Nearly 100,000 New Jersey residents participate in the state’s medical marijuana program, finding relief from chronic pain and other symptoms for a wide range of chronic health issues.
You might think that because recreational marijuana use is legal in the state, that it's easier to get a prescription, too. But that’s not the case.
Like other states that allow medicinal use of marijuana, New Jersey has specific criteria and restrictions regarding prescription cannabis. Understanding what those criteria are can help you decide if you want to pursue medical marijuana as part of your therapy plan.
At Orange Orthopaedic Associates in Orange and Bayonne, New Jersey, James M. Lee Jr., MD, offers evaluations for medical marijuana for qualified patients.
In this post, learn what conditions meet the state's medical marijuana criteria and what else you should think about when considering prescription cannabis.
Medical marijuana has shown considerable promise and clinically proven benefits for many chronic and debilitating medical conditions, but it’s not approved for all issues. Currently, New Jersey approves medical marijuana for the following medical issues:
- Chronic pain
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Multiple sclerosis
- HIV and AIDS
- Anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Muscular spasticity
- Dysmenorrhea (very painful periods)
- Tourette syndrome
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Terminal illness with prognosis of less than 12 months
Marijuana may also be prescribed for opioid use disorder, helping patients overcome opioid addiction without potentially harmful side effects.
Before prescribing medical marijuana, Dr. Lee reviews your medical history and performs a thorough physical exam. You may also need additional testing to confirm a diagnosis.
Note that this list may be updated periodically, based on evolving medical research. You can keep track of any changes by visiting the state’s medical cannabis program website.
It might be obvious, but you need to be a New Jersey resident to qualify for the state medical marijuana program. In addition, medical marijuana can only be prescribed by medical practitioners, like Dr. Lee, who are licensed to prescribe cannabis, and you must have a history of visits and evaluations with the provider.
Medical marijuana can affect your mood. In fact, certain strains of medical marijuana may also help reduce anxiety and depression, which often occur along with chronic pain. While that’s a good thing, it’s still important to understand these effects so you know what to expect.
Finally, although marijuana is widely used, there’s still some stigma attached to it. And if you travel internationally, you should know that some countries still consider marijuana illegal, regardless of whether you have a medical prescription, which means you could risk being arrested and jailed.
Learn more about medical marijuana
Medical marijuana can be a godsend for people with specific medical problems, particularly issues involving debilitating pain or other chronic symptoms. To find out if you qualify or if it’s a good choice for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Lee at Orange Orthopaedic Associates today.