Recreational vs Medical Cannabis – What’s the Difference?

Recreational vs Medical Marijuana – What’s the difference? - WeedSeedShop Blog

All the different kinds of cannabis could leave a person confused. So is there a difference between recreational and medical cannabis, and if so what are they? This article explores the solid, as well as the blurry lines that separate the two most popular ways to use cannabis.

Wherever in the world we have seen laws changing in favour of cannabis, we see it doing so with medical cannabis in mind (although many of us go on using it recreationally). As the cannabis industry continues to grow, so, too, do the different varieties, strains and uses for it. In fact, there are numerous differences between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis. Even within the medical cannabis industry, other branches of the cannabis kingdom have sprouted.

The more popular weed becomes, the blurrier the line gets between what exactly medical cannabis and recreational cannabis is. And there are probably people out there using medical cannabis recreationally. Everything lies in the intention with which it is being used, and when you’re clear on that you can be really clear about which kind of weed you’re choosing to use!

Recreational vs Medical Marijuana – What’s the difference? - WeedSeedShop Blog

The most popular recreational drug worldwide

Weed has been listed as the most popular recreational drug worldwide for a long time, although it’s earliest uses date back to medicinal use. Human beings have always loved using weed, whether for fun, for medicine or even for religious and spiritual purposes.  Ultimately, until the legalization of weed, there was no real avenue through which to experiment with different medical strains. As a result, this global revolution towards cannabis legalization has given more people around the world a better understanding of what they buy before they use it.

This opens doors for all kinds of cannabis enthusiasts – whether they have realized the medicinal benefits or not. So when we talk about medical cannabis, we are usually talking about different strains and different methods of administration. The choice lies entirely with the user as to whether they use cannabis medically or recreationally.

Recreational vs Medical Marijuana – What’s the difference? - WeedSeedShop Blog

CBD products

The most revolutionary products to arise out of the medical cannabis industry are those containing extremely low THC content, and a much higher CBD content. Cannabis strains are normally rich in THC, which is responsible for the cerebral high or the stoned effect that weed gives. Although it contains a lot of medicinal properties, there are other cannabinoids in cannabis that also provide medicinal benefits. That other main cannabinoid is called CBD, which contrary to THC, does not give a psychoactive effect. This means that CBD products can be used by all people (including elderly and children) to treat a wide range of medical ailments, without frying the brain. For example, CBD oil is a CBD rich concentrate taken from either the hemp or cannabis plant, and is often used as a medical treatment for younger children for whom cannabis containing THC is not appropriate.

A lot of the medical cannabis strains are high CBD strains, and err on the very low THC side. This definitely puts a spin on the anti-weed campaign that medical cannabis is a way stoners can justify using weed. It doesn’t get you high – it just cures your epilepsy, or your PTSD, or your loss of appetite. CBD-containing cannabis products make it an incredibly accessible medicine for people of all ages and walks of life. These products also take the stigma out of what is generally associated with cannabis use, because the stoner stereotype gets eliminated.

Different ways to take weed

The oldest, and still most popular way to use cannabis is to smoke it. When we were still wearing plants as underwear, and didn’t have all of the magnificent tools we have today, all we had was a bud and a leaf to roll up in. People still use medical cannabis by smoking it, although it’s not the recommended way to use cannabis if it is being used medically.

Because of the risks involved with combusting and inhaling the fumes of anything, smoking isn’t recommended for medical cannabis use. It is widely more accepted that a medical cannabis patient will indulge in edibles, oils, tinctures or vaporizers. What is being treated usually plays a role in deciding the method of ingestion, too. Having said that, recreational cannabis users are also taking advantage of edible and drinkable weed.

Is everybody using medical cannabis?

The undeniable truth is that cannabis has medicinal benefits, which arguably means that everybody out there is using medical cannabis. Cannabis is a medicinal plant! So even recreational users are getting the benefits of medicinal cannabis, even if they don’t know it! There’s really no way to take the medicinal properties out of cannabis, and that is why it has made its spectacular return through the medical industry. The trick is to use responsibly!


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  • Author_profiles-WSS-Emma Ryte

    Emma Ryte

    Born in Germany, lived in England my childhood years and spent my high school era in the US. My parents are basically hippies and that is why I have had the possibility to speak freely and explore my passion for the cannabis plant. My love for writing followed soon after. Writing about this subject has taught me so many things about the use, cultivation, health benefits and industrial options, and I love that I can share this knowledge with you! I visit Amsterdam as often as I can and I love the vibe there when it comes to weed, it lets me try new things and learn about the newest developments in the industry. The one person I would love to smoke some with would have to be Stevie Wonder. I love relaxing to his music while high and I would love to meet him!
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