Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Marijuana: 7 Key Differences to Keep in Mind

So you want to start using marijuana? You’re not alone if that’s true since more people are using the drug than ever. A distinction does need to be drawn between medical and recreational marijuana, the former being exclusively for people who’re sick or injured. It does need to be noted however, there is really no difference between the strains sold to individuals using the plant recreationally and ones using it medicinally. The difference is purely a legal one.

This post will explore this topic and tell you how they differ and what you need to know if you want to start using the drug.

State Legality

The first difference between medical and recreational marijuana is that in most states, medical marijuana is legal. Even ones with draconian drug laws typically allow people to use the drug to treat health problems. In some states, both recreational and medicinal versions of the drug are allowed, too. California is one such state. If you are looking for recreational marijuana dispensaries (or even medical ones) then search terms like “dispensaries near me in California” or “where can I buy weed in Los Angeles?” can help you to find somewhere to shop. Make sure that before you begin using the drug you verify it’s legal for you to do so. Illegal use of it could get you into immense trouble.

Cultivated Stains

In the introduction to this post, reference was given to the fact that there is not much difference between medical and recreational marijuana. This statement is true; however some growers have started trying to grow strains to be used specifically for sick people. These strains are typically higher in CBD (Cannabidiol) which is the most promising cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plant, at least as far as healthcare workers are concerned. If you have a specific health condition you want to treat then you might want to try and find a strain that has been cultivated exclusively for that. 

Doing so should not be difficult as all you have to do is speak to your local dispensary clerk. Alternatively, you can speak to a physician.

Affordable Prices

Medical marijuana is typically a lot more affordable than recreational marijuana. When you consider the undeniable fact that people’s bills are going up and more people are unemployed than ever before it is not hard to see why. Pharmaceutical companies and marijuana cultivators have had to lower prices (or keep them the same) so that people can continue to buy them. Some people get their prescriptions for free as well, i.e., people who’re on disability benefits or some kind of other benefit. 

Recreational marijuana can be priced at anything the vendor sees as reasonable, however. While medical marijuana distributors are not technically forced into offering low prices, they do so anyway as it ensures they can still make sales and keeps their customers happy.

Private Use

Even in the most relaxed states, it is not typically okay for people to use marijuana out in public. The reason for this is that as the plant is intoxicating and releases clouds of smoke, there is a chance passers-by could get high off of somebody’s joint. As a consequence, users of the drug are asked to use it indoors, in the comfort of their homes. This is especially true for medical marijuana users. 

The main reason for this is that people who’re using marijuana for medical reasons tend to do so in states where the drug is criminalized recreationally, as in states where it is legal for people to buy and use it recreationally, users tend to bypass their doctors and buy marijuana without consulting them (foregoing the need for a prescription). Users of medical marijuana are typically situated in states where it is illegal otherwise, if they used it in public they would get arrested.

Online Orders

One of the best things about medical marijuana is that it can be ordered directly to people’s front doors. In states where it is criminalized and even in ones where recreational use is permitted, marijuana is treated no differently than any other pharmaceutical drug. It can be couriered to users on the same day as their purchase so that they can begin treating their health problems with it. If you are intending on purchasing marijuana from an online dispensary then you need to conduct extensive research and make sure that you find a reliable vendor to work with. 

Not all marijuana dispensaries can be trusted; some are much better than others. A good way to tell whether a marijuana dispensary is worth working with is by reading their reviews. If a dispensary has positive reviews then it is a clear indication they can be trusted.

Showing Prescription

Users of medical marijuana have to jump through a lot of hoops. In places where recreational marijuana is legalized, users do not. When a person who has a prescription for the drug wants to buy marijuana, they have to show it. If they do not then they can be refused service. Also, if users of medical marijuana are stopped by the police they have to show their prescription otherwise they can have their drugs forfeited and taken away. Showing a prescription every time you get stopped or want to buy marijuana can be tedious and very annoying.

Dosing Instructions

Finally, users of medical marijuana are not free to use all of their marijuana. In fact, they are bound by dose instructions. If they exceed their prescription’s recommended dose then they will have to wait to buy more. Usually, prescriptions are issued for around a week. If users use all of their marijuana and are caught doing this by their doctor, they can actually have their prescription terminated and can be told they are no longer allowed to use medical marijuana (instances of this are very rare however, as people usually keep using their marijuana to themselves).

Medical and recreational marijuana is not that different. The main differences are legal ones. If you are interested in using marijuana for whatever reason, make sure it’s legal to do so in the state where you live. If it is not, do not attempt to as you could get yourself into a lot of trouble.