Local doctors say although adult recreational use of cannabis is now legal across the state, those who use the substance for medical purposes should continue taking it as prescribed.

Medical use of cannabis has been legal in the state now since 2014. Doctors say the plant can be used to treat chronic pain, conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD and multiple sclerosis, among others.

In Newburgh, Dr. Paul Saladino discussed why it is important.

What You Need To Know

  • New York state legalized the use of cannabis for medical treatment in 2014

  • Physicians who wish to prescribe the plant for treatment must be registered and approved by the state Department of Health

  • Dr. Paul Saladino, owner of Cross Valley Health and Medicine in Newburgh, says recreational cannabis will likely have more THC in it, which can produce a psychoactive result, unlike CBD

"Medicinal use cannabis is primarily CBD-based, versus THC-based. CBD is the active ingredient that’s tweaked, if you will, with medicinal cannabis. Recreational cannabis will likely have more of a THC content," he said.

THC can produce a psychoactive result, unlike the response received after taking CBD. In case you aren’t aware, CBD is a naturally occurring substance that's used in products like oils and edibles to produce a feeling of relaxation and calm.

Saladino says buying the plant outside of a dispensary for medical use should be discouraged.

"When you purchase the flower, it doesn’t just have THC and CBD, it has all 100-plus cannabinoids that are typical for the natural flower. On the medicinal side, the scientists just take the two most active cannabinoids that they believe are medicinally potent, and that’s THC and CBD," he said.

This alteration makes it even more important to follow doctors orders. All patients who consume the plant must be registered and approved by the state Department of Health to do so.

Any doctor who prescribes the plant is approved to do so by the state Health Department and all are registered with their Medical Marijuana Program.