What You Need to Know About Traveling with Medical Marijuana

Although medical marijuana is legal in many states, including Florida, it’s still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. With this in mind, traveling with medical marijuana can bring up many questions and apprehensions. 

Understanding the laws and regulations surrounding medical marijuana in the state that you’re traveling to can help ensure that your trip isn’t derailed. 

Airline and TSA Medical Marijuana Regulations

The TSA has publicly stated that officers don’t search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. Instead, they’re looking for potential security threats. However, if a TSA officer does find marijuana (including medical marijuana) or a product containing cannabis during a search, they’re legally required to inform law enforcement.  

Although the TSA may not stop you from carrying medical marijuana, U.S. states that haven’t yet legalized medical cannabis may charge you for possession, even if you have a medical marijuana card. Additionally, some airlines (such as American Airlines) have banned marijuana, including medical marijuana, from their flights.

State Medical Marijuana Regulations

Some U.S. states have reciprocity programs, meaning that they adhere to other states’ laws. Reciprocity programs vary, and you may need to register for the state’s medical-marijuana program to legally use cannabis in that state during your trip.

Make sure to check the requirements for the state that you’re traveling to well ahead of time, as you may need to sign up for the program in advance of your trip. For example, Arkansas requires visitors to register for the medical cannabis program 30 days before their trip and pay a $50 fee. 

Additionally, it’s important to check the state’s possession limits, which vary across the country. Some states only allow out-of-state visitors to possess one once, even if they have a medical marijuana card. 

With all of this information in mind, traveling with medical marijuana requires some research. However, by checking the regulations of your airline and the state that you plan to travel to, you can plan accordingly. 

Tetra Holistic Care is a leading medical marijuana clinic in Florida. If medical marijuana has become an important part of your treatment plan, our doctors can advise you on how to travel safely and comfortably. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Can Medical Marijuana Cause Weight Loss?

Marijuana is widely associated with increased appetite. The notorious “munchies” that can accompany marijuana use tend to lead to snacking and cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. 

Despite marijuana’s reputation for triggering cravings, evidence from various studies has shown a connection between marijuana use and lower body weight. In this article, we’ll discuss this link and the potential reasons for it. 

Medical Marijuana and Reduced Body Weight

Medical marijuana hasn’t been proven to directly lead to weight loss. Instead, regular cannabis use is associated with a lower BMI (body mass index). Specifically, a 2014 study on marijuana and body weight notes that the findings of large epidemiological studies in the general population consistently show that marijuana users generally have lower BMIs than individuals who don’t use marijuana.Continue reading

How Medical Marijuana Evaluations Work

In Florida and several other states throughout the U.S., medical marijuana has been legalized. However, to obtain cannabis for a range of health conditions, patients typically must undergo a medical marijuana evaluation. 

Here, we’ll explain what you can expect from a medical marijuana evaluation, along with how to prepare for your appointment. 

What is a Medical Marijuana Evaluation?

A medical marijuana evaluation is a short appointment with a licensed physician to determine whether or not you’re eligible for medical cannabis use. During this appointment, you’ll need to present evidence that you have one of the qualifying conditions in Florida. Continue reading

Can Medical Marijuana Improve Sleep Quality for Chronic Pain Patients?

For many people with chronic pain, poor sleep quality is a nightly occurrence. Pain and sleep negatively affect each other and, together, can severely inhibit your recovery process. 

With medical marijuana, chronic pain patients can often achieve a higher quality of sleep, along with pain relief. Here, we’ll discuss the link between chronic pain and insomnia, as well as how medical cannabis can help you overcome these conditions.

The Connection Between Chronic Pain and Insomnia

Patients who struggle with chronic pain also commonly experience insomnia and poor sleep quality. Chronic pain is made worse by sleep problems, and vice versa. This can create a vicious cycle of pain and fatigue.

Chronic pain can make it difficult to fall asleep, reduce sleep quality, and lead to waking up throughout the night. In fact, pain is one of the leading causes of insomnia.Continue reading

February: Marijuana Awareness Month

February is Marijuana Awareness Month! During this month, we’re promoting the facts on marijuana so that patients can make the best decisions for their health.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana refers to dried flowers from the cannabis plant. It contains a variety of active compounds, namely Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the principal ingredient that causes the “high” associated with marijuana use, while CBD has a relaxing effect on the body and mind without producing psychoactive effects.

The Uses of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has several beneficial uses in the world of medicine. Key benefits include:

  • Pain relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Anxiety relief
  • Improved sleep
  • Relief from nausea and vomiting

Continue reading

Inflammation Causing Depression: How Cannabis Can Help

Inflammation and depression are thought to be linked, with depression patients often experiencing increased levels of inflammation in the body. Considering the significant anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis, many depression patients may benefit from medical marijuana use.

Inflammation and Depression

Although depression isn’t considered an inflammatory disorder, inflammation can contribute to depression. The inflammatory pathways in the brain affect all of the body’s systems. People with depression may be more sensitive to the effects of these inflammatory pathways. 

Patients with major depressive disorder, or MDD, have been shown to have higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are signaling molecules that produce an inflammatory response in the body. Cytokines contribute to disorders involving neurotransmitters and brain activity, which can relate to depression. Continue reading

Common Conditions That Are Treated With Cannabis

Over the past several years, cannabis has been rapidly gaining popularity as a treatment for many different medical concerns. Now, in Florida, medical marijuana use is legal for patients with qualifying conditions who receive a medical marijuana card. 

Some of the most common conditions that are treated with cannabis today include:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Many patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, benefit greatly from cannabis treatment. PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by a traumatic event, such as violence, a serious injury, or war. 

The symptoms of PTSD can be placed into one of four categories:

  • Intrusion, such as intrusive thoughts and flashbacks of the traumatic experience
  • Avoidance, which involves avoiding reminders of the traumatic experience
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood
  • Changes in arousal and reactivity (physical and emotional reactions)

Continue reading

Is Medical Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Symptoms of Hepatitis?

Hepatitis C, or HCV, is a viral infection that triggers inflammation in the liver. Unfortunately, hepatitis C poses a risk of severe liver damage and causes symptoms including joint pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Many patients find that medical marijuana helps them manage these symptoms, as well as the side effects from medications used to treat hepatitis C. 

Medical Marijuana for Hepatitis C Symptoms

While marijuana isn’t a treatment for an HCV infection, it can be used to relieve the symptoms of this condition, including:

  • Nausea 

Cannabis contains cannabinoids that interact with CB1 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, the results of which can quickly relieve nausea.

  • Joint pain

Marijuana also contains cannabinoids that reduce inflammation and pain signals, providing relief from joint pain.  Continue reading

How to Get Your Florida MMJ Card

In Florida, medical marijuana use is legal for patients with qualifying health conditions. But, to legally obtain cannabis, patients must have a medical marijuana (MMJ) card. The Office of Medical Marijuana Use in Florida regulates MMJ cards, ensuring that patients have a doctor’s recommendation before using medical cannabis.

The Process of Getting a Florida MMJ Card

To obtain a Florida MMJ card in Florida, the first step is making sure that you qualify. The conditions that qualify for a Florida MMJ card include:

  • Seizures
  • PTSD
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Chronic muscle spasms
  • ALS
  • Any similarly severe medical condition

Continue reading

Can Medical Marijuana Be Used to Treat Depression and Anxiety?

Depression and anxiety are increasing in prevalence in today’s world. Unfortunately, these mental health conditions can make it difficult to get through the day and enjoy life to the fullest. 

Many people find that medical marijuana helps ease feelings of depression and anxiety, leading to greater overall mental wellness. Cannabis can provide relief from feelings of stress and tension, as well as provide a valuable boost of dopamine, to alleviate these common mental health concerns.  

Medical Marijuana for Depression

A study published in September 2021 in the journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, found that patients with diagnosed clinical depression who use medical marijuana have lower depression scores (along with better quality of life, improved sleep, and less pain) than patients not using marijuana. Additionally, patients in the study who started to use medical marijuana in a follow-up period experience decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Continue reading