What’s the Difference Between Recreational and Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana sales have exponentially increased during the last years. The legalization of recreational marijuana has also become a reality in most American states. Scientists have been studying marijuana and its active ingredients (cannabis) for many years. That’s why medical use has finally got partial FDA approval, and many stores like the Pueblo West dispensary have appeared across the country.

There is an increased lack of information about medical and recreational marijuana. That’s why it would be useful to know their differences before you start using them. Let’s take a deep dive into each type of marijuana and give you a brief report of the qualities and downsides you will have with their consumption.


The federal government has voted for strict rules about growing, distributing, and consuming medical marijuana. Although medical and recreational marijuana come from the same plant, growing medical marijuana is harder and more regulated. FDA has been checking the plant DNA sequence to ensure that medical marijuana is produced under strict conditions. The same doesn’t apply to the recreational marijuana plant that can come from different varieties and have diverse cannabis concentrations.

In addition, medical marijuana is most of the time grown in hydroponic cultivations that are located in indoor facilities. Recreational marijuana may grow in fields without any strict monitoring and fertilizing. Also, pesticides are forbidden for medical marijuana since the plant needs to be pure and less harmful for the human body when consumed.

Legal Aspects

People are more reluctant to use recreational marijuana even in locations where its use has been legalized. On the contrary, medical marijuana has gained much attention from the media, and its acceptance for pain relief has been exceptional. Many people still face legal issues when consuming recreational marijuana in some jurisdictions.

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Active Substances Levels

The active ingredients in both medical and recreational marijuana are CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Although these substances are present in every marijuana product, they have different qualities and reactions to the human body when consumed. THC is the compound that makes people get high and is often the active ingredient that leads to addiction. On the other hand, CBD molecules have been found to give stress and pain relief to patients.

As a result, the ratio between CBD and THC could differ between medical and recreational marijuana. It’s easy to understand that drug stores sell medical marijuana that has a smaller proportion of THC. Recreational marijuana could have a higher concentration of THC making people feel high and giving them the relief they are looking for.

Access And Varieties

There are numerous varieties of marijuana plants across the world. Some of these plants are only available for medical marijuana growing. These are the ones with less THC concentration in their flowers. That’s a major difference between medical and recreational marijuana. The latter is produced from various varieties not strictly measured for THC (mainly) and CBD concentrations.

Access to recreational marijuana varies across locations. Many states haven’t legalized its use, and people could face serious charges if arrested while carrying or smoking marijuana. On the other hand, access to medical marijuana has been opening up in all 50 American states and other western countries. Medical marijuana Physicians may prescribe medical marijuana to eligible patients. That has made it easier to find medical marijuana access points in dispensaries and drug stores across the country.

Purpose of Use

The intent of use is what mainly makes medical and recreational marijuana differ from each other. Recreational marijuana has been available for decades in the black market, and many credit it as being the first drug abused by many.

Medical marijuana has been a product with strict and diverse scientific research with the aim to prove the medical benefits of this plant. Today medical doctors may prescribe marijuana to children who are not eligible to take any other pain relief. The use of both medical and recreational marijuana tends to be distinct with different laws governing it. However, the social acceptance of the latter has been dramatically improving throughout the past years.

Medical and recreational marijuana are increasingly popular psychotropic substances that should be used with care. Every person using such substances should consult their doctor first and ensure no side effects or reactions to other treatments.

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