Florida Attempts to Cap THC in Cannabis Products
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The Sunshine State Attempts to Cap THC in Cannabis Products

If the cap is successful, seven out of 14 licensed medical cannabis cultivators would be in violation

The House Health & Human Services headed by Fort Myers Beach Rep. Ray Rodrigues has introduced legislation that would limit the THC content of edibles and medicinal cannabis. The amount would be at 10% in whole-flower cannabis for smoking. The THC content in edibles would be 200mg per day or 7,000mg for a 35-day supply. Under this proposed bill, veterans would have access to medical cannabis I.D cards for free. The tobacco smoking age would also be increased to 21 instead of 18, under this legislation.

Rodrigues said the bill was proposed on evidence that shows cannabis containing THC higher than 10% can bring on psychosis. This study is under scrutiny by oppositions of a separate study that was conducted that suggested that the individuals who experienced psychosis were most likely self-medicating with cannabis before their psychotic episode.

What is THC?

CBD gets a lot of attention because of its medicinal benefits. THC on the other hand, often gets a bad rap from members of the population who aren’t well informed. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol; this compound is what gives cannabis it’s psychological effects.

THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the brain which is responsible for areas of the brain that are linked with perceptions, pleasure, thinking, coordination and memory. It also activates the cells in parts of the brain that creates euphoria and releases dopamine. THC can be utilized in many different forms such as edibles, medicine, syrups, oils, balms, drops and lotions.

Related Article: Thousands of California Marijuana Growers Could Lose Their License

How Does This Proposal Effect Patients and Businesses?

If the cap is successful, seven out of 14 licensed medical cannabis cultivators would be in violation of the THC limit and would have to cut the THC in the plants they grow by half. Ironically, this could push individuals who consume marijuana for medical purposes, to look for alternatives in the black market. Unlicensed and unregulated sellers and distributors would have a competitive edge since they don’t operate within the law and therefore, could provide their customers with marijuana that carries a higher THC content.

Opposers of this bill said this would result in an unfair tax on consumers who need marijuana for its medicinal effects. Patients would need more THC to achieve the same medicinal effects and therefore be forced to buy more cannabis. It’s also argued that the bill would make it an impossible feat for sick children to have access to higher THC cannabis.

Many patients have found THC helpful for the following ailments:

  • Calming anxiety
  • Neuroprotectant
  • Improving moods
  • Easing depression
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain relief
  • Easing vomiting
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Stimulating appetite

Some studies have revealed that Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients could receive relief from THC. CBD and THC has also been known to help with the negative symptoms of chemotherapy patients including pain relief. There have been many testimonials by patients about the wonders of cannabis but currently, there is only one FDA approved medicine that contains THC (Dronabinol). This drug is used to treat cancer patients who experience vomiting and nausea from their cancer treatments and also to helps AIDS patients with their loss of appetite.

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Negative Side Effects

You may wonder why THC sometimes receives a bad reputation, when it helps so many people suffering from many different conditions. While it’s true that THC helps a lot of people, it would be irresponsible to neglect to mention some of the side effects. The same psychoactive element that can help people can also cause unwanted symptoms like the following:

  • Unable to think clearly
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Memory difficulties
  • Dangerous increased heart rates
  • Paranoia & Intense Axiety

There are steps that users can take to reduce the negative side effects of THC. One efficient way of achieving this is to combine CBD and THC. One study showed that when using THC and CBD together, the benefits of THC wasn’t lost and the negative side effects such as memory loss, increased heart rate, psycho activity and mental confusion weren’t experienced.

Related Article: New California Law Gives Previous Marijuana Offenders a Break

Will Florida Politicians Successfully Cap THC?

There are many obstacles that this bill will be up against. One is the will of the people, dozens of patients objected to this bill before the vote. Many members of the public feel ignored by their representatives since medical marijuana was legalized in 2016.

The 10% cap that legislators in Florida are trying to push forward will most likely face its fair share of resistance. This bill would create an undue hardship on too many patients and would end up back in court and that’s only if it gets passed by the Floor and the Senate.

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