Medical Vs Recreational Cannabis: The Key Differences

Medical Vs Recreational Cannabis: The Key Differences

Cannabis products have become a mainstream trend in recent years as millions of people across the United States have experienced their wide-ranging benefits for medical and recreational purposes. As the demand continues, producers and consumers drive the weed market to its exponential growth with billions of dollars in sales and revenue. But interestingly, the market is also divided into two groups of users: (1) Those who buy marijuana items to prevent and treat certain medical conditions, and (2) Those who use the same goods to enjoy their euphoric effects. 


As a potential or a regular cannabis user, you must understand the significant differences between these two products. Although some things are a bit self-explanatory, there are essential matters that are not typically known to general consumers. This lack of awareness can work against your favor, especially if you are serious about getting the right products for your needs. So, in this article, we will walk you through what makes medical cannabis different from recreational cannabis, thereby allowing you to make a well-informed choice. 


Overview of Cannabis Products

Hundreds of cannabis products are now sold in various local dispensaries and online stores. Each one has its unique formulations and benefits, which must necessarily match your needs as you shop for specific items. You have to conduct enough research about the best cannabis strains that would serve your purpose as a rule of thumb. Again, either you use the product for medical or recreational use. Once you’re clear about your goals, you have to choose from several weed varieties, such as oils, tinctures, edibles, vapes, etc. The onset time, duration of effects, taste, aroma, and overall experience would primarily depend on the form you choose. 


Suppose you are new to the cannabis industry. It would be best to consider asking the dispensary staff or customer service questions to seek proper guidance. If you plan to treat your existing medical conditions, consulting your doctor first is recommended. Make sure that your cannabis intake won’t exceed your tolerance level for an optimum experience for recreational use. All the products have varying Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contents that would determine how your mind and body react to the substance. Remember that CBD offers therapeutic effects that are ideal for medical use, while THC triggers euphoria that’s best for recreational purposes. 


What is Medical Cannabis? 

Cannabis plants have been studied by scientists for years and found to have compounds that can prevent and treat certain medical conditions. As a response, many states have legalized the use of the substance for health purposes. This is where medical cannabis has derived its name, as there are now marijuana products that are specifically intended for medical use. They have been uniquely formulated to relieve diseases that prescription drugs may fail to treat. 


In the United States, the most common use of medical marijuana is for pain control. The product has been proven effective for chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans as they age. Many medical patients claim that taking cannabis products has alleviated symptoms of multiple sclerosis, nerve pain, epilepsy, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, stress, poor appetite, PTSD, Parkinson’s Disease, and many other health conditions. 


Proper use of medicinal cannabis allows people to be functional and productive at work. However, the reactions to the substance also differ for each user due to multiple factors at play, including age, weight, metabolism, tolerance level, medical condition, dosage, and type of product. Here’s a relevant article from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health for further information about medical cannabis. 


Do You Need a Prescription for Medical Cannabis? 

Yes. You need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor in your state where the substance is legal. As an essential requirement, your health condition should qualify for medical marijuana use, which differs in every state. A medical cannabis card is also required to purchase weed products at the local or online dispensary. Fortunately, you can schedule a virtual appointment with our licensed physician to get your medical card or visit one of our locations today


What is Recreational Cannabis?

Many people are using cannabis products for personal enjoyment without any medical conditions. This is where the concept of recreational cannabis applies. There are plenty of products that individuals can access, as long as they meet the legal requirements in their states. The recreational use of this substance can be contrasted with medical marijuana use which involves a prescription from a licensed doctor to manage the symptoms of a qualified illness. 


Other characteristics distinguish recreational cannabis from its medical counterparts. Mainly, these products can be purchased without any compulsion to use them, used in social settings, and used in small amounts. Some products like vape pens are primarily designed to allow consumers to use them in any setting and enjoy their benefits. But other delivery methods like smoking, oral ingestion, and so on are available depending on your preference. 


When using cannabis for recreational use, it’s still important to consider your existing health condition to avoid adverse reactions. There should also be boundaries as to how much you take at a given time because the products might trigger side effects, such as delusions, paranoia, red eyes, dry mouth, and weight gain. Being aware of your tolerance level is essential to set safe limits for cannabis consumption. 


Do You Need a Prescription for Recreational Cannabis? 

No. Unlike medical cannabis, you can buy marijuana products for recreational use as long as you meet the legal requirements. Each state where cannabis use is legal has set guidelines on the age and amount of marijuana that can be possessed. Here’s a quick reference for recreational marijuana legalization in the United States. 


Medical Cannabis versus Recreational Cannabis

Having a clear understanding of the differences between recreational and medical cannabis can help you make a well-informed decision. This would maximize the value of your purchase and the benefits that you can get from the products. Once you fully grasp everything, you can never go wrong with your choice. 


CBD and THC Levels 

The main difference between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis lies in their CBD and THC contents, which are the active ingredients in marijuana. Medical cannabis generally has higher CBD levels than recreational products, with more THC content. CBD is characterized by its therapeutic effects that have been proven to be an excellent remedy for various medical conditions. At the same time, THC is known for its psychoactive effects, such as euphoria and increased energy. You should always check the CBD and THC ratios of the weed products you purchase to identify which one is best for your needs. 


Quality of Products

Medical cannabis and recreational cannabis also differ in quality which can be attributed to how they have been cultivated and produced. The products meant for medical use undergo a more stringent and controlled procedure before being sold for consumption. They are also grown in a controlled environment to monitor destructive elements closely. While some recreational marijuana growers observe the same measures, there’s still a significant difference in how medical cannabis is produced to ensure its purity and safety. 


Perks and Benefits 

Some benefits can be enjoyed by medical marijuana users that are not available for recreational users. While some of those perks depend on the state and country you reside in, the difference becomes apparent regarding lower prices and taxes on weed products, legal access for minors with certain medical conditions, and restrictions on THC contents depending on the prescription. Medical marijuana patients are also allowed to grow their cannabis for health reasons, even on a larger scale, which is impossible for their recreational cannabis counterparts. 


Variety of Purpose 

Consumers widely prefer some cannabis products because of their versatility. Between recreational and medical marijuana, the latter is considered more versatile when it comes to health benefits due to the higher CBD content. The first alternative is best for social enjoyment and personal satisfaction because of its higher THC levels. Interestingly, recreational cannabis is limited to a specific age group or those legally allowed to purchase, possess, and consume the products. It’s a different story for medical cannabis, as even children can be allowed to use the products in many states when justified by their medical conditions. 


Access and Availability 

Using cannabis for recreational purposes is governed by stringent laws. You can even face severe fines and jail time if you don’t follow the guidelines. This prevents many recreational marijuana users from accessing cannabis more efficiently, given the legal hurdles that impede its availability in the market. But this isn’t the story for medical cannabis users, as the products are much more available for health purposes. The laws governing medical marijuana have been relaxed and modified extensively to allow wider use due to the pressing needs. 


Shopping Experience 

When you shop for medical cannabis, you need to provide a personal ID and medical marijuana card to the registered dispensary. Only one customer is allowed in at a given time to protect privacy. On the other hand, stores selling recreational weed products are not allowed to provide medical advice to the patients. But there are also cannabis shops with a dual license, which means that they can cater to medical and recreational marijuana customers. These stores are the best place to go if you have questions in mind since they can respond to your clarifications. 


Get the Best Cannabis Products Now! 

Buying medical or recreational cannabis can be tricky, with hundreds of physical and online stores selling these products. So make sure that you choose a reputable company to provide for your needs. Gladly, you don’t have to look elsewhere. Here at our shop, you can learn more about marijuana products, join our loyalty program, book an appointment with our licensed physician for your medical card, and explore many items and services for your convenience. From The Earth is a trusted medical cannabis dispensary that can give you the best weed experience with excellent benefits. You can shop our edibles in one of our convenient locations or contact us anytime!