Treating Insomnia with the New York State Medical Marijuana Program

New York State Medical Marijuana Program

Good sleep is a luxury. After a stressful day, getting a shut-eye almost takes forever. According to a study, 50-70 million U.S. adults suffer from symptoms related to sleeping disorders. That could be because of our work culture or lifestyle. But this data shows that we need to put our undivided attention in trying to find a solution to curb this condition.

This has given rise to a controversial cure – cannabis. While the research in this field is quite young but there has been conclusive data to understand the benefits that cannabis provides. And one of them is curing insomnia. Cannabis has shown promising results in improving people’s natural sleep cycle and helps reduce symptoms leading to insomnia.

So, should you choose medical marijuana for your treatment?

I am not that big a fan of medical marijuana, but I am definitely a fan of sleep. And if it does help me get a good night’s rest, why not? Enroll yourself in the New York state medical marijuana program and get started with the treatment.

Insomnia and Marijuana

Do you know that cannabis has been used as a sleep aid for centuries? Contemporary research has revealed that people have known about the benefits of cannabis since ancient times.

It is an exciting time for marijuana enthusiasts. With more and more studies proving the herb’s medicinal prowess and several states considering to legalize medical as well as recreational marijuana. And when it comes to insomnia, marijuana could be the medication you are looking for. We often associate words like ‘drowsy’ and ‘sleepy’ with marijuana, that is because of the effects it provides.

Treating Insomnia with the New York State Medical Marijuana Program

Marijuana has a number of cannabinoids, the two most significant are:

CBD (Cannabidiol): This compound is non-psychoactive and has a number of health benefits. It is not responsible for the “high.”

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): It is a psychoactive compound and responsible for the “high.”

According to a study published in Freiburg University Medical Center, consuming cannabis strains with high levels of THC can help reduce REM sleep. This means it will help you reduce dreams and when a person is suffering from a condition like PTSD, it could help in reducing nightmares.

Medical Marijuana Strains

There are two most common types of strains – Indica and Sativa. Then there are hybrids which are basically the combination of the two. Indica strains are commonly used to help patients suffering from sleeping disorders. They promote sleep and are considered to be relaxing. On the other hand, Sativa is more energy influencing strain.

So, which strains will help manage insomnia?

Purple Kush

This almost pure indica is a cross between the Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. Its composition is staggering 99% indica and 1% sativa. With all its medicinal benefits, Purple Kush possesses beautiful eloquence and striking features that will be a treat to your eyes. The strain is a powerhouse. With 18-25% THC, the strain sure packs a punch.

Purple Kush is famous for its aesthetic appeal. And not just that, it seems to be a perfect combination of aroma, taste, and appearance; satisfying all the senses. Open the jar and you will be overwhelmed with a sweet reminiscence of your favorite grape candy.

The strain is beneficial for a wide range of conditions and symptoms including nausea, lack of appetite, and insomnia. Unlike other medications, it is not addictive and causes no serious side effects. Purple Kush could just be the right strain for you.

Tahoe OG Kush

Another member of the Kush family, the strain is famous for its analgesic properties. It is a cross of SFV OG Kush and OG Kush with Afghani. If you are a beginner, you may give a thought or two before trying this strain because it packs quite a punch. With minimal CBD and THC ranging around 25%, be prepared for psychoactive effect.

It is one of the strongest in its Kush family. The high of the herb will make you feel right at home. Tahoe OG Kush is very relaxing and makes you feel like you are wrapped in a comfortable warm blanket. It is a perfect strain to consume after a stressful day. It will give you that relaxing euphoria which will tuck you in the bed for a good night’s sleep.

Northern Lights

Welcome the legendary strains. It is one of the most popular medical marijuana strains in the world. This indica dominant strain is a cross between Afghani Indica and Thai Sativa. The strain has been used as a sleeping aid since the 80s. Although it doesn’t carry high levels of THC when compared to others in this list, Northern Lights is one of the most effective strains to manage insomnia.

Northern Lights provides a cerebral high which melts away your anxiety and stress. And you know how much these two keep fight to keep you up at night. The potent high comforts you and helps you find that perfect spot on the bed for a sleep to savor.

God’s Gift

Let me welcome the most hard-hitting strain on this list. If you are a beginner then you probably should not try this. Start with something mild and then climb the ladder. This indica dominant strain is a cross between Granddaddy Purple and OG Kush. Although not sure, but it is believed to be bred in California.

Be warned! Try this strain only before bedtime. THC levels reach around 27% which could be hard to handle even for users with high tolerance. The strain provides a full-body high which will make you feel so relaxed that it gets almost impossible to move. More importantly, the strain can help you sleep. It is an ideal strain to consume after a hard day at work.

Conclusion

The New York state medical marijuana program allows a person to use the herb for medicinal use. Although remember the state only allows smoke-free methods of consumption. So, you won’t be able to smoke your favorite strains but can buy tinctures and use it to manage your condition.

Learn Medical Marijuana Laws & Legalization in New York

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in New York?

Yes! Medical marijuana is legal in New York since 2014 when the Compassionate Care Act was signed. To access marijuana from medical dispensaries, patients & caregivers need to have valid registry ID cards. Registered users are allowed to hold up to a 30-day supply of cannabis products.

In New York, The Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) is responsible for the registry and certification of patients and caregivers statewide. The adult-use marijuana is illegal in the state.

Let’s learn about medical marijuana laws, MMJ registry program, qualifying conditions, and more.

History of Medical Marijuana Legalization in NY

New York started limiting the legal use of marijuana in 1914, restricting it for medical use. Then in 1927, the state banned it totally.

There has been a lot of debates on the legalization of marijuana, but the New York State Legislature was not able to make a decision. However, on July 29, 2019, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the decriminalization bill into law. It came into effect after a month. It increased the amount of cannabis users can possess without getting booked with a criminal charge. This states—if you possess 2 ounces of cannabis products, it will be considered as a violation, but not a crime.

Prior to this, the fine for getting caught with 1 ounce of marijuana was $100. But, now, the fine is $50 for less than 1 ounce and $100 for quantities between 1 to 2 ounces.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York?

Medical users who want to get legal access to marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries need to register for ID cards with the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP).

For registration, users need to talk to a medical marijuana doctor registered with the Department of Health. In the state, there’re about 1700 registered practitioners. The state has added nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the list of health professionals who are authorized to certify patients. Practitioners need to complete an education course approved by the Department of Health and register with the Health Commerce System.

To be medical users, patients must be the residents of New York or must be temporarily residing for medical treatment. Additionally, they must suffer from one of the MMJ qualifying conditions listed below-

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain that meets legal definitions, such as pain that lasts three months or more
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Opioid use or substance use disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pain that degrades health and functional capability
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • A severe, debilitating, or life-threatening condition accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions:
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Seizures

The doctor will comprehensively check your condition to evaluate if you’re eligible to access marijuana for medical purposes. They may ask you for medical history for verification purposes.

Buying Marijuana Products

In New York, as of June 2019, 10 state-regulated organizations are running 35 dispensaries. Patients and caregivers need to bring their ID cards for buying marijuana products from these dispensaries. However, some organizations also offer online ordering facility.

Medical marijuana is available in various non-smokable forms—capsules, oils, spray, liquids, and vaporizer products. The current law prohibits edibles. However, you can buy CBD-infused beverages and foods. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which doesn’t cause any high effects.

The prices for marijuana products may vary from dispensary to dispensary. However, the Department of Health checks dispensary reports and decides the maximum price-per-milligram dose based on various factors. These are costs of manufacturers, market, etc.

Possession of Marijuana Products

In New York, patients can hold up to a 30-day supply of marijuana products. The state allows only registered users and caregivers with valid ID cards to possess cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries.

In places where smoking tobacco is prohibited, smoking or vaping approved medical marijuana products is illegal. Users can’t smoke cannabis within 100 feet/30 ½ meters of public/private school grounds. Moreover, users can’t use marijuana in motor vehicles on public/private roads or parking spaces.

What about transporting marijuana outside the state? As per New York regulations, it’s not allowed.

Additionally, the state doesn’t offer reciprocity, which means, MMJ cards issued by other states aren’t accepted.

Regulations For Caregivers

Caregivers provide the required support to patients to help them in managing their conditions. In New York, certified patients can designate caregivers. One patient can use services of up to 2 caregivers. However, as of December 2017, patients can designate certain facilities as caregivers.

Caregivers are also required to apply for the same process as patients for identification purposes. Once registered, a caregiver can provide services up to 5 patients in administrating medical marijuana treatment. It’s necessary to note that cannabis should be in proper consumption forms and dosages for patients.

Marijuana Cultivation at Home

Several marijuana legalized states allow cultivation of cannabis plants at home for personal use. But, in New York, patients aren’t allowed to do so.

Testing of Marijuana Products

All marijuana products should be tested by a laboratory approved by the Environmental Laboratory Approval Program of the Department of Health. The testing process should check cannabinoid profile and other contaminants listed below-

  • Aflatoxin
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Aspergillus
  • Bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Escherichia coli (e. coli)
  • Growth regulators used during production
  • Klebsiella
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Mucor species
  • Nickel
  • Ochratoxin
  • Penicillium species
  • Pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides used during production
  • Pseudomonas, for products to be vaporized
  • Salmonella
  • Streptococcus
  • Thermophilic Actinomycetes species
  • Zinc
  • Any other substance as required by the Commissioner of Health

Covering it up—hope you get the answer for is medical marijuana legal in New York? The state allows NY residents and those residing temporarily for treatment to access marijuana for medical use from state-licensed dispensaries. 

Patients and caregivers need to register for ID cards with the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). They can possess up to a 30-day supply of marijuana products. In New York, smoking/vaping marijuana is illegal in places where smoking tobacco is prohibited. Additionally, transporting marijuana outside the state, growing cannabis plants at home, and sale or gifting of any amount is illegal.

Talk to a licensed doctor to apply for your medical marijuana card in New York today!