In recent years, it is undeniable that cannabis has become more widely recognized as a naturally beneficial plant. In particular across America, we have seen a massive rise in states legalizing the herb in some form or another, especially over the past 12 months.
Among the 29 states that have legalized medical marijuana, New York has built a reputation for being a fairly “understanding” state when it comes to making cannabis medication accessible to those who need it. The state legalized medical marijuana back in 2014, though the initial application process of obtaining the herb was not “overly convenient,” and was in fact considerably stricter than neighboring states when it came to qualifying conditions.
The past 12 months, however, have been particularly exciting for residents of New York who are backing cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use. With changes seemingly on the horizon, we have put together this article for everything you need to know about CBD oil in New York.
First, though, let’s take a quick look at what CBD actually is for those who are still in the dark.
CBD Oil: What is It?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most sought-after compounds of the cannabis plant, and while it is often confused with marijuana itself, CBD is in fact much different.
Given that the compound comes from low-THC industrial hemp rather than actual marijuana, the non-psychoactive properties of CBD make it particularly appealing to those who require it for medicinal purposes. CBD contains many potential health benefits (as backed by dozens of research publications), and these benefits have been used by thousands of people to treat dozens of different conditions over the years.
Research has suggested that CBD may have the following properties, making it ideal for patients who don’t wish to get high from consumption of high-THC cannabis:
CBD Oil in New York: A Brief History
For New Yorkers, what started off back in 2014 as a pretty restrictive medical marijuana program has evolved to the relatively “friendly” cannabis environment that residents enjoy today. This is of course great news for long-suffering NY residents, as high-quality CBD oil is now easily accessible across the state – even for individuals without a NY medical marijuana card.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that possession of actual marijuana has been decriminalized in New York, as long as the possession amount is 25 g or less. Possession of hemp-based CBD oil, on the other hand, is completely legal, at least according to one New York news outlet.
That being said, the “legal language” of CBD legislation is still unclear in many U.S. states. While recent announcements by the DEA have more or less cleared the use of low-THC (0.3% or less) CBD oil on a federal level, some states are choosing to remain pretty obtuse over the matter, continuing to treat any form of CBD as an “illegal cannabis product.”
Earlier this year in North Carolina, for example, owners of a vape shop were arrested on charges of marijuana possession, simply for selling bottles of CBD oil in their store (though it’s unclear if the charges remained).
Fortunately, New Yorkers do not have to deal with such obtuseness, as the use, possession, and purchase of CBD oil in the state is largely recognized as legal – as long as the product is sourced from a low-THC industrial hemp supply as outlined in the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill.
CBD Oil in New York in 2018
To be clear, it is important to point out the differences between CBD oil in New York that you would buy from a medical dispensary, and CBD oil that you can buy in health food stores, vape shops, etc.
If you have a NY medical marijuana card, you may legally purchase CBD oils (and other CBD products) that have been extracted from actual cannabis strains. This includes high-CBD/low-THC cannabis oils, as well as cannabis oil with a 1:1 CBD-to-THC ratio.
If you DO NOT have a valid New York MMJ card, like we said you will need to purchase CBD oil that has been sourced from legal industrial hemp, rather than cannabis/marijuana strains.
In terms of potency, both hemp CBD oil and cannabis CBD oil can be very effective for a range of conditions and medical ailments, though it’s worth pointing out that hemp CBD oils generally have a larger variance in terms of quality.
The reason for this more or less comes down to the fact that the hemp market is largely unregulated in the US. As such, companies can fairly easily get away with labeling and selling a “hempseed oil” (which contains virtually zero CBD) as an actual “CBD oil.” More often than not, this is unfortunately the case when you buy CBD products from places like health food stores, vape shops, etc.
It’s a confusing concept to wrap your head around, but the key difference between hempseed oils and true CBD hemp oils is that the latter are sourced from the flowers, leaves and stem of the plant — NOT the seeds.
Thus, it is important to really do your research and find a reputable, high-quality CBD oil manufacturer that uses techniques like supercritical CO2 extraction to create the end product. After reading about the “wonderful, healing effects of CBD” many people have excitedly gone out to their local mall or grocery store to try up a bottle, only to be disappointed that it produces little to no therapeutic effects.
It’s certainly possible to find effective, high-quality CBD oil for sale in New York, but like we said you’ve really got to do your homework in order to find a reputable brand. In terms of a decent jumping off point, we recommend taking a look at this 2018 review of the top CBD manufacturers in the country. Most of them sell online and ship legally to New York, but some of them you can find in retail locations throughout the state as well.
CBD Oil in New York: What Conditions Can it Treat?
To be clear, the only medical condition that CBD is currently FDA-approved for is the treatment of Dravet’s Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, which are forms of intractable epilepsy.
There have been dozens of high-profile research publications showing positive effects of CBD on other conditions (including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and chronic pain), but since it is not FDA-approved for these ailments, no one can claim it yet as a “guaranteed” treatment option.
That being said, all licensed New York medical marijuana dispensaries are required by law to carry high-CBD strains, and the current list of medical conditions for MMJ patients in NY is as follows:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Chronic Pain
- Huntington’s Disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord.
Also, as the opioid epidemic shows no signs of letting up across the whole of the US, New York has recently (as of July 2018) added medical cannabis as an opioid replacement to its list of qualified uses, which is another positive turn of events for New Yorkers.
Perhaps the most exciting news of all, however, revolves around the apparent “change of heart” of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who historically has been a marijuana opponent in the state. His stance has altered over the last year or so, and it appears he is now opening up to the idea of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
In a recent 74-page report, the Cuomo administration panel suggested that “legalizing and regulating pot would benefit public health, has the potential to generate ‘substantial’ tax revenue for the state, and would lessen disproportionate effects of incarceration and criminalization on minority communities.”
This report could change the lives of New York residents, in particular those who have been reprimanded for cannabis use in the past.
The report suggested that the following rules should apply if weed becomes legal for recreational use:
- The legal age to buy marijuana should be no lower than 21.
- The state should expunge the criminal records of individuals with marijuana-related offenses.
- The maximum amount that could be purchased in one transaction should be one ounce.
Of course this is early days, but the potential for this to happen seems pretty high, which means we could soon be seeing an increase in legal cannabis sales across New York – and more importantly, a decrease in opioid misuse!
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in New York
Whether you are a backer of cannabis or not, it is difficult to ignore the perceived benefits of CBD oil that so many patients have been claiming over the past 2-3 years. With new and promising reports continuously surfacing in regard to the plant and its cannabinoids, it seems likely that more and more states will adopt a stance similar to that of New York, and make all forms of cannabis more accessible to those who truly need it.
Even for those who do not have a current medical marijuana card in the state, there are plenty of options for finding and purchasing high-quality CBD oil in New York. Take your time to research a quality brand, and as always, feel free to let us know if you have any specific comments, questions, or concerns.