Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Marijuana

Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Marijuana

By Kathy T. Cooley

With new ailments making their way to the ‘list of deadly diseases’, the inclination towards alternative medicine has increased. People are ready to take the risk and are exploring alternatives, rather than sticking to good old allopathy. Cannabis shrouded in mystery and skepticism for years has now resurfaced as more than just a recreational drug. As the lines between medical and recreational cannabis begin to blur, drug abuse is at an all-time high.

Reason? Many of us do not understand the workings of this complicated drug. In an attempt to clarify the general misconceptions surrounding marijuana, we bring you the differences between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

Medical Marijuana vs Recreational Marijuana :

While the legalization of Marijuana is still a subject of taboo, many states across the world have decided to give it a shot, owing to its medical benefits.

Medical Marijuana :

Medical Marijuana is usually referred to the unprocessed cannabis itself. The focus is mainly on the two out of 100 chemicals known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol(CBD).  The former being a psychoactive compound responsible for the ‘high’, while the later doesn’t carry any psychoactive effects.

So what makes it different from its recreational cousin? Medical marijuana usually offers a high content of CBD, cutting out on the euphoric effects.

Recreational Marijuana :

Microdosing psychedelics is nothing but cannabis or other psychedelic substances consumed without any medical advice or justification. Recreational marijuana comes with a higher level of THC and is meant to provide consumers with the ‘high’ which comes as a side effect to its consumption. For the budget-conscious cannabis consumer budget buds are a great option!

History of Recreational Marijuana Vs Medical Marijuana :

The Marijuana that you find in drug stores is usually labeled and marketed as hemp oil or hemp seeds. An excellent source of protein and fiber, medical marijuana seeds have come a long way from being used by ancient Chinese pharmacologists in 2737 BC to being listed as an ‘acceptable medical product’ in the U.S in the 1940s.

Contrary to popular belief, recreational marijuana is not comparatively a recent concept. Though the fashion of using marijuana for recreation caught up late, it has always been there with human civilization. The 1920s saw Mexican immigrants bringing with them the Marijuana Cult. Consumers increased exponentially, up until it faced a ban in 29 states across the U.S. With the advent of the 21st Century, many states took a softer approach toward the subject and voted to decriminalize the use of marijuana. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational cannabis.

Major differences between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana :

  1. This is one basic difference. Medical cannabis contains a higher concentration of CBD, unlike its recreational counterpart. So you don’t necessarily feel ‘the high’.
  2. Medical marijuana is strictly prescription based and consumed under doctor’s advice. Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, doesn’t need a qualifying condition for purchase.
  3. If you live in the states and are looking for medical marijuana, you have to be over 18 years of age, to get it from a dispensary. Whereas if you want some good old pot a.k.a recreational marijuana, the qualifying age to buy legal marijuana is set at 21 years. If you are a total beginner, try Weed Vaporizer instead of digging all into cannabis rolls.
  4. Indica Vs Sativa :

Indica and the sativa are the two major types of cannabis plant containing different levels of THC and CBD. Indica Contains more CBD which makes one feel heavy. It has a short dense plant structure, synthesized for medicinal purpose. Whereas Sativa has a higher THC content and gives you the desired euphoria. The plant structure is rather skinny and tall.

Now that we know the basic differences between Medical and Recreational Marijuana, let’s shift the focus to – why use such a complicated, unpredictable plant for a medicinal purpose at all?

  1. Medical Marijuana treats diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, Glaucoma and sclerosis. It is also used in the treatment of Eating disorders, Muscle spasms and even (shockingly) Cancer.
  2. Although the results aren’t guaranteed and the treatment often shady, marijuana is also used to provide relief in case of chronic pain and nausea resulting from chemotherapy.
  3. It has also been proven to help with the treatment of nausea in AIDS patients. Research at St. John’s Hospital, Tulsa claimed that around 38 percent of patients consuming five mg of Marinol (synthesized marijuana used for the medicinal purpose) felt a drastic reduction in nausea over a six week period.
  4. Medical marijuana is useful for patients suffering from diabetes and spinal cord injuries and provides relief from nerve pain.
  5. Marijuana, rich in CBD, also assists in the treatment of epilepsy and schizophrenia in children

Getting your hands on Medical Marijuana Vs Recreational Marijuana :

For obtaining medical marijuana, you need to get a physician’s recommendation in a Marijuana-legalized state. Your disease/condition must qualify for the weed-based treatment and you should ideally carry a medical pot ID card duly authorized and renewed. Getting your hands on recreational marijuana is easier, provided you live in a place where weed is legalized. All you need is to be 21 and a little adventurous.

Researches on medical marijuana seem promising but are yet to yield safer and guaranteed results. With many people opting for this little bad guy over conventional alternatives, could Marijuana, in its safest, best and cherubic form, prove to be the cure of the century?


  • Jason
    May 28, 2019

    Hey, nice post, can we have some more info and benefits on Hybrids? Which I believe are worth mentioning here.

  • Matt Brazys
    May 29, 2019

    @Kathy T. Cooley
    hello Kathy,
    I’ve been a spinal stenosis patient for the past 29 years. 4 surgeries so far and counting down for #5.
    I disagree with your analysis, while CBD useful without THC or low percentage of it does nothing for spinal pain . High doses of THC will cause confusion does cause a side effect the buzz. but it doesn’t last long and the lasting effects kicks in after the buzz. Medical Cannabis patients needs is dependent on the patient themselves. Patients themselves need to determine their own dosages with the help of their Doctor or better yet their Medical Cannabis Caregiver.

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