Cannabis is a state-legal alternative to prescription medication. Licensed physicians are permitted to evaluate and recommend Medical Marijuana, also known as MMJ, to qualifying patients suffering from a debilitating condition.
Marijuana is known by many names; the most common is cannabis. This is the Latin name used most often by botanists and pharmaceutical companies. The word marijuana usually refers to the leaves and female flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are substances in cannabis that act on cells in the body (called cannabinoid receptors) to cause some effect. Two major ingredients include:
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, causes the psychoactive effects of "getting high."
Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not cause psychoactive effects but has shown some positive effects on certain body systems and may potentially affect seizures.
The cannabis genus is classified into two major subspecies, commonly known as sativa and indica. The sativa variety produces an uplifting, cerebral, and energetic effect, whereas the indica variety produces a calming, full-body, sedative effect.
New York legalized medical marijuana in 2014 when Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act. Under New York’s new medical marijuana law, a patient who has been certified by a healthcare provider to use medical marijuana will register with the New York State Department of Health and receive a patient identification card. Specially approved organizations — such as hospitals or community health centers — will dispense the medical marijuana to registered patients, under Department of Health supervision.