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Alternative Medicine

Medicinal Marijuana in Delaware

Medical Cannabis Options

At the time of this writing, Delaware is one of 37 states and D.C. – more than 75% of the U.S. — where medical marijuana has been legalized.

This sweeping national trend has resulted from proven scientific research. It has been found that cannabis (marijuana and hemp) can help people suffering from an extensive list of health issues.

Prior to the legalization of medical marijuana, physicians who are aware of its benefits, such as Delaware’s Doctor Fabricio Alarcon and others, could not recommend cannabis products to treat conditions such as PTSD, chronic pain, cancer and its treatment side effects, or any of many conditions. Instead, they were limitedto prescribing medications sold in pharmacies.

medical cannabis treatment

Why has medical marijuana been legalized across the country despite federal laws criminalizing its use and distribution? States are pushing back against the federal government for an undeniable reason: it works. For decades, research scientists have been experimenting with various properties of cannabis. Many have concluded that clear benefits can be derived.

For example, for those with an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), “cannabis products made from marijuana and hemp can “ease opioid withdrawal symptoms …, ameliorate opioid cravings, prevent opioid relapse, improve OUD treatment retention, and reduce overdose deaths.”

Wiese B, Wilson-Poe AR (2018) Emerging evidence for cannabis’ role in opioid use disorder, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 3:1, 179–189, DOI: 10.1089/can.2018.0022.

For those suffering from any of many digestive disorders, “Cannabis has broad effects in the digestive system, including increasing appetite, reducing nausea and vomiting, inhibiting acid secretion, relaxing smooth muscle, decreasing pain, decreasing inflammation, and decreasing motility, thereby relieving cramps and diarrhea.”

Zamora-Valdés, Daniel, et al. “The endocannabinoid system in chronic liver disease.” Ann Hepatol 4.4 (2005): 248-254.

Cannabinoids in marijuana have shown some beneficial effects in some cancers. Cannabinoids have been shown to target and affect cancer cells differently than normal, healthy cells. For various cancers, cannabinoids have been shown to affect tumor growth, trigger cell death, prevent the formation of blood vessels that feed the tumor, and affect the risk of metastasis of cancer from one part of the body to another.

Abrams, Donald I., and M. Guzman. “Cannabis in cancer care.” Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 97.6 (2015): 575-586.

In addition, “Cannabinoids have neuroprotective effects, protecting the nerves from acute injuries like head trauma and stroke, and from conditions that cause chronic nerve injury, such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Mechoulam, Raphael, David Panikashvili, and Esther Shohami. “Cannabinoids and brain injury: therapeutic implications.” Trends in molecular medicine 8.2 (2002): 58-61.

Above are just some of the major findings that have supported the passage of medical marijuana laws in so many states across the nation. To give you a better understanding we have an article about why marijuana works for so many illnesses.

Delaware’s Medical Marijuana Program

Thanks to Delaware’s medical marijuana program, enrolled patients in Georgetown, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and throughout the state can now benefit from cannabis, which may have fewer consequential side effects than drug-store pharmaceuticals prescribed for the same condition.

If you suffer from one or more conditions that Delaware has determined can by aided by medical cannabis, Atlantic Family Physicians can help you apply for the program and, if enrolled, be ready and able to treat you. Here are this state’s qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Terminal Illness
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV Positive)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Decompensated Cirrhosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism with aggressive behavior
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Chronic Debilitating Migraine
  • Anxiety (CBD Rich Card Only)
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following;
    1. Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
    2. Severe debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measure for more than three months, or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects.
    3. Intractable Nausea
    4. Seizures
    5. Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis.

In Delaware, you can purchase up to three ounces of marijuana every 14 days – up to six ounces per month. There is no cap, per se, on most CBD products because they typically include little if any THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.

The Office of Medical Marijuana works with product vendors to ensure safe offerings.

For those who have acquired marijuana of dubious origin “on the street,” this program can be a godsend!

But keep in mind that in Delaware, “Marijuana use is not authorized on a school bus, the grounds of any preschool primary or secondary school or any correctional facility to include any health care treatment facility operated by the Department or funded contractually through the Department. Marijuana use is also not authorized in any form of transportation or in any public place.” 

Note: If consuming cannabis with enough delta-9 THC to intoxicate you, don’t drive, operate heavy machinery, or do anything else that can be jeopardized. 

Learn all about the entire Delaware Medical Marijuana Program.

How Do You Know What Type to Buy

Several medical marijuana stores in Sussex County offer an extensive array of products containing THC (the intoxicating component in marijuana), CBD and other plant features, principally cannabinoids and terpenes.

But which currently available marijuana products would be most beneficial? Few local doctors can answer that question. In fact, there exists an enormous gap between locally available medical marijuana and physicians’ knowledge of what products to recommend. As a result, most Delaware doctors are forced to leave patients to their own devices in acquiring medical marijuana or avoid cannabis options entirely.

And while patients can touch base with employees at local medical marijuana facilities, the advice given may not be medically sound for their condition. Or a product is only suggested because the store has an existing supply. Or worse, people are sold products that offer stores the greatest profit potential.

Thus, those shopping for cannabis may wind up spending a great deal of money on products that simply won’t help them.

Dr. Alarcon may be the only local physician who works closely with a local associate who has been certified* as a Medical Cannabis Wellness Advisor. Earning certification requires completion of an in-depth program encompassing a cannabis core curriculum, dosage protocols and methodologies, and CBD essentials and applications.


With this assistance, Dr. Alarcon can direct patients toward products currently available locally that can confidently be recommended. This guidance is roughly akin to a prescription for the most promising and currently available medical marijuana product/s – whether it’s a flower, a vaping cartridge, tincture or edible.  

Further, when a recommended product is not currently in stock, patients can be advised of which particular cannabis components (e.g., cannabinoids and terpenes) to look for throughout the duration of their medical marijuana program participation.

Contact Dr. Alarcon for Your Personalized Medical Marijuana Treatment Plan

As a patient of Dr. Alarcon, you or your loved one can benefit from the insight and expertise he possesses about medical marijuana products available in Sussex County.

Dr. Alarcon is currently accepting new patients. If you believe you qualify for the Delaware medical marijuana program, you are encouraged to contact his office.