Many countries and US states are legalizing cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use. If you’re wondering what the difference between recreational vs. medical cannabis… the biggest difference is ultimately the needs of the user.
When talking about medical marijuana, it’s about using the whole plant or the cannabinoids within it to alleviate or help improve symptoms of certain medical issues such as epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer.
On the other hand, recreational marijuana is used for reasons that are not medical. Recreational users use marijuana for personal pleasure and enjoyment, or to relieve stress and anxiety. Although recreational users may also seek the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, they don’t require it in the same sense as medical users.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Recreational marijuana usually has more THC content than medical cannabis. Those who use cannabis for recreational purposes usually seek the ‘high’ that comes with smoking cannabis. This is why you’ll find that recreational strains tend to have a higher THC content compared to medical strains. But that’s not to say recreational users don’t love CBD.
Medical cannabis contains a higher Cannabidiol or CBD content than the recreational type. This compound found in the cannabis plant doesn’t make you ‘high’. CBD is popular for relieving pain and easing symptoms from various medical conditions. CBD is also scientifically proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. It can also produce a calming effect that can balance the anxiety-inducing effects of THC.
Today, fourteen states have legalized cannabis for recreational use with sixteen states decriminalizing the substance. The public understanding of cannabis has led to a decrease in the stigma associated with it, especially around medical usage. However, it’s important to know the rules surrounding cannabis for specific states as cannabis is fully illegal in some states such as Alabama and Kansas. Getting caught with cannabis in these states can come with hefty fines and even jail time.
To obtain medical marijuana, you must obtain a recommendation from your doctor. The doctor must determine if you have a qualifying condition to access medical marijuana. This recommendation must be renewed regularly and you must be 18 to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary. In some cases, legal access is granted for minors who suffer from chronic illness. Patients may also be allowed to grow their own cannabis plants.
Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis for some adults. Today recreational cannabis is legal in several states including Alaska, Arizona, and Maine. In the states where it is legal, you need to be over 21 to purchase recreational cannabis from dispensaries. Recreational users, (depending on where you live) can also choose to grow their own cannabis plant. However, the allowed scale of crops is much smaller than those of medical users.
When it comes to the price difference between medical and recreational cannabis, many factors come into play. Although In most cases, medical marijuana users will pay less than their recreational counterparts.
Medical cannabis is usually priced and taxed lower than the recreational kind. Because medical cannabis is not assisted or covered by most insurance companies, legal states keep taxes low to ensure it’s accessibility to those who need it. Additionally, medical cannabis doesn’t experience the same retail markup as the recreational kind. Cannabis sold for recreational use is subject to price fluctuations depending on market conditions and supply.
When talking about quality, it’s all about where you’re getting your weed from. You can find both quality recreational and medical cannabis from reputable dispensaries or growers.
Medical and recreational cannabis undergo the same growing process, the differences are in its cultivation and production. Medical cannabis undergoes a strict and controlled process before it’s available to patients and is usually grown indoors.
Recreational cannabis can be grown indoors and outdoors, however, the environment is less controlled and monitored. Additionally, some recreational plants might have higher levels of pesticides, as it is not strictly regulated like medical cannabis. This is not to say recreational cannabis isn’t safe, you just need to get your weed from a reputable and trustworthy source.
There are a variety of products emerging from the cannabis industry, both medical and recreational. From topicals, oils, candies, and beverages. There are so many new options for users to consume cannabis without actually smoking it.
One thing about the medical cannabis industry is that it offers a wider scope of products because many of those who use medical marijuana usually opt for smoking alternatives. Alternatives include tinctures, capsules, topicals, and food products. Medical products also have higher concentrations of CBD because of their pain-relieving effects.
Although many recreational users enjoy the ‘high’ they get from cannabis, they also realize the benefits of products with higher CBD levels. Many recreational users turn to cannabis to ease symptoms of anxiety or depression and seek products with CBD to offset the psychoactive effects of THC, which can be known to induce symptoms of anxiety.
Cannabis overall can produce feelings of calm and ease, so no wonder why those who have trouble relaxing turn to the plant to alleviate their symptoms. As recreational cannabis usage becomes less stigmatized, the scope of products offered for recreational is also broadening. It won’t be long from now until we start seeing an influx of new and innovative products hit the shelves at our local dispensaries.
Despite slight differences, there is a tremendous overlap between recreational and medicinal cannabis. The biggest one being that we all love the plant, whether it’s for therapeutic or euphoric effects - or even both! Make sure to check out our latest deals on BOTH medical and recreational marijuana in a variety of product types. Here at Cannasaver, we always have the right kind of deals for you.