Medical marijuana: insights into patient journeys


To date, medical marijuana has been legalized in the United States in 30 states, including:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Newhamshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North. Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia.

Each of these states has its own regulations and guidelines for use and qualification.

Here in Florida, the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Amendment 2, was passed on November 8, 2016 for qualified patients under the supervision of a qualified and qualified marijuana doctor. In addition, this amendment was approved with 6,518,919 (71.32%) votes and 2,621,845 (28.68%) negative votes.

The federal government classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, making it illegal for doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients. These marijuana doctors can only make medical cannabis recommendations in accordance with state law that is valid for up to one year. Patients cannot go to the pharmacy and fill out a medical marijuana prescription.

Under strict regulations, medical marijuana doctors are prohibited from partnering with medical marijuana distributors or pharmacies.

Only certain patients with a “debilitating illness” will be legally protected by this amendment. Diseases classified under that provision include PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), chronic muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, seizures, epilepsy, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (muscle atrophy). Lateral sclerosis or lugeric’s disease) and Parkinson’s disease.

The above illnesses were described as “major debilitating conditions”, but under this provision, Amendment 2 also states: “Or, if the medical use of marijuana exceeds all Other illnesses/conditions of similar severity/symptoms, judged by opinion, potential health risks.”

Currently, there are about 56 known listed doctors of marijuana in Florida.

More information and more on this topic is also available on the Florida Department of Health website on how to become a medical marijuana patient in Florida ( For more information on Amendment 2, see here too.

Parkinson’s disease

A few months ago, I found a video on Facebook where a man with Parkinson’s disease was injected with medical cannabis. The video before and after was impressive. Before treatment, you can see significant tremor, stuttering, and abnormal posture of this man. The after video showed very different people. His speech was easy to understand and understand. He had no stuttering or tremor and showed very controlled movement. This man walked and spoke like a normal person. He also shared how it improved his quality of life.

As a physiotherapist with different cultural backgrounds, I personally have different feelings about medical cannabis. But as a health care professional, it’s pretty surprising to see one of the big changes in my patients using medical cannabis.

Parkinson’s J.L.

For more than 5 years, J.L. He has been given physiotherapy treatments over and over again because of the problems caused by Parkinson’s disease. Knowing the progression of the disease, I saw this gentle soul cope with the effects of this debilitating pain. His doctor will refer him to treatment when he begins to develop weakness, rigidity, tremors, and, above all, balance problems that he reported falling home.

We will meet him every time for about 6-8 weeks. We have worked to improve his coordination, strength, flexibility and balance, with the main purpose of keeping him safe and in good condition in his home where he lives alone. It also prevents him from falling, which makes him more vulnerable and vulnerable to complications.


A few weeks ago, he came back to the office to schedule a physiotherapy as he was again referred by his doctor. Having worked with this patient for many years, I was trying to understand what changed him. I stared at it, just like the first evaluation. You may have noticed the curiosity that bothered me because he gave me a smile that I knew. Being unable to control my curiosity, I asked him: “Mr. J, what did you do?” Mr. J just laughed and asked why he was curious!

Well, I finally noticed that Mr. J barely had a tremor in his right hand to show the typical pin rolling tremor of this disease. His neck was aligned and didn’t shift to the right. Moreover, his speech was clearer! Another thing that surprised me was that he was walking well. Not great, but he was able to turn around without having to shuffle, as I’ve seen for years.

At the advice of a neurologist, he told me he had finally started taking medical cannabis for over a month. His friend apparently told him a video on Facebook about a man with severe Parkinson’s disease. The man received an injection of medical cannabis, which appeared to change in just a few minutes. This clearly urged him to consult his doctor and his neurologist.

The changes I see with Mr. J after taking more than a month after taking medical cannabis are important. His speech has improved. His voice is deeper and easier to hear. He had no stuttering and had more control over his right hand from a tremor that was almost nonexistent. He is standing straight again. His balance and coordination have been further improved, with the advanced balance retraining he is currently undergoing.

During the therapy session, Mr. J was able to bounce the ball to the floor more accurately and faster. We saw tossing and throwing the ball when nobody caught him and stood. He had a slow and reflexive reaction, so we had someone standing behind him to hug him. His gait has also improved. Only a few months ago he was dragging his right foot and walking in very short shuffle steps. He will turn slightly to stand on one foot, or lose balance with a few attempts to raise his foot high.

For about a month using medical cannabis, these subtle changes in him made a difference in his life. He felt more relaxed and said he was less likely to fall. He can perform simple household chores with more confidence and withstand more advanced therapeutic exercises during physical therapy sessions. He does not feel tired and can perform more tasks throughout the day.

Mr J was still on this journey and wanted to share this experience and tell me his story. Knowing him and his background, he is not the only person who indiscriminately takes marijuana for entertainment and self-indulgence.

About Mr. J.L.

Mr. J from Central New York moved to Florida. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about seven years ago. He is a designer of a very famous Syracuse Chinese manufacturer whose customers include the White House, 5 star hotels and famous restaurants. He is also a member of the Barbershop Quartet as a tenor of the SPEBSQSA (American Barbershop Quartet Singing Conservation and Encouragement) and participates in several amateur Broadway shows in New York. He was an art teacher who taught junior high school students.

His life changed when he was called to a mission sometime in 1986. I became involved in the mission of healing that he revealed. He traveled abroad to expand his medical ministry. This received a great deal of attention and even the media noticed and reported some coverage of his work. He is now retired and lives in Palm Bay, Florida.

It’s a privilege to know this special person who did a lot in his youth. He has devoted much time and dedication to helping others. I am deeply grateful for the humanitarian service provided by Mr J and how his ministry affected so many lives. I consider him to be the unsung hero of those days.

His willingness to share an excerpt of his story with me is a privilege. In addition, being able to work with him to promote his progress and see his motivation and years of determination is a very exciting experience.

A personal battle between JL and Parkinson’s disease.

As J said, about seven years ago, he was formally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He is under the control of a physician in practice in Palm Bay, Florida.

About Parkinson’s disease

As explained by the Mayo Clinic staff, “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects movement. It may develop gradually, with little tremor in one hand. While warfare may be a well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, illnesses and disorders also commonly cause rigidity or delayed movement.”

Subsequent effects of this disease include the following: An expressionless face, also known as an expressionless face or mask, and a loss of voice quality that can be blurry, soft, or even stuttering. These are very common in the patients I worked with. The patient’s ability to walk is also affected. The resulting loss of coordination results in loss of arm swing from core stiffness, stiffness, and stepping.

Unfortunately, the disease is progressive and current medications aim to improve symptoms, but not necessarily cures.

Currently, there are many ongoing studies for healing, including surgery and electrical stimulation to control specific areas of the brain.

Yet, according to the National Parkinson Foundation, there is currently no standard cure for healing.

In addition, medications, lifestyle changes, exercise and rest are recommended.

Prescription drugs

Currently prescribed drug therapies include carbidopa-levodopa, carbidopa-levodopa infusion, dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors, catechol-O-methyl transferases (COMT inhibitors), anticholinergics, and amantadine. -Source: Mayo Clinic Organization

Parkinson and surgery

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) ia procedure. Electrodes are implanted in certain areas of the brain and a generator is implanted in the chest near the clavicle, sending impulses to the brain to relieve symptoms. However, it is not a cure and carries many risks and side effects. Both drug therapy and DBS do not stop disease progression.

Parkinson’s disease and physical therapy

Physiotherapists work with these types of patients at various stages of the disease. This is primarily due to functional decline due to coordination disorders, dyskinesias, and rigidity, which makes deliberate and spontaneous movements very tedious.

These problems can make even the most basic functions such as feeding, grooming, and toilets very difficult. Walking becomes very unstable. Shuffling a walk is very common, but the first step is difficult (slow-because it is very slow). Once you stop, it’s very difficult to stop. Many of these patients are at high risk of falls, and many patients will become completely dependent on treatment at advanced stages.

When referring to physical therapy, patient education on proper exercise, exercise strategies, task modification, gait training, and fall prevention strategies is part of the overall planning of care and functional interventions. It is also called speech therapy for speech and feeding problems, and occupational therapy for basic self-care and hand or upper limb function.

Battle of Mr. J

I first worked with Mr. J about 5 years ago. Although he was not in the advanced stages of the disease at that time, he was already showing the main visible symptoms of the disease: tremor of the hands and neck, facial covering, rigidity, and severe incoordination. He walked very slowly, shuffled, and couldn’t turn quickly, so he was walking a long time from room to room. As he turns, he loses his balance and tends to fall. His reflexes were very slow. He could hardly catch the ball or bounce it. His speech was vague, almost inaudible, and stuttering. He had difficulty climbing up and down simple curbs and stairs. He fell out of balance problems several times.

Mr. J was tenacious in his physical therapy program and was always very motivated. For each episode he introduced to us over the years, he constantly showed improvement and continued the particular exercise program we prescribed. However, due to the progressive nature of the disease, he was physically debilitated and we had to work with him again.

He shared a story of how he first noticed his change from Parkinson’s disease. The most important thing he mentioned was when he was teaching junior high school painting in his art class in New York. He said it was increasingly difficult to draw and use his right hand as he had developed tremor. The rest went on, including changes in his facial expression, rigidity, and intuition. This has gradually deteriorated over the years before moving to Florida.

Once under the control of a physician, he was prescribed cinemet and other medications.

I last met him for treatment in early 2016, with a big tremor in his right hand and an involuntary cramp in his neck. His mask was progressing, his face was almost sagging, and he was walking with considerable shuffling and difficulty. He could hardly move one leg in front of the other. He also reported falls due to worsening balance problems.

This is why he saw his big change due to medical cannabis when he met him in March of this year.

Medical cannabis: capsules and gummy

He also shared his story. When asked about the potential benefits of medical cannabis for Parkinson’s disease, he consulted his attending physician and instructed him to consult with a neurologist. His neurologist advised to try medical cannabis because of the progressive nature of his Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. J then stated that it contained about 30 25 mg capsules, including medical cannabis capsules. This cost him about $80, including shipping. A gummy-version sample pack of 5 gummy in a pack is included with his shipment. According to him, the capsules were bitter and he took 1 capsule daily.

He added that after taking the first capsule ever, he felt very relaxed and calm. He was able to move around, get in and out of bed easily, and get in and out of chairs. He also found that his tremor was much less than it was initially.

Mr. J said he loves cannabis gummy as it tastes like sweets and tastier than capsules. In addition, the effects of gummy seemed much faster and much cheaper than the effects of capsules. The price of each capsule is about $3 each, and the gummy will cost about $1 each he added.

To mimic the effects of gummy, Mr J said he tried to melt the capsule under the tongue to remove its bitter edge. I’m also chewing on regular gummy bear candy. This worked for him.

To date, J has been on physical therapy and finds he can better tolerate and perform high-level balance training tasks not previously possible. He had little or no tremor in his right hand, no longer showed cramps in his neck, and his reflexes improved. I see this by his ability to make turns and his balance. We do not need to hold him while he catches, throws, or bounces the ball to improve his protective righting reflex needed to prevent him from falling. He can raise his legs as he walks, and shuffles much less.

Recognizing the progressive nature of the disease, we see this very tender, kind, intelligent and talented individual overcome the simple everyday functional deficits posed by this debilitating and irreversible disease. Is exciting.

For those suffering from debilitating illness, the daily victories of being able to do movements and work that seem like little things to most of us are a blessing.

Legalizing medical marijuana is a battle that is, and always will be, in Congress. We all have different positions and strong opinions on this issue. Research is ongoing into its strengths and weaknesses. Predicts more awareness of its existence as an alternative treatment for various diseases that are unresponsive to conventional drugs and treatments.

However, as a medical professional, being able to see Mr. J’s functional changes is quite fulfilling in that he can be independent and maintain self-satisfaction even when Mr. J has a disability.

I am currently working on finding an individual who can share with me the adverse effects of medical marijuana. Of course, we would love to hear from you and share your journey and experience anonymously.

If you have anything to share, please contact me.

A wonderful day and greetings to the next article!

It’s a sequel.