In the past years, laws concerning the use and ownership of medical marijuana have been changing swiftly in the US.
Sadly, cannabis laws have not been standardized, with most states having completely different laws.
One of the most confusing aspects of marijuana is its legality; in fact, some states have legalized medical cannabis while other recreational cannabis.
Other states have even passed legislation that allows the use of both!
Do you want to know the difference between medical and recreational marijuana and the laws governing them?
Well, we’re going to shed some light, read on!
- What is medical marijuana?
- Medical vs. Recreational: THC and CBD levels
- Medical vs. Recreational: Legality
- Medical vs. Recreational: Shopping experience
- Medical vs. Recreational: Different states and Perks
- Medical vs. Recreational: Ease of access and availability
- Medical vs. Recreational: Variety of purpose
What is medical marijuana?
As the name suggests, medical cannabis is precisely meant for use under the guidance and supervision of a medical professional.
It refers to any part of the whole, the unprocessed cannabis plant that is cultivated to relieve certain health conditions.
On the other hand, recreational marijuana is typically used for leisure purposes without any medical justification.
It usually causes a high because of the THC compound.
But beyond the difference of consumer intention, what other distinctions prevail between medical and recreational marijuana?
Medical vs. Recreational: THC and CBD levels
The primary difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is the cannabidiol (CBD) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, the active compounds in marijuana.
Recreational marijuana is known to have higher levels of THC, and less CBD.
THC is the psychoactive compound that causes a high feeling.
While THC has medicinal benefits, it’s not suitable for users who want to use marijuana exclusively for health purposes.
Medical marijuana has higher levels of CBD content that have gained popularity because of its therapeutic benefits.
CBD has been scientifically proven to have anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and many more properties.
Medical vs. Recreational: Legality
While cannabis has been around for a while and is used widely, there are legal aspects in place when using both recreational and medical cannabis.
In several parts of the globe, recreational cannabis still faces legal restrictions.
Medical cannabis is now being widely accepted, as many start to realize its therapeutic benefits.
With time, several states and governments will legalize the use of medical marijuana.
The legal status of medical cannabis makes it easily accessible.
Medical vs. Recreational: Shopping experience
How you shop your product makes a vast difference when it comes to medical and recreational cannabis.
While there might be some similarities, the process isn’t the same. When shopping for medical cannabis, you’re required to produce an ID and medical cannabis card.
The card shows that you’re approved to buy marijuana products.
You can find medical cannabis in medical clinics with one patient going in at a time to ensure privacy.
Usually, recreational stores are not allowed to give medical advice to customers, although you can still shop medical marijuana from them.
This is where dual-licensed shops come in, meaning it can cater to the needs of both medical and recreational customers.
Recreational users will often not get any advice because sellers assume they know what they’re looking for in recreational cannabis.
Medical vs. Recreational: Different states and Perks
Depending on the country and the state you live in, medical patients intending to use medical cannabis for health purposes are entitled to a wide variety of benefits, including:
- Higher quantity restrictions
- Restrictions on THC potency limits
- Lower costs and taxes
- Legal access for minors with chronic health conditions like cancer or epilepsy
- Medical patients may be allowed to grow their own cannabis
Medical vs. Recreational: Ease of access and availability
With the stringent legal restrictions, those found in possession of recreational cannabis in banned areas will face severe jail terms and fines.
In states where marijuana hasn’t been legalized, recreational cannabis is hard to access.
Marijuana is readily available for those who need it for medicinal purposes, while recreational marijuana still faces a lot of legal hurdles to impede its availability.
Medical vs. Recreational: Variety of purpose
Products that offer a variety of benefits are often preferred; the same case applies to medical marijuana.
When comparing medical vs. recreational cannabis, many people use recreational cannabis for leisure and personal satisfaction.
On the other hand, medical marijuana is considered versatile because it offers numerous therapeutic benefits.
Medical marijuana has no more than 0.3% of THC that can be used by children and the elderly.
It is made available to a broader group of people irrespective of their age.
Unfortunately, recreational marijuana is limited to a specific group of people — those looking to get a ‘high’ feeling.