Medicinal Cannabis in New Zealand

What is Medical Marijuana?
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) and (Cannabis indica) are herbs that contain a range of natural medicinal compounds including THC, CBD and many others. Together these compounds are referred to as Cannabinoids. These compounds can be extremely beneficial to people suffering from a wide range of conditions including: Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Hiv & Aids, Kidney Problems, Labor & Menstrual Problems, Migraine, Pain, Stroke, Depression, Insomnia, Anxiety and many others.

When preparations of cannabis are prescribed by an authorized medical professional and sold by a licensed outlet, it is often referred to as "medicinal marijuana". These regulated cannabis products are guaranteed 100% pure and free from contaminants such as mold or adulterants. The outlets that supply medical marijuana enforce a strict R18 policy as well as provide appropriate harm reduction information to patients.

Medical marijuana is available in a growing number of locations throughout the world including the Netherlands and at least twenty five US states such as California.

Medical Marijuana in New Zealand.
Unfortunately at the time of writing this article, medical marijuana use is still prohibited in New Zealand. It is currently prohibited to cultivate, process or supply medical marijuana in New Zealand without a license from the minister of health.

Medical users should still talk with their doctor about medical marijuana. Get the backing of your doctor then write to the minister of health to apply for a medical permit.

The only two Cannabis derived medicines currently legally available to New Zealand patients are hemp seed oil and Savitex®. Cannabis terpenes are also legally available via extraction from other plants. Hemp seed is currently available but only for animal use.

Hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil is 100% legal in New Zealand and can be purchased from our online store. It is available in either liquid or capsule form. Hemp seed oil has a large range of medicinal and health boosting benefits including being one of nature's richest sources of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). This includes the EFAs Omega 6 & Omega 3 in a naturally occurring 3:1 ratio, which is considered an essential part of a balanced diet.

Cannabis Terpenes
Terpenes are the aromatic oils which give Cannabis its delightful aroma. Each terpene has its own medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory effect, mood elevation or relaxation. Fortunately these beneficial terpenes are legal and approved for use in foods, cosmetics and aromatherapy. Products such as  Euphoric Blends™ Citrus Haze™ and Herbal Kicks™ CB2™ e-Liquid have utilized these terpenes in a similar ratio to that found in high grade medical marijuana and hence may offer many of the benefits med users are seeking.

Synthetic Cannabinoids
Synthetic Cannabinoids are man made chemicals which activate the cannabinoid receptors and include JHW-018, HU-210 and AM-2201. These products were fully legal in New Zealand from around 2000 to 2013 before becoming strictly regulated under the PSA and then finally prohibited until proven safe. While synthetic cannabinoids were legal many medicinal users reported finding the products offered many of the same medicinal effects as medical marijuana, however most users claim to prefer organic cannabis due to it being natural, more pleasant and already proven safe through thousands of years of use. Whether the synthetic cannabinoids return or not is anyone's guess. We look forward to stocking future legal psychoactive substances in our smartshop once approved by the MOH.

Sativex®
The only actual Cannabis flower product that is currently prescribed in New Zealand is Sativex®. Sativex® is an oromucosal (mouth) spray containing cannabis extracts that administers a metered, actuated dose. Each 100 microlitre spray contains 2.7 mg delta-9-tetracannabinol (THC) and 2.5 mg cannabidiol (CBD). If you are interested in Sativex consult your doctor. Sativex application forms are available from Medsafe. Unfortunately you will have to fund it yourself.

Bringing a One Month Supply Through New Zealand Customs
There is a legal loophole that allows anyone to bring a one month supply of any medicine prescribed overseas (including medical marijuana) through New Zealand customs and legally use and process here in New Zealand.

Effective Use of Medical Marijuana
When consuming medical marijuana, many users choose to use a vaporizer, as a safer alternative to smoking. Because it is illegal to supply cannabis paraphernalia in New Zealand, our vaporizers are currently not intended for this purpose and sold strictly for use with our legal medicinal herbs.

Eating cannabis eliminates the risks associated with smoking. Unfortunately once cooked or made into any sort of preparation, cannabis becomes a class b as opposed to a class c controlled substance. So while eliminating risks to the lungs cooking increases the risks to ones freedom quite substantially.

Warning
Cannabis is a class c controlled substance in New Zealand. It is illegal to cultivate, possess or supply Cannabis in New Zealand, even if the cannabis is intended for medicinal purposes. This article is intended for informational purposes only. We do not encourage anyone to act in conflict with any law. Always consult your doctor before using medical marijuana or any other medicines.

Further Information
Books: Hemp for health.
Green Cross - Medical cannabis support group of New Zealand incorporated.
NORML NZ - Medical info - The national organization for the reform of marijuana laws in New Zealand.
Medicinal Cannabis leaflet - Download NORML's new leaflet about medicinal cannabis.
MAPS - Medical Marijuana research.
Cannabinoid medicines - International association for cannabinoid medicines.
CMCR - Center for medicinal cannabis research.
Erowid Cannabis vault - Medical use.
Sativex® data sheet (Medsafe).
Medpot - New Zealand medical cannabis info site.
Mullaways Medical Cannabis Pty Ltd (Australia).


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