Medical cannabis has been legal in Florida for a couple of years now and has been helping hundreds live better lives. CBD, the “benign” cousin of cannabis, has just been legalized in Florida. Neither of them cures cancer or is stated as a miracle drug, but the majority of people who use them have benefited in some way. However, you do need to see a specialized doctor in the field in order to be approved for medical cannabis by having a certain list of conditions such as cancer or epilepsy, in order to have permission to obtain the drug. Other conditions that qualify in Florida include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Terminal illness
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed
However there are two downsides to medical cannabis.
Medical Cannabis Requires a Prescription and License
Unfortunately, not everyone can qualify for a medical cannabis program because the law requires the patient have a debilitating condition first, whether it is mental or physical. Their definition of debilitating means the condition prevents the patient from executing everyday tasks such as work at their job, handling their children, holding a personal relationship, needing prescription medications as required by their doctor, performing manual tasks, normal communication, walking, driving, traveling, and more.
Then you make an appointment with the appropriate office, go with your medical records, and then wait for approval and your license.
Insurance Not Accepted
All patients for medical cannabis still have to pay for all the visits and supplies. They are working on some insurance reprieve, but nothing has been executed yet. Costs can be high over time. For an average example in Florida:
- Initial physician visit for the recommendation: $300+
- FL Registration Fee: $75
- Renewal Fee: $75
- First treatment: $30 to $300+
- Delivery fee: $30
- Follow-up visit: $90 to $200+
- Total Cost for the First Year: $400 to $500+
- Continuing Annual Fees: $200 to $300+
Medical Cannabis Gets You High
Whether cannabis is medical or recreational, they are high in THC, the psychoactive ingredient that makes most people get “high.” This can cause hallucinations, increase anxiety, fear, or panic. It can also alter your sense of time. THC affects everyone differently so it is hard to predict exactly what THC will do for you in your daily activities. Testing will need to be done individually to find out.
CBD to the Rescue?
Enter CBD, which has been recently legalized in Florida to farm and process. Legal CBD, or cannabidiol, is produced from the hemp plant, or the more benign cousin of cannabis. The reason is that legal CBD is extracted from the hemp plant. Hemp naturally contains less THC than cannabis, and if adhered to the legal limit of less than 0.3% THC, produces almost no psychoactive effect for anyone. There are also artificially processed CBD that contain less than 0.01% THC, or for all practical purposes, zero. These are called isolates.
CBD does not require a prescription or doctor’s approval to obtain or take in Florida. However it is always recommended that you ask your doctor before taking it, especially if you are on many other pills and prescriptions. Real CBD grown and processed the right way are naturally organic. Thus it would be highly irregular for it to react adversely with other drugs. However there have been isolated incidents so asking your doctor first would be the safe thing to do. Just keep in mind that your doctor may not be the best person to definitely recommend you to CBD since it is still not FDA approved and they have legal and professional repercussions to consider.
CBD also has some of the same benefits as medical cannabis. These include relief from pain and all the others listed previously. It also helps more people with their anxiety and insomnia than medical cannabis.
So CBD is Better Than Medical Cannabis?
Not so fast. As stated, they are not the same drug or supplement. Even though the CBD component of the hemp and cannabis plant helps many conditions, so does THC, in different ways. THC gets you high but it also provides strong benefits when coupled with CBD together for many conditions.
Most professionals in the industry agree that the full spectrum CBD products are more effective than the isolates because of this very reason. Full spectrum CBD has the small amount of THC that enhances some of the effects of the product. Isolates can also help a great deal but on average is less effective than full spectrum.
However, for people in high pain or serious medical conditions, it is possible that the higher amount of THC in medical cannabis can allow them more comfort than CBD alone. In general, because everyone’s body reacts differently, no doctor or professional can tell you what each will do for you until you try it. Either may or may not work, it requires experimentation with trial and error in order to take the least invasive product while achieving the desired effect.
How to Try and Take CBD
There are 4 main points when trying CBD to make sure you give yourself the best chance to work for you. The education of the basics of how to use CBD is rarely provided during a sale of the product online or even in some CBD “specialty” stores. This is why we think it is so important to make sure potential and long-time users learn the right way.
Concentration of CBDThe CBD industry is still unregulated by the states and the government. This means you may be confused as to how much CBD you are taking per bottle from different providers. One of the most critical information you need to start with on the bottle or product you purchase is the amount of milligrams of CBD per serving, and then make sure you know what that serving size is.
For example, if one bottle says 15mg per serving for half a dropper, and another says 30mg per serving which is a full dropper, then you are getting the same amount of CBD per amount of product. This means the concentration of CBD in those two items are the same, i.e., 30mg CBD per full dropper. However if one says 15mg per serving for a full dropper, and another says 30mg per serving for also a full dropper, then you are getting only half the concentration for the first one. So make sure you know how many milligrams of CBD is in that serving size.
Keep in mind also that the body absorbs the best via suppository, but that is not the most popular option for most. The second best is sublingually, where the oil or product is placed under the tongue for some time before swallowing. Edibles such as gummies still work for most, but having CBD digest and absorb through the stomach causes much loss of effectiveness. For example, taking a 25mg CBD gummy or gel capsule may only have the “effectiveness” of a 17mg CBD oil taken sublingually. In these cases, simply take more of the gummy or capsule to compensate.
Titrate ProperlyEveryone should start their first dosage low. This is hard to recommend to the general public but starting at around 5mg per dose (assuming CBD tincture oil is taken sublingually) would be a safe, conservative starting point. Most people need more but from there, titrate up every other day. More specifically, take 5mg of CBD the first day, and the second day, chart your reactions to it, and then increase to 10mg the third day, and then to 15mg the fifth day, etc., until the desired effect is experienced.
There can be no officially stated maximum proven dosage for anyone. And in general, the dosage does not depend on someone’s weight alone, even though many try to tell you that. It is similar to saying something like smaller people have higher IQ’s. There are many factors, and it would take a novel to explain. However, if you start feeling some side effects of increased headaches, nausea, upset stomach, dry mouth, or any other unusual conditions, you may consider that particular CBD is not for you.
PatienceThere have been many cases where users have stated it took them a few weeks to start feeling the effects of the CBD. It is not an addictive drug, it is very rare for CBD to be susceptible to tolerance. So if it is not working for you even after raising your dosage to “uncomfortable” levels, record the highest dose that did not make you uncomfortable, and then continue taking it at that level for at least another month. Too many people give up after a week and say “it doesn’t work!” when relief may have been right around the corner.
Quality of CBDUnfortunately because of the lack of regulation, almost every product in circulation is different from another. Because it is a natural and organic product that happens to be farmed, extracted, and processed by thousands of different, unrelated facilities around the world, it is actually impossible for each bottle to have the same exact quality, just like two apples cannot be the exact same weight and nutritional content.
So how is the average person to know how to buy and who to trust? You won’t like this answer, but you cannot know. There are way too many variables for an average person who has no expertise in chemistry or the hemp and CBD industry to simply know by looking at a bottle label and listening to what a kid behind the counter has to say.
The good news is there are certain ways to mitigate this process besides just plain trial and error. First is viewing the COA report for each product. Many companies do not provide this publicly for a myriad of reasons. Not all those reasons are to deceive, but more to protect their investments in this exponentially growing industry.
Second is to look at the ingredients. Do not trust products that add more than 1-2 ingredients to their oils. In fact, for humans, all you really need is organic MCT (coconut) oil added to the pure CBD oil for maximum effective absorption and the added health benefits of the MCT oil.
For pets, adding hemp oil can be very beneficial because of their need for fatty acids like Omega-6 (linoleic acid) to Omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid), which are considered in much better ratio than fish oil, which many owners use for their pets.
Then you have the reality check. If you see a website that has very little educational information on CBD and looks like someone just used a template to ramp the site up to make a quick business out of it, they may not be the best source to buy from. There are hundreds of these fly-by-night places that pop up and then disappear. This hurts the industry from seed to sale, but they do not care about anyone but their bottom line. Be wary of those that give free samples or give you outrageous deals. There is truly no free lunch in this genre.
And finally, be careful you are not buying low grade hemp or hemp seed oil. This is not CBD. Hemp seed oil combined with CBD can be powerful, but hemp alone has certain benefits like MCT oil does, and is not what CBD is. Good CBD is taken from the best parts of the flowers of the hemp plant. The rest is used for the lower quality CBD or hemp oil, as well as thousands of other uses for hemp related products.
We realize this is an extraordinary amount of information to understand and digest. Please feel free to visit our Facebook group at
where you may freely ask any questions and discuss CBD/Hemp related topics with people in the industry who know. Our job is to help you as much as we can in making all the right decisions.
As far as obtaining the highest quality CBD products, mail order is the simplest and easiest way. We are a small business located in South Florida, but ship all over the country. You may click the link below or at the top of this page to shop, or you may also browse online for other various companies around the nation. Currently we can only vouch for our products. We are planning on launching other testing platforms to report results on other brands in the future.