Medical Marijuana Specialist

HealthCare Partners Family Medicine

Family Medicine & Alternative Medicine Physicians located in The Villages, FL

Medical marijuana is such an effective pain reliever that nearly half of all oncologists recommend it for their cancer patients. Many medical conditions may qualify for medical marijuana, but the first step is meeting with Nelson Kraucak, MD, FAAP, and Gretta Ellis, ARNP, at HealthCare Partners Family Medicine (Quintessential Care). Dr. Kraucak determines if you qualify for medical marijuana, writes a prescription, and enters you into the Florida registry. To learn more about medical marijuana, call the office in The Villages, Florida, or schedule an appointment online.

Medical Marijuana

How do the active ingredients in medical marijuana work?

Cannabinoids are the active ingredients in marijuana. However, the marijuana plant contains an estimated 66 different types of cannabinoids that produce varying effects.

Many cannabinoids bind to receptors in your brain, but the impact they have depends on which receptors are affected. 

Some cannabinoids affect receptors that produce physical benefits, such as pain relief. Others produce marijuana’s renowned psychoactive effect of euphoria and enhanced senses.

How does medical marijuana relieve pain?

You have a natural cannabinoid system inside your body, including cells that produce endocannabinoids. When you suffer an injury, endocannabinoids bind to specialized receptors on your nerves, where they regulate pain.

The cannabinoids in medical marijuana have a similar effect on your nerves, but some work through different pathways to relieve your pain. 

Here are just two examples: Some cannabinoids limit the amount of brain chemicals transmitting pain messages, while others reduce inflammation.

How do I qualify for medical marijuana?

Under Florida law, you may qualify for medical marijuana if you have any of these conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Any terminal condition
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain

You may also qualify if you have a medical condition that’s comparable to any of those already on the official list. 

How do I obtain medical marijuana?

To purchase medical marijuana in Florida, you must be in the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use Registry and have an official ID card. The first step is getting a diagnosis from a certified physician for an approved, qualifying medical condition.

Dr. Kraucak reviews your medical history and performs a thorough examination. If he determines you have a qualifying diagnosis, he enters your name into the state registry, specifying the dose and route of administration, and gives you a patient identification number. 

Then you’ll use your patient number to apply for your ID card, which you can do online or through the mail.

Dr. Kraucak can write a prescription for 70 days and may give you up to three refills without requiring another physical examination. Once you’ve used all your refills, you’ll need to schedule another in-person evaluation. 

To schedule an assessment for medical marijuana, call HealthCare Partners Family Medicine or use the online booking feature.