Hey, man, everything is kosher, and for those who are looking to partake in New York, the world’s first certified kosher pot is now available. Now before you picture a group of rabbis sitting in a circle with Cheech and Chong, understand that this is not at all the case.
Vireo Health of New York will be one of five companies who are permitted to grow marijuana, then receive certification from the Orthodox Union — one of the largest and oldest Jewish organizations within the US. It is their hope that in doing so, the stigma will be lifted regarding those who require medical cannabis for health reasons.
This certification is sending a clear message to people from all backgrounds — if you require medical marijuana, you should not be ashamed or feel guilty about seeking this alternative treatment. Since kosher certification is generally used for dairy and animal products, applying it to marijuana is fairly unique. That being said, Judaism strongly believes in the use of medicine that will potentially improve one’s health and reduce pain levels.
Under New York State law, marijuana cannot be sold as is — it must be combined with additional products. Hence, it will be sold in the form of capsules, oils, tinctures and vaporization cartridges. Of course, the product in its entirety must be kosher to allow the Jewish American population to utilize cannabis when in need.
After examining the process itself, as well as the final products, a rabbinical group has now confirmed the products as kosher. However, although they are now approved, packaged and ready to sell, buying pot will not be as simple as buying a bottle of wine. Strict laws are in place, requiring patients to gain approval from their doctor.
As you can imagine, those with serious conditions, such as HIV and Parkinson’s, are looking for some compassion and relief. Once a physician recommends their patient under the New York State Medical Marijuana Program, they will receive an identification card, making them eligible to purchase the cannabis products of their choice.
Unfortunately, these products will not be covered as a prescription drug, meaning patients will need to pony up their own dough. Although pricing has not yet been set, the proven effectiveness of these products will likely make them well worth their weight in gold for many individuals who seek comfort and relief.
How Does Cannabis Help?
Depending on the condition from which you suffer, medical marijuana has been shown to significantly reduce pain, increase appetite in cancer patients and even help reduce the severity of seizures. For those who experience chronic pain, cannabis can offer significant relief.
So are these kosher certified products a step in the right direction? For many seeking this type of treatment — those suffering from multiple sclerosis or AIDS, for example — medical marijuana is a more natural solution than the harsh and highly addictive drugs typically used in those cases.
For the millions of Americans currently suffering from cancer, chemotherapy treatments can be extremely damaging. The THC in marijuana has been shown to improve one’s desire to eat solid foods and thus maintain a stable weight. Certain varieties of marijuana are also likely to reduce inflammation, anxiety, muscle spasms and cases of insomnia.
Although there’s some conflicting research out there, the proof is in the pudding. There has been immense positive feedback, especially amongst patients throughout the United States. For them, it’s a way to find significant relief without the side effects of typical pharmaceuticals.
With this new certification, these tightly controlled products will provide a new option for those who require relief, opening the door for Jewish Americans to access medical marijuana. As we move away from a negative stigma, these patients will feel more at ease about their decisions to try a more natural method.
Krista Hillis is passionate about nutrition, mental health, and sustainable practices. She has her Bachelors in Psychology and Neuroscience and is still active in her research. Studying both the body and mind, she focuses on natural health and balance. Krista enjoys writing based on her ability to inspire others and increase overall awareness.