Can you get a medical card for HIV in Florida

Can You Get a Medical Card for HIV in Florida in 2024?

Can you get a medical card for HIV in Florida


There’s been a growing interest in using cannabis to treat HIV. If you have been looking into getting a medical marijuana card to treat HIV, you might be wondering, “Can I get a medical card for HIV in Florida?”

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that damages the immune system and interferes with its ability to combat infection. More specifically, it destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells (T cells or helper T cells) and uses those cells to replicate. As a result, a person with HIV becomes vulnerable to other infections.

HIV can eventually turn into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which occurs when C4 cell counts drop below 200. While there isn’t a cure for HIV, treatments exist that help people keep the virus under control. The most common treatment is antiretroviral therapy, which involves taking a combination of HIV medications. These medications work to suppress the virus and prevent replication. The immune system can repair itself and remain strong enough to fight infections.


Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Florida

You may be able to use medical marijuana in Florida if you have one or more of the following qualifying conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • A terminal condition (diagnosed by a physician other than the one issuing your certification)
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by or originating from a qualifying condition that persists beyond the usual course of that condition
  • A condition in the same class as, or comparable to, a condition listed above


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So, Can You Get a Medical Card for HIV in Florida?

Medical cannabis is legal in Florida, and HIV is a qualifying condition for a medical card. Florida first approved cannabis for medical use in 2014. However, at that time, the law only permitted low-THC products for epilepsy and cancer patients. Two years later, the state passed the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (also known as Amendment 2). The new law expanded the cannabis program, adding more conditions to the list of qualifying conditions, including HIV.


The Effects of Cannabis on HIV

Cannabis may provide several benefits for individuals with HIV.

Wasting Syndrome

Wasting syndrome refers to the unwanted loss of more than 10% of your body weight, which can result in the loss of both fat and muscle. It may occur as a result of HIV itself, inflammation, or opportunistic infections. You might have no appetite, or you might get full quickly. Along with weight loss, poor eating can lead to nutrient deficiencies and harm the immune system more.

Cannabis may help counteract wasting syndrome by functioning as an appetite stimulant. Although cannabis is still federally illegal, the FDA approved the use of a synthetic form of THC to treat HIV/AIDS-related weight loss in 1985.


HIV can cause peripheral neuropathy. Damage to the nerves may lead to weakness, numbness, and tingling “pins and needles” sensations, often in the hands and feet. Many studies have shown that cannabis may be an effective treatment for neuropathic pain.

Immune Health

HIV harms the immune system, especially when left untreated. Some research has shown that cannabis may boost white blood cells, infection-fighting cells, that reside in the bone marrow.

The virus can also cause chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties. It could help fight inflammation in the body and reduce oxidative stress.


People with HIV have a higher risk of developing anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. These conditions can take a significant toll on overall health and well-being. Cannabis may help ease symptoms of these disorders by boosting mood and improving quality of life.

Side Effects of HIV Medications

While effective, current HIV medications may come with a variety of adverse side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and mood changes. Cannabis may be an effective treatment for managing these uncomfortable side effects. For instance, it’s a common treatment for managing nausea in cancer patients. The same anti-emetic effects may be beneficial for HIV medication-induced nausea. Cannabis may alleviate sleep problems, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It can also help improve symptoms of anxiety and other mood disorders.



Schedule an Appointment With a Medical Marijuana Doctor in Florida Today!

If you have HIV and want to try medical marijuana, your first step is to speak with a medical marijuana doctor. Green Health Docs is here to help. With appointment scheduling online, by text, and by phone, we make it easy to set up your consultation.

If your physician determines you qualify for a FL medical card, they’ll enter you into the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry. After you complete your application for a Registry ID card, you’ll be able to start visiting Florida dispensaries.

Ready to find out if you qualify? Schedule your appointment with Green Health Docs today!


Dr. Anand DugarThis article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.