Cannabis has become a hot topic for discussion in recent years. While consumers of this herb were vilified for so many decades, people are finally coming around to the many great benefits that it can have.
There are more and more studies being released that showcase the medical benefits marijuana consumption can have for those suffering from a multitude of medical conditions. This has led to the legalization of medical marijuana across the world in many countries, as well as it being available for recreational use in certain states.
One of the key questions that people seem to have is what the difference is between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. This article is here to explain the answer to this question.
History of marijuana use
Humans have been consuming marijuana for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. A lot of people debate whether people consumed it for so long more for its recreational properties or for its medicinal benefits.
The first use of cannabis is dated all of the way back to 2737 BC in a book that was authored by the Emperor of China at the time, alongside a pharmacologist. They discussed how cannabis consumption was a useful tool for dealing with poor memory, malaria, gout and constipation. Throughout the following few centuries, it became popular all across the south of Asia. It was often referred to as being a useful tool in soothing anxiety levels.
These days, many doctors are now prescribing marijuana consumption for people dealing with different types of mental health ailments, cancer, chronic pain and nausea, to name but a few.
The United States has had a well-documented journey towards legalization of marijuana, but currently, it varies on a state-by-state basis when it comes to what the specific laws may be. The likes of California, for example, have recreational use fully legalized, while other states only have medicinal use approved. It was in 2012 that Washington and Colorado were the first states in the nation to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. This legalization trend is set to continue into the future on a state-by-state basis.
Differences between buying medical and recreational cannabis
There are not too many differences between the buying experience of getting medical marijuana and marijuana for recreational use when you are in a region which allows both. If you have qualified for medical marijuana, you will have received approval from a qualified doctor and been issued with a certificate showing this approval.
You will then usually use this certificate in order to get a medical marijuana card. If you are in a state that also allows recreational use, this is often enough to simply show your government-issued ID card in order to showcase that you are over 21 years of age and therefore legally able to purchase marijuana.
If you are in a state where medical marijuana only is allowed, you will generally need both your medical marijuana card alongside your governed-issued ID. Sometimes, a dispensary will have a waiting room for people to wait and people are called one by one in order to help protect the privacy of their patients.
Usually, recreational dispensaries are not allowed to give medical advice to customers in their store, but medical patients are of course able to purchase products from these stores providing that they don’t seek advice. Certain stores have dual licenses that allow them to deal with both recreational and medical marijuana purchasers.
A few stores may have certain tax breaks and discounts available to medical users. The dispensaries which are for medical purposes or those with dual licenses will be best suited for answering the questions that a patient may have. This could be related to the best strains for their given conditions or what method of consumption is best suited for their specific case.
Some of these stores even offer certifications and seminars for people to become more educated in the activity. Just like with most things, you are best served trying a few different dispensaries until you are happy with the staff and the experience that they offer you. When it comes to the products offered by recreational or medical dispensaries, it is not really going to vary. You are going to be offered all different types of strains and tools for consumption.
Are there different perks depending on your classification?
Depending on what jurisdiction you are in, medical marijuana users are going to have access to certain perks that recreational users do not get. This may be in the form of lessened taxes and costs, higher limits of THC potency, fewer restrictions on the quantity purchased, legal access in certain cases for minors and the allowance for medical users to grow and cultivate their own marijuana plants.
In a lot of places, there is often a different form of social perception or stigma associated between the two types of marijuana use. There is going to be a lot more support for medical use compared to recreational use, since there is still somewhat of a taboo in certain circles for those who use cannabis recreationally.
Is there a difference in the type of marijuana?
Generally, those who use marijuana for recreational use are going to be consuming strains that are higher in THC. THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis which provides the ‘high’ effect.
Usually, those who are using marijuana for medical reasons will go for those strains that are high in CBD content. CBD is non-psychoactive and is the compound in cannabis that holds many of the great benefits associated with medical consumption.
This compound is isolated in numerous ways and can be applied topically on certain regions of a person’s body, such as in the form of CBD oil. This makes it even easier for people to reap the benefits from its use, and it is not time consuming to do. Of course, medical and recreational users can decide which strains they use and they may not necessarily want to stick to the high-THC or high-CBD strains.