We have likely heard the terms “Recreational” and “Medical” placed in front of the word marijuana.
However, we might not actually understand the differences between the two.
The plant is one of the most recreationally used substances in the entire world, and unlike some other drugs, can actually serve very many medical purposes. Marijuana has some health benefits.
Indeed, people use marijuana for more than just getting high. Listed below are 6 ways in which recreational marijuana differs from medical marijuana.
Plenty of types of marijuana will induce a psychoactive state of mind in users. However, there actually exist some forms of the plant that will not. These forms are comprised of much less THC, and much more CBD (cannabidiol).
Users ingesting the drug recreationally nearly always opt for the THC-dense options, as THC is the main component in the high.
On the other hand, users ingesting the drug medicinally are much more likely to be prescribed a form with less THC and more CBD.
This is especially true for child patients. Nonetheless, THC-dense version also have many painkilling properties, and can still be prescribed for medicinal purposes.
That’s correct; how users intend to use the plant is a key factor in distinguishing the recreational from the medical.
Unless users are specifically prescribed a type of marijuana that is more rich in CBD, the physical differences between recreational and medical cannabis are quite slim.
It depends much more on user intentions for ingesting the drug. For instance, if somebody intends to use it recreationally, they will likely be seeking out a high of some kind.
Those who intend to use the drug medically might be seeking out other outcomes, such as pain alleviation or deep relaxation.
In places within the United States where marijuana is legal, medical marijuana purchases are subject to a state sales tax, and a smaller local sales tax.
On the other hand, recreational marijuana purchases are subject to a state sales tax, a separate retail marijuana tax, as well as an additional excess tax.
These taxes are typically integrated into the prices of the products. In other words, those who purchase marijuana without a prescription or medical license will pay much higher prices for their drugs.
Another distinguishing factor between recreational and medical marijuana is the possession restriction on both. Those who purchase marijuana with a prescription or license may possess up to 2 ounces in many states.
However, those who purchase marijuana without these credentials typically may only possess up to one ounce of the drug.
This being said, the exact amounts vary between states or even in different countries, but medical users may almost always possess more than recreational users.
Another key factor in distinguishing the recreational from the medical is the user’s qualifications.
In order for a purchase to be considered medical, or for a user to obtain a license, they must prove they possess a qualifying medical condition.
For example, in many cases, users with cancer or glaucoma qualify for a license. On the contrary, in order to qualify for a recreational purchase, consumers must typically only be able to prove they are 21 years or older.
Finally, the type of dispensaries from which users obtain their marijuana is another differentiating factor between recreational and medical.
Those looking to purchase recreational marijuana usually acquire their drugs from a recreational dispensary.
Those with prescription or licenses seeking out medical cannabis will usually acquire their drugs from a licensed dispensary.
This said, those looking to enjoy the medical prices and benefits must be able to prove they satisfy at least one necessary condition via providing a medical marijuana card.
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It can be seen that there certainly exist differences between recreational and medical marijuana. In some cases, the chemical composition of each is different.
In other cases, the differences are embedded within user intention. Most of the time, however, the differences are simply in respect to legal and logistical stipulations that exist around obtaining the drug.
Taxes, credentials, restrictions, and varying types of dispensaries all contribute to these differences. Nonetheless, regardless of these differences, marijuana continues to exist as one of the most widely used and enjoyed substances throughout the entire world!