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Medical vs Recreational Weed

Medical vs Recreational Weed
Posted by CANNASaver on Tuesday, 06 December 2022 in Canna Blog

Even if you’re new to cannabis culture, you likely know about the two kinds of legal weed.

That would be, of course, medical and recreational weed. The latter is also known as ‘adult use’

But what’s in a name? Is there any real difference between medical vs recreational weed? And if so, what are they?

How does pricing differ between prescribed and casual-use pot products? We’ll explain how pricing works around the country.

And is the quality the same? The answer to that question may surprise you.

What specifically makes medical weed medical? And is recreational ganja any good? Inquiring minds likely want to know.

And, because it’s what we do, we’ll clue you in on how to get some great cannabis deals. Because whatever kind of bud you buy, saving some money is never a bad thing.

Okay, let’s start with why there are two options for buying bud.

medical weed

Medical Marijuana vs Recreational – What’s the Difference? 

Some provisioning places sell both kinds of weed. You will notice that those retailers keep them carefully separated. One side of the store will be dedicated to patients, and the other to casual shoppers.

Why must we distinguish adult use toking from therapeutic smoking? The reason is largely legal.

Not all states allow casual consumption. So, medical is the only option in some areas. Places that now allow both started with patient use first before expanding access.

Age limits also vary between the two categories of ganja. Medical is allowable for qualified individuals starting at age 18. Sometimes younger patients can get exceptions, but it varies from state to state. Recreationally, the age restriction is likely 21 and up.

The law also usually sets different limits for each kind of cannabis. In most cases, cannabis med card holders can buy and possess more marijuana.

Here are some examples of possession restrictions:


  • Med cardholders: can have up to eight ounces of dried marijuana, and eight grams of wax; and grow up to six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants
  • Adults over 21: can possess an ounce of dried marijuana or eight grams of concentrate, and can grow up to six plants for personal use


  • Pot patients: two ounces of flower or concentrated cannabis is allowable; and up to six  plants
  • Adult users: okayed for an ounce of flower, eight grams of concentrates, or 800mg of edibles; can grow up to 6 cannabis plants at home


  • Qualified patients – dry herb, edibles, and concentrates cannot exceed 500mg of total THC; plant ownership can be up to five
  • Every other adult – again, 500 milligrams of THC is the cutoff for flower, concentrates, and edibles; only med cardholders can own or grow plants

So, you have an idea of how medical and recreational can differ.

State laws also vary, so it’s best to do your research.

Also, some states do allow visitors to buy buds and other weed products with proper ID. Check carefully if you’re traveling and decide you might want to dispensary shop.

Now, is there a difference in cost?

prescription weed

Medical vs Recreational Weed: Pricing

Taxes are a big factor in the amount you spend on weed. Yes, sometimes there are some base price variances. However, taxation is the main way states differentiate between types of weed sales.

Here’s a sampling:

So, in the Mitten State, a cardholder could get a $200 top-shelf ounce. A non-patient would pay $220 for the same. Prices, by the way, are examples only, and not quotes.

Coloradans would pay $30 more an ounce without doctor certification.

Every state has its own rules regarding taxation. So, you’d have to check with local laws to be sure.

The only other thing to think about is the cost of applying for a med card. You may want to research fees in your area. 

The question to ask is: Do certification costs outweigh discounts for prescription pot?

For those who require a lot of marijuana to treat chronic conditions, probably not. In that instance, getting a card will save them dough in the long run.

If recreational is more expensive, then is it better? Or is medical vastly superior because of its prescription strength?

Medical vs Recreational Weed: Quality 

Is recreational weed top shelf and good quality? Yes. Is prescribed pot more potent? Sometimes.

For example, in Michigan, edibles can have up to 50mg per serving. Adult use weedy treats are limited to no more than 10mg per serving.

In Colorado, both kinds of bud consumers can have the same potency of flower. Yet when it comes to edibles, those using them medically get more. 

420-friendly foodstuffs are restricted to 100mg THC per package for unlicensed tokers. But edibles for those qualified for medicinal weed can contain as much as 500mg THC per pack.

In some cases, there may be less THC but more CBD in pot for patients. But in many areas, there is no potency difference - just variances in cost and quantity.

Okay, we’ve covered the law, pricing, and quality. Seems like there’s only one thing left. How can you save some cash on your cannabis shopping?

medical marijuana sign

How to Find Medical and Recreational Weed Deals

Cannasaver can set you up with the best bud bargains for whichever kind of weed you are after!

It’s easy to find what you need by using the handy search box in the upper right corner. Simply type the search term into the white rectangle and the results will appear below. There’s even a map icon to click to set your geographic location. 

Next to the keyword search are drop-down menus. These offer categories like “Ounce Deals,” “Med Deals,” and “Rec Deals.” Either of the last two highlights specials for either category of cannabis consumption. 

Now, here are some awesome weed deals to get you going:

5 - 1 Gram Pre-rolled Joints for $35 | Breckenridge | Organix

Spend $50, Save $10 | Golden | Kiody Kratom

Medical - $20 OTD Shake OZs | Denver | Trenchtown Cannabis

MEDICAL EPC Lbs of EZ BAKED Start at $400 (Includes tax) | Denver

Last modified on Friday, 06 January 2023
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