medical marijuana is still fairly new.  Because of this, the effects of smoking medical marijuana are not fully known.  Smoking it will get you a fast result, but you may experience adverse effects, such as lung issues.  It is simply not known yet.  Other ways to take marijuana are by eating it, such as through a lollipop, brownie, or gummy.  It is still effective, but it will take longer to feel the effects than if you smoke it.  There are also liquids that can be dropped under your tongue and vaporizers for inhaling it as a mist.  It can also be found in pill form and even a lotion.  No particular way has been deemed the safest by medical experts, so speak to your doctor to decide which form is best for you and your needs.

Where Can I Get Medical Marijuana?

As mentioned above, medical marijuana must be obtained through a state-licensed dispensary.  You are allowed, by state law, to then transport your purchase from the dispensary to your home.  

The first step is getting a proper diagnosis for your medical condition.  Then, if your medical condition qualifies but your doctor does not give medical marijuana recommendations, you can make an appointment with Dr. Zipper at Fountain of You.  She can evaluate your situation and give a recommendation if she believes you medically qualify and can benefit from it.  While still in its relative infancy, medical marijuana can benefit many patients and is generally deemed safe.

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December 2022

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