What Exactly is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana, sometimes called medical cannabis, is an alternative treatment method for various qualifying medical conditions. This strain of marijuana is carefully grown and cultivated for medical purposes only. Basically, your medical marijuana-related product has two primary active compounds, which are delta-0 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC, in most cases, is the active compound that makes people feel “high.” The THC content is explicitly made low enough to possibly treat the conditions listed by your state’s medical marijuana program. On the other hand, CBD can reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation, slow tumor growth, relax tight muscles, or stimulate appetite. There is very limited research on the benefits of medical marijuana.

What are the New York State Qualifying Conditions?

In New York State, the qualifying conditions are:

  • Cancer
  • HIV Infection or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal Cord Injury with Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Chronic Pain (as defined by 10 NYCRR 1104.2(a)(8)(xii))
  • Pain that degrades health and functional capability as an alternative to opioid use of substance use disorder

The severe debilitating or life-threatening condition must also be accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms, PTSD or opioid use disorder.

Is Medical Marijuana Safe for Me?

Medical marijuana is a relatively new treatment method, so further study is needed to prove that medical marijuana is safe for most people. Just like any other prescription drug, you may experience one or more of the following side effects while using medical marijuana:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired concentration and memory
  • Slower reaction times
  • Negative drug-to-drug interactions
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Increased appetite
  • Potential for addiction
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome
  • Hallucinations or mental illness
  • Withdrawal symptoms

What Are Some Medical Marijuana Products?

By smoking, inhaling through a vaporizer, eating, lotion, or applying a few drops under your tongue, medical marijuana can be taken through a variety of different forms. Depending on the product you purchase, may impact the time it takes to effect your body. For example, if you smoke medical marijuana, it may take effect quicker than eating a gummy. It is entirely up to you how you take medical marijuana, but consulting your medical marijuana dispensary pharmacist can guide you in the right direction.

Where can I Obtain Medical Marijuana, Once Qualified?

If you are qualified by a NYS-approved medical practitioner to purchase medical marijuana products in NY, you are able to visit any NYS-approved medical marijuana dispensary. Each dispensary can carry different medical marijuana products also at different prices. Picking which dispensary is right for you comes down to which is the closest for the best value of your money. Remember that marijuana is still federally illegal, so you are not allowed to carry your medical marijuana outside of New York; even in states where marijuana is completely legal for both recreational and medical purposes.

Does Cross Valley Health & Medicine Issue Certifications?

Yes! Cross Valley Health & Medicine is proud to have two licensed practitioners, Paul Saladino, MD and Christian Plaza, who are eager to schedule a virtual consult to see if you qualify for their medical marijuana program. If you would like to learn more about our medical marijuana program, click here to be directed to the practice’s medical marijuana program page.

Cross Valley Health & Medicine is a primary care practice located in Newburgh, NY, allowing for both virtual and in-person appointments. The practice has two medical providers on staff, a medical doctor who is dual board-certified in Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine and a family nurse practitioner. Both providers are eager to see new patients for the following programs: Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health Management, HIV/AIDS Care Management, Internal Medicine, Medical Marijuana Certifications, Medication-Assisted Treatment, STDI/STI Care Management, and Weight Loss Management. If you are interested in becoming a patient of Cross Valley, please click here to access our online paperwork portal.