As healthcare providers, we strive to continually improve upon our patient’s ability to live an involved and active life. With the advent of medical marijuana legislation in Florida, physicians now have the opportunity to help facilitate a better quality of life for those living with difficult to treat and chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Cancer and other chronic conditions requiring specialized care and a regimen of multiple medications. I live in Florida half the year, so while in Massachusetts, I work as a nurse practitioner with medical marijuana patients who benefit greatly using this alternative and safe solution. Unfortunately, patient care is limited by the lack of education and provider understanding of legal issues.
More than 200 people attended the second annual South Florida Physician’s Medical Marijuana Symposium to learn more about helping patients who qualify for this holistic treatment. The symposium was presented by Canna Holdings and is a labor of love for those involved in educating professionals with the hopes of expanding access to care for the hundreds of thousands of patients waiting for this opportunity. While Florida legislation is still deciding on the best way to implement Amendment 2, doctors need to be educated on how to use this evolving treatment.
Coming from a state that has a medical marijuana program in place and as a professional who works with patients and physicians, I was very pleased with the program presented on March 11th. Dr. Dustin Sulak, a leading expert in the field of cannabinoid medicine gave a compelling presentation to help us understand the endogenous cannabinoid system and how we can help patients improve its homeostatic abilities. His presentation offered a foundation for optimizing the therapeutic effects cannabis medicine offers often difficult to treat conditions. Dr. Gregory Smith, author and medical marijuana advocate, discussed current research suggesting microdoses of cannabinoids may act as a preventive measure in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Dr. Gregory Gerdeman, neuroscientist and medical marijuana advocate has earned multiple awards of excellence for his research on medical cannabis including the physiological adaptation to pain and the synergistic effects of opioids and cannabis. Many patients being treated for chronic pain fear opioid addiction and overdose, while patients using cannabis report a decreased need or discontinuation of opioid use with few side effects and better quality sleep.
It is through educational symposiums like this that we expand our scope of treatment alternatives and access to care for those who need us most. Many patients have been through the conventional treatments with little to no improvement while antidotal evidence strongly supports the use of medical marijuana in helping to ease symptoms and improve quality of life for a variety of conditions. Florida’s patients are fortunate that Canna Holdings has committed to bringing quality education to the leaders in the medical field.