Can You Get a Medical Card for PTSD in Florida

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

Can You Get a Medical Card for PTSD in Florida


Traumatic events or situations can cause a wide range of emotions and reactions. While some people eventually recover from the initial symptoms, others experience ongoing problems, which can lead to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

PTSD is a mental health condition that may develop after witnessing or experiencing a shocking, scary, dangerous, or traumatic event or situation, such as war, abuse, an accident, or a disaster. Some people can even develop PTSD after learning a family member or friend went through a traumatic event.

According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 6% of people in the U.S. have experienced PTSD. Symptoms typically start appearing around three months after a traumatic event — although they can develop later — and last longer than one month. They include nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, avoidance, mood changes, hypervigilance, and reactivity. The condition can cause significant distress and interfere with a person’s ability to function in daily life.

While PTSD isn’t strictly curable, treatments exist that help people manage and recover from their symptoms. Therapy, which may include psychotherapy (talk therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or trauma-focused CBT, is one of the most common treatments. Some people may also benefit from prescription medications like anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication.

In recent years, people have discovered that cannabis may provide relief from PTSD, which has led some to wonder if they can use medical marijuana to manage their symptoms. So, can you get a medical card for PTSD in Florida? Here’s what you need to know.


Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Florida

If you have one or more of the following qualifying conditions, you may be eligible for a medical cannabis card in Florida:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • 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)
  • Persistent chronic nonmalignant pain caused by or originating from a qualifying condition


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

In short, yes, you can qualify for a medical card for PTSD in Florida. The state legalized medical cannabis in 2014 under the Compassionate Care Act. However, at the time, it only permitted low-dose THC products for patients with cancer or epilepsy. Amendment 2 (the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Act), passed in 2016, expanded Florida’s program to allow for the use of higher-THC medical cannabis. It also added more qualifying conditions for a medical card, including PTSD.


The Effects of Cannbis on PTSD

The research regarding the effects of cannabis on PTSD is limited. However, from the studies we do have, it appears as though medical marijuana may offer some significant benefits.

Symptom Severity

Of the research available, a few studies point toward cannabis being a potentially effective way to manage PTSD symptoms. For example, a 2020 study saw greater reductions in symptom severity in patients who used cannabis than those who didn’t. Another study found cannabis may reduce the severity of flashbacks, intrusions, anxiety, and irritability by more than 50%.

Cannabis may also help with extinction learning, the ability to replace old memories with new ones. In turn, it may reduce the panicked response that can occur when reliving memories that trigger PTSD symptoms.

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep issues are common with PTSD. One small study found that a cannabinoid receptor stimulant (nabilone) appeared to help reduce or stop nightmares, suggesting cannabis may provide relief. More recent research noted improvements in sleep quality and duration as well as reductions in nightmares with cannabis use.

Interactions With the Amygdala

Individuals with PTSD often have a more reactive amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for processing fear and other emotions. Cannabis may limit amygdala activity, potentially making it easier to manage the fear response.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Research shows that individuals with PTSD often have higher levels of proinflammatory markers. At the same time, inflammation may worsen PTSD symptoms. With its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis may help aid in PTSD treatment by reducing inflammation in the body.


Weed for PTSD


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

If you live in Florida and want to try cannabis to manage your PTSD symptoms, your first step is to find out if you qualify for an FL medical card. It all starts with an appointment with a marijuana doctor.

At Green Health Docs, you can schedule a consultation online or by phone. We even offer same-day appointments. Following a brief evaluation, your physician will let you know if you qualify for a medical card. If you do, they’ll enter you into the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry. You’ll then receive an email to apply for your Registry card.

Are you ready to learn if you qualify for a medical card for PTSD in Florida? 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.