The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant, or its essential extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. More than half of U.S. states and Washington, DC have legalized medical marijuana in some form, and Florida passed medical marijuana legislation in November 2016.
While many people use medical marijuana, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine. The FDA has only approved it for treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Because the marijuana plant contains chemicals that may help treat a range of illnesses and symptoms, many people argue that it should be legal for medical purposes.
Dr. Aldarondo Does His Homework
Dr. Aldarondo was asked by several of our patients with diverse chronic conditions for an alternative option to opioids, sleep aids, and a host of other medications. Moreover, after seeing significant benefits accrue to our patients that use medical cannabis, Dr. Aldarondo undertook significant research regarding medical marijuana.
He found it to be a safe and effective therapeutic option for many of our patients afflicted with disabling symptoms such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
Dr. Aldarondo also found medical marijuana to be an effective treatment for the associated symptoms of pain and nausea associated with the above diagnoses.
“The safety of medical marijuana, when used as directed, like most other medications, is without a doubt a better option for many patients,” says Dr. Aldarondo. ”No one has ever died from medical marijuana. It is a controlled substance that is regulated in both potency and delivery. Its development is monitored in a highly controlled and regulated environment from seed to the final product. Medical marijuana is NOT a street drug or what everyone grew up with during the ‘70s.”
The marijuana plant contains over one hundred different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. The most common use of medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite useful for the chronic pain suffered by millions of Americans, especially as they age.
Stigmas Still Remain
With many folks, there remains a stigma attached to the use of marijuana in any form. Many patients find themselves wanting to learn more about medical marijuana, but feel embarrassed to bring this up with their doctor. This is in part because the medical community has generally been quite dismissive of the issue.
Other patients are already using medical marijuana, but don’t know how to tell their doctors for fear of being reprimanded or criticized. It is, however, and should be a patient’s choice. We have therefore decided to be what we, as a practice, have always been—a patient advocate.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this treatment option.