The Compassionate Care Act was enacted by New York State in 2014. The act enabled individuals who met specific criteria to get cannabis through the New York State Medical Marijuana Program. Individuals diagnosed with qualifying conditions were eligible to use cannabis. It’s worth noting that cannabis flowers and edibles are currently excluded from the list of available options, though this could potentially change in the future with more extensive cannabis legislation. For now, let’s explore the legal types of cannabis that patients can access and understand their functioning.
What types of cannabis are available to patients in the state of New York?
1. Concentrates and oils
Concentrates and oils can be utilized in a vaporizer or inhaler. In such cases, the cannabis is heated to release the cannabinoids without subjecting the user to the detrimental byproducts of smoking. Vaporizing initiates its effects within a short span of 90 seconds. This makes it helpful for swift relief from conditions like headaches, migraines, and sleep-related issues.
2. Oral and sublingual liquids
Alcohol-based infusions, such as oral and sublingual drops or tinctures, are used for their medicinal effects. The onset of action for sublingual drops can vary since there is a chance that they may not absorb in the mouth and instead be swallowed. If proper absorption occurs in the mouth, the effects can be experienced within 5 minutes. But, if some of the drops are swallowed, they will be processed through the digestive system.
This resulted in a longer onset time of 15-45 minutes, with potential peaks around 90 minutes and lasting for several hours, depending on the dosage. The high alcohol concentration in these products enhances the effects of cannabis or CBD. This speeds up the absorption of their compounds into the body. This method is suitable for reducing headaches, symptoms associated with cancer, and chronic pain. It is advisable to consult with a doctor regarding absorption rates when choosing a sublingual option.
The potency and types of capsules differ based on the manufacturer. Certain doctors may favor capsules over other formats due to their precise dosing. Since capsules are metabolized by the liver, their effects may take up to three hours to start and can endure for an extended period.
Topicals refer to creams, lotions, balms, or oils that are infused and intended for skin application. The time it takes to experience their effects can vary depending on the strength and quantity used. But it can be felt within approximately thirty minutes. Unlike transdermal patches, which can enter the bloodstream and cause a psychoactive sensation, topical treatments do not produce a “high” because they do not enter the bloodstream. This makes them an excellent choice for addressing localized pain, stiffness, and discomfort.
5. Solid and semi-solid products
This group of cannabis products is relatively recent and not yet fully explored. These particular products don’t fall into the edible category but consist of chewable and fizzy tablets as well as lozenges. Usually, when cannabis is consumed orally, it needs to go through the liver, which can take more than an hour to digest. However, if most of the tablet is absorbed in the mouth rather than being swallowed, it should take a similar amount of time as a sublingual application.
Is New York on the cusp of more changes to its cannabis policy?
A recently introduced bill has been approved by the Committee, enabling patients to consume cannabis flowers and edibles. The legislation also suggests significant modifications to the existing law, such as utilizing taxes to support individuals impacted by the war on drugs and expunging the records of those charged with possession.
Despite the State of New York maintaining the illegality of consuming cannabis flowers, the NYPD has declared that individuals caught smoking cannabis in public will not be arrested but may receive a citation.
Where can I buy cannabis products in New York?
In New York, you can purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries. These dispensaries are authorized to sell cannabis for both medical and recreational use.