Can I Get A Medical Marijuana Card For Epilepsy In New York?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures or periods of uncontrollable movement. These symptoms are caused by electrical activity in the brain that doesn’t work right.

It is one of the most common neurological conditions, and people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds can get it.

Although epilepsy comes in many forms, the ailment can be controlled and managed with some drugs and treatments, like medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana has gained attention recently as a possible epilepsy treatment, especially for people whose bodies do not react well to conventional drugs.

But is it possible for someone with epilepsy to get a medical marijuana card in New York?

Yes, you can get a medical marijuana card for epilepsy if you are a resident of New York. You can get it from licensed medical marijuana doctors after they assess your medical condition and approve it.

Let’s talk about the different kinds of epilepsy, how medical marijuana can help treat epilepsy, and some important things to remember about medical marijuana and epilepsy.

Different Kinds of Epilepsy

There are numerous kinds of epilepsy, and each has its own signs, causes, and seizures. Here are some of the most common types of epilepsy and the seizures they cause:

Generalized Epilepsy

This type of epilepsy has seizures that impact the whole part of the brain; it involves the left and right sides of the brain.

Subcategories of generalized epilepsy include:

  • Absence seizures (previously identified as petit-mal seizures)
  • Myoclonic seizures
  • Tonic-clonic seizures (previously referred to as grand-mal seizures)

These seizures can be non-motor, characterized by looking up in the air, an unexpected mobility pause, sporadic twitches, and swaying eyelids.

It can also be a motor seizure, known for jerking gestures, sluggishness or weak limbs, stiff or tight muscles, muscle jerking, and overall epileptic contractions.

Partial/Focal Epilepsy

This type of epilepsy is known as seizures that affect one area of the brain; the seizures start on one side of the brain and gradually spread to other parts. An individual with this type of epilepsy may feel both motor and non-motor symptoms as the seizure intensifies. 

Motor symptoms of focal epilepsy include muscles that twitch, jerk, spasm, and repeatedly clap or chew.

On the other hand, hot or cold waves, cold chills, no movement, and alterations in feelings or thoughts are some focal epilepsy non-motor signs. Non-motor signs may not affect movement but lead to disorientation or emotional swings.

Unknown Epilepsy

Unknown epilepsy is the type of epilepsy that occurs in people with both motor and non-motor symptoms and when the doctor is unsure about the etiology of the patient’s seizures.

This type of epilepsy has motor signs and symptoms like stiffness and loss of consciousness; swift and repetitive convulsive movements; a blue face due to oxygen deficiency; and the inability to control one’s bowels and/or bladder.

Unknown epilepsy also has non-motor symptoms such as an abrupt halt to motion, looking at things blankly, and stillness.

Combined Generalized and Focal Epilepsy

Generalized and focal seizures are present in people with combined epilepsy, making them experience the signs that come with generalized and focal epilepsy. 

A change in the SCN1A gene is typically what causes Dravet syndrome, a rare and permanent form of epilepsy. Combined epilepsy is related to Dravet syndrome.

How to Treat Epilepsy Using Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana helps treat epilepsy by regulating the neurotransmitters in the brain. This can make epilepsy less dangerous for the person who has it.

You can treat epilepsy in a variety of ways with medical marijuana. Some people choose to use it as a vaporized extract that they can inhale, while others might like to take it like an oral tincture. 

Others can also decide to take it orally by swallowing a capsule form.

Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana: Important Things to Take into Account

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in marijuana that has been shown to help some people with epilepsy stop having seizures.

There are a few important things to take into account if you intend to use medical marijuana to treat or manage epilepsy.

The first of these factors is to work with a medical marijuana doctor. A healthcare expert can help you choose the dose and administration method that will suit you, track your improvement, and make any required changes as you progress.

Also, go for a reliable medical marijuana brand and buy your cannabis products from a dependable vendor.

Finally, consider the legal standing of cannabis use. Cannabis use is legal in many places, but the rules about it can be hard to understand and vary from one state to the next.

Medical marijuana can be used for medical purposes in New York as long as a doctor writes a prescription for it.

This means that if you want to use medical marijuana to treat your epilepsy, you must get a prescription from a doctor on the list of doctors who can prescribe medical marijuana through the New York State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program.

Complications That Arise from Epilepsy

Epilepsy can be hard to treat and has side effects that may lower a patient’s quality of life. The following are some typical epilepsy health issues:

  • Psychological and cognition problems

Epilepsy might affect a person’s ability to think and behave rationally. Cognitive, attention, and concentration deficits are not rare in some people with epilepsy, whereas anger and impulsivity are common behavioral disorders.

  • Status epilepticus

Status epilepticus is when a person has a long seizure or a series of seizures that they can’t stop. Status epilepticus can be fatal; any epilepsy patient who experiences it needs to treat it very quickly.

  • Emotional and social problems

When someone has epilepsy, it can have a big effect on their social and emotional health. Patients with epilepsy can sometimes feel alone or judged, which can lead to anxiety, sadness, and other mental health problems.


Some people with epilepsy may benefit from medical marijuana as a medication. Use a trustworthy brand of cannabis products and work together with a medical marijuana doctor if you want to use medicinal marijuana to manage epilepsy.

You can get a medical marijuana card in New York once you are authorized to use cannabis products by a licensed medical marijuana doctor.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.