Information for Physicians

A New Alternative for Patients in Florida


Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, refers to the use of cannabis and the active compounds found within Cannabis plants to treat disease or improve symptoms.  Extracts of the Cannabis plant have been utilized for thousands of years for a variety of medical conditions.  At least 10 countries worldwide and 25 states within the United States have approved the use of medical cannabis, in one form or another, to treat patients.

The Cannabis plant contains over 400 active compounds, but the most abundant and best studied active chemical constituents are collectively known as cannabinoids.  Cannabinoids affect the endocannabinoid system in the human body. An intricate system of cannabinoid receptors, primarily involving CB1 and CB2 receptors, mediate the effects of cannabinoids and are located through the human body.  Initial evidence suggests that the active chemical constituents in Cannabis plants hold potential medicinal value across a broad range of diverse medical conditions and symptoms.  

The best studied of the active cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Most of the psychoactive effects of cannabis are mediated by THC.  Studies have shown that medical cannabis products that have high CBD content are effective in treating a number of medical conditions, including epilepsy, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), chronic pain, and muscle spasms due to conditions like Multiple Sclerosis

Growing Body of Evidence

The medical use of cannabis has not been as rigorously evaluated as other therapeutic agents due to governmental regulations and restrictions that have limited research in this evolving field. However, a current search of the medical literature and clinical trial databases show thousands of scientific and medical publications and hundreds of ongoing clinical studies involving medical cannabis. Available evidence suggests that medical cannabis can be used to reduce seizures and muscle spasms associated with neurological diseases, decrease nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer, improve appetite in patients with chronic conditions, and relieve chronic pain. Its use for other medical applications, including treatment of cancer, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and PTSD to name just a few,  is actively being investigated. CHT Medical looks forward to working with researchers and clinicians to enhance our collective understanding of the potential and value of medical cannabis.

Important pharmaceutical agents derived from botanicals

  • Paclitaxel for use in cancer: Pacific yew tree
  • Cyclosporine for use in transplantation and immunosuppression: fungus
  • Aspirin for use in pain, fever, inflammation, and anticoagulation: willow bark
  • Quinine for use in treating malaria: cinchona bark

Is it Legal for Physicians to Order Medical Cannabis in Florida?

In June 2014, Florida became the 23rd state to pass legislation supporting the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Florida Statutes Section 381.986 authorize physicians to order low-THC cannabis for specific patients with qualifying medical conditions in only non-smoked forms. Low-THC cannabis refers to a product dispensed from an authorized Florida dispensing organization that is derived from the Cannabis plant and contains 0.8 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and more than 10 percent of cannabidiol (CBD) weight for weight.

Florida law allows an authorized physician to order low-THC cannabis to treat a qualified patient suffering from cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms, or to alleviate symptoms of such disease, disorder, or condition, if no other satisfactory alternative treatment options exist for the qualified patient.

Florida Statutes 381.986 - Compassionate use of low-THC and medical cannabis

In June 2015, Florida passed the Right to Try Act, allowing patients with terminal conditions (i.e., those with less than one year to live) the ability to access experimental treatments that were previously unavailable.  In March 2016, access to medical cannabis, of any strength, was included in the Right to Try Act (Florida Statutes Section 499.0295).  This expansion allows patients with terminal conditions access to an additional therapy that may help with pain management, sleep improvement, appetite stimulation, anxiety relief, and other symptoms.

Florida law allows an authorized physician to order medical cannabis to treat a patient that has a terminal condition that is attested to by the patient’s physician and confirmed by a second independent evaluation by a board-certified physician in an appropriate specialty for that condition. Medical cannabis refers to a product dispensed from an authorized Florida dispensing organization that is derived from the Cannabis plant containing any strength of active cannabinoids and provided only in non-smoked forms.

Florida Statutes 499.0295 - Experimental treatments for terminal conditions

How May We Help You?

To be contacted by a CHT Medical Professional Representative, please provide us with your information (name, phone, email, address, message). We would be happy to answer any questions you have on medical cannabis or CHT Medical, and look forward to working with you to advance knowledge of medical cannabis throughout the state:

How To Become Authorized

Please follow the link below for detailed information on Authorization, Ordering, and Patient Care: