• Sickle Cell NEFL

Doctor's Diguest - Cannabis & Sickle Cell Disease

February 27, 2019

Dr. C.B. McIntosh

C.B. McIntosh, M.D. Medical Director, SCDA NFC


This first series of blogs is intended to give the reader

A fact based view of pain cannabinol management for SCD.

On a hot 1945 August night at Sheppard AFB, Texas  I got out of my barrack bunk to get some fresh air on the stair landing. It wasn’t long before I whiffed a strange pungent odor coming from a smoker on the landing below – my first encounter with marijuana (weed, reefer, pot). Seven years later, in a PHARMACOLOGY class studying cannabis, this odor was confirmed. The fragrance is so repulsive (to me) that I leave any space I can detect it.

Seventy four years have passed, people have changed. This flowering sativa cannabis plant has been there for pleasure highs and mood changing, illegally in the U.S. Its users have been multiplying increasingly with public opinion gaining momentum to legalize it. The FDA refuses to do so - with good reason - but thirty-three states have passed “Medical Marijuana” laws allowing physicians’ prescriptions for painful illnesses. For some reason Florida labels sickle cell disease in ten secondary illness for pain after twenty other diseases.

Who in the Department of Health is responsible for establishing criteria for Florida’s health policy? We need to find out. Do the state’s guardians of health not know that –aside from malignant tumors – SCD is the godfather of chronic pain? We need to correct this listing in an official complaint from our SCD state organization.

I have always known through contacts with other physicians treating SCD that their patients smoked hemp or potwith noticeable pain relief – reducing use of non-prescription pain drugs (79%) or making them work better through lessening anxiety. Aside from making narcotics less necessary, people actually felt better even though cannabis is effectively a weak pain stopper when compared to similar drugs.

What’s out there in the cloud can be confusing to patients (please visit the web sites) and I will attempt to make sense of it all in future issues of . . . . We will cover the ins-and-outs of decision making in your MM pain management efforts, and if you have started your journey, how to make the best of it.

Northeast Florida Chapter, Sickle Cell Disease Association is the official medical advisor for sickle cell patients in Northeast Florida.

For more information contact our program coordinator.

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