Recreational VS Medical Marijuana – How to Tell the Difference

Marijuana is now widely used more than ever. Like any user, it would be beneficial to know the difference between recreational and medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana refers to the use and consumption of the unprocessed plant or chemical –namely cannabinoids –  contained in the plant to alleviate symptoms of certain conditions and diseases.

The Marijuana plant is composed of over a hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, each has its own various effects on the body. The two chemicals mainly used in medical marijuana are

  1. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – Is a psychoactive substance of marijuana that produces the high that is usually the hype about recreational marijuana. But nonetheless, it is great for medicinal use as well.
  2. Cannabidiol (CBD) – The compound in Marijuana that doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects and is the compound mainly used in Medical Marijuana.

Medical Marijuana users opt to use strains that have higher CBD content as it has lower psychoactive effects and does not produce a high.

Recreational Marijuana

Recreational marijuana is the marijuana weeds or plants that are used without medical intention. Users of this type of marijuana usually opt for THC-high strains and enjoy the euphoria and bodily effects of the compound.

History of Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana is produced and cultivated from a hemp plant that was used for making ropes back in the earlier centuries. In the modern world, hemp can be found in many forms in health food stores, like hemp oil or hemp seeds. Giving the benefits of rich dietary fiber, protein and minerals source.

Usage of Medical Marijuana dates back generations but continues to battle misinformation and misconceptions about the plant.

The difference of Medical Marijuana to Recreational Marijuana

There are a lot of differences and similarities between the two types of Marijuana. The differences mainly lie in the following:

  • Medical Marijuana contains higher CBD content and lowers THC content than Recreational content. Taking medical marijuana compared to recreational marijuana won’t give the user a ‘high’ that are associated with the psychoactive components of a high THC level strain.
  • A prescription is required for medical marijuana use. Medical marijuana cannot be just bought by anyone – to get a prescription, you will need to have a condition that gets a medical marijuana recommendation and must be regularly reviewed and renewed by the physician in charge.
  • You need to be just over 18 to purchase medical marijuana but must be over 21 to purchase recreational marijuana. Adults aged 18 and above are can buy medical marijuana for themselves but there are certain cases where those under 18 can apply and get accepted for a medical marijuana card. This usually depends on your location. To buy recreational marijuana, on the other hand, you must provide an ID or prove that you are over 21.
  • Places where you buy medical and recreational marijuana varies. Medical Marijuana can be bought from any medical marijuana dispensary legally. Recreational marijuana can be bought legally in dispensaries as well but can alternatively buy off other dealers.

THC and CBD Effects

The key difference between medical and recreational marijuana lies in its main component: THC and CBD. Knowing this, it is also beneficial that you know the distinction in the effects of these two active ingredients.

  • Anti-psychotic effect. CBD aside from being non-psychoactive can reduce and reverse the effects of THC. When CBD is used individually. It can retain its antipsychotic effects and is commonly used in the treatment of mental illnesses.
  • THC compound, especially when taken in high doses can cause paranoia and anxiety. While CBD has been known to potentially reduce anxiety in patients.
  • Sleep and Insomnia. THC, because of the come down after its ‘high’ effects can help those who are having trouble with sleep. On the other hand, CBD is a wake-inducing compound and can sometimes cause energy boosts.

The differences between the effects of the key compounds of Marijuana vary from one strain to another but highlights the main difference of medical and recreational marijuana.

In conclusion

There are different factors to look out from if you’re aiming to tell the difference between medical marijuana from recreational marijuana. If you are smoking an offered joint and have no idea if it is a medical or a recreational strain, the main thing you can look out for is the ‘high’ it gives you. If you feel a bodily high, and experience mental high, you are probably smoking a recreational strain. To list some, here are the common reasons people use medical and recreational weed.

Medical Marijuana is used to treat conditions like:

  • Eating disorders
  • Mental illnesses
  • Glaucoma
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • And prevention of spreading of Cancer

While recreational Marijuana is mainly used for the effects it gives its users like:

  • The psychoactive high
  • The bodily high (tingling)
  • Mental relaxation
  • Sleep that comes with the comedown from the high.

These are the key differences in Medical and Recreational Marijuana, so you can now be rest assured you can figure out the type of the next strain you’re going to smoke.

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