There is no denying that cannabis is medicinally beneficial no matter what form you are taking it in, or for whatever reason. However with that being said, is there added advantage to using medical marijuana in comparison to recreational marijuana?
While the product may be the same in essence, there are specific differences between the two, whether you are smoking for your health or just simply having a good time. We have put together five advantages we attribute to the use of medical weed vs. recreational weed.
1- CBD Vs. THC Content
It might sound like an obvious place to start, but the fact is that medical cannabis and recreational cannabis are most often differentiated by the amounts of THC and CBD they contain.
CBD is the compound found in the marijuana plant that has been proven to be so beneficial for the treatment of a range of conditions. While THC is also very medicinally beneficial, it is psychoactive which means it will leave you feeling stoned or “high,” which is not ideal for many who are suffering.
If you are looking to cannabis for medicinal relief of some sort, it is unlikely that you will reach for a high THC strain of weed, as these can often be disruptive to a normal daily routine. If however, you are reading this with the mindset that you simply want to get stoned, you are less likely to care about the levels of CBD, and most recreational strains that are high in THC will give you just that — a great high!
While it is true that both medical and recreational weed contain THC and CBD, it is much more likely that you are going to benefit from a more potent CBD product if it is medicinal.
Overview: It is undeniable that weed is medically beneficial, no matter what its purpose. But those opting for medicinal cannabis can expect a much higher CBD ratio to THC, and as we now know, it is CBD which holds the most significant range of potent medicinal benefits. In fact, it has been scientifically proven to possess the following properties:
It is with this point in mind that medicinal cannabis can be argued to have an advantage of recreational.
2 – Legality
It is great to see how far cannabis has come over the past few decades, from being widely misunderstood to now being legal in many states of America! In fact, CBD from hemp is now legal in all 50 states for its impressive list of benefits.
With 30 states across the U.S. that have now legalized marijuana in some form, and nine states having laws that allow for recreational cannabis use – it is unquestionable that people are becoming more aware of the ability of the plant!
This being said, there are still many places across America, as well as the rest of the world, where cannabis is still incredibly frowned upon. Of all 50 states, only nine have allowed cannabis to be consumed for recreational use, which makes it difficult for people to legally obtain it for this reason.
While it can also be a challenge for those who require the flower for medicinal purposes, there are certainly more options open for this than for those who just want to “have a little fun” with the herb.
Overview: If you want to stay on the right side of the law, chances are you are going to seriously struggle to get your hands on recreational cannabis in most areas of the U.S. It is for this reason that medicinal cannabis has an advantage, as it is much easier to get ahold of due to its legal status in many places across America.
3 – Access & Availability
The complicated legality of cannabis means that those in possession of weed for personal recreational use can face serious fines and/or jail time in most parts of the U.S. Naturally, this has led to limited availability on most recreational cannabis plants.
Not only is CBD from hemp legal across all 50 states, but with almost all states legalizing medicinal cannabis in some way, it has made the flower much more available to those who need it most. Of course, for those individuals who don’t qualify for a medical marijuana card, this can be incredibly problematic.
However, the reality is that for as long as cannabis for recreational use is restricted, there will be more individuals that will turn to medicinal marijuana. Statistics now show that up to 90% of the U.S. population is backing marijuana to become legal across the country, which shows that the current levels of availability for recreational cannabis are not hitting the mark.
Overview: With laws around recreational cannabis being so strict, there is a tendency to go for medical marijuana as it is much more available than the former. Ultimately medicinal cannabis takes advantage when it comes to availability and accessibility.
Aside from everything else, perhaps one of the most notable differences between medicinal and recreational cannabis is the quality. While both may start off the same, the fact of the matter is that the way they are grown, cultivated and produced ultimately determine whether they will be used for recreational or medical purposes.
Cannabis that is to be used for medical purposes undergoes a much more thorough process before becoming available for consumption – not only is it usually grown in more controlled environments (as opposed to outdoors which is generally the case for recreational cannabis), but it is also checked for things like pesticides more thoroughly as the end product must be suitable for patients to consume.
Naturally, this does mean that while both medicinal and recreational cannabis starts off the same, the quality in that end product can vary wildly.
Overview: Rightly or wrongly, the process that goes into getting medical marijuana prepared for human consumption differs significantly from that which goes into recreational cannabis. While nobody wants to be smoking an unsafe bud, it is common for less care to be taken in the growing and cultivation of recreational cannabis than medical cannabis. With this in mind, medicinal cannabis has the advantage of a cleaner and purer product.
5 – Versatility
Finally, there is the matter of versatility to consider. Legality and availability aside, it is important to look at who could actually benefit from cannabis. While recreational weed is traditionally the social and more enjoyable type, medicinal cannabis has a much more versatile purpose.
Both elderly and young children, for instance, can benefit from medicinal cannabis that boasts low THC and high CBD levels. Of course, this could work wonders for medical conditions and general health in these types of consumers.
Recreational cannabis, on the other hand, is much more restricted to a specific audience, which is those who are of legal age to get high, and of an age that the experience wouldn’t be distressing or unpleasant.
Overview: When we consider that medical marijuana is legal for children to consume in many states, compared to recreational which has a strict age limit attached in the states that allow it, it seems like a no-brainer that medicinal cannabis would be a huge advantage here over recreational. Not only is it on the whole more medicinally beneficial, but it is also made available to a wider variety of people, and therefore is much more accessible.
Final Thoughts on Recreational vs. Medical Cannabis
While we are still waiting for the day that more states across America see cannabis for what it is, we have to (for now at least) side with medicinal cannabis when the two come head to head. From availability to benefits, it seems like there is no real competition in this fight!