Brush Up On The Difference Between Recreational And Medical Uses For Marijuana


The subject of marijuana has always been controversial. Be it consumption or growing and selling; there are always certain misconceptions that are doing the rounds in the minds of the general public.

Due to this misconception as well as a stigma of sorts that has been attached to the usage of marijuana, the people who want to use it for medical purposes have also started hesitating to talk about this to their doctors. Some of them do believe that certain medicinal properties of marijuana might help their case, but due to the dismissive attitudes of their doctors, people often refrain from consulting them.

If this is the ongoing attitude towards medical marijuana, it is quite easy to assume that recreational uses of marijuana are also frowned upon. The fact that the DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration considers it a Schedule 1 drug along with heroin and LSD doesn’t help its cause. But still, there are as many as 33 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

With this legalization, it is important to understand the key differences between the two uses of the drug.

Differences between Medical and recreational use of marijuana

Here are some distinguishing features that set medical and recreational marijuana apart:

1. Proportion of THC

THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is a compound of marijuana that is known for its psychoactive elements. This means that people using marijuana for recreational purposes will have a higher amount of THC in their product.

THC is the main compound that induces the ‘high’ that people experience while smoking marijuana for recreation. Compared to this, medical marijuana contains a significantly lesser amount of THC. Due to this, patients consuming medicinal marijuana experience minimal or no high after consumption of marijuana.

The THC value is higher in recreational marijuana, so much so that most people swear by it for a good night’s sleep. Many people attribute their good sleeping habits to regular consumption of weed. The psychoactive effects induced by the presence of THC is the main difference between the effects of medicinal and recreational weed.

2. Proportion of CBD

Marijuana contains approximately 500 natural compounds, out of which CBD is the most dominant. CBD that also stands for Cannabidiol, is a substance in marijuana that does not produce any psychoactive effects. Essentially, the marijuana used for medical purposes will have a higher proportion of CBD, contrary to recreational marijuana that has high amounts of THC.


The edible medical potency of CBD is perceived to be higher, which is why it is recommended for medical usage. CBD is considered to be highly therapeutic, which is why doctors prescribe medicinal marijuana containing a higher amount of CBD and a comparatively lesser proportion of THC to their patients.

CBD has anti-psychotic properties as opposed to THC, and therefore, even though THC helps with headaches and anxiety, it is not used in medicinal marijuana due to the mind-bending effects  it has on its users

3. Uses and Consumption

Medicinal marijuana is consumed according to a prescription and is usually taken in by means of a vaporizer where it forms a mist that is then inhaled by the patient. Other common ways of consumption also include smoking and eating it in the form of a lollipop or brownie.

Some people also apply it on their skin through means of lotion, oil, spray, or cream, while others consume it in the liquid form by using a few drops under the tongue.

Some of these ways, like smoking and eating it in brownies is also used for recreational purposes. However, while smoking, it is mixed with a considerable amount of tobacco as well. The quantity that is smoked might also differ in medical and recreational purposes.

4. Effects

The main effect of recreational marijuana is the high that most people experience after consuming it. This is one of the main reasons that people smoke marijuana. But, some other effects might also include nausea and result in a user becoming extremely alert or paranoid in cases of excessive use. This, however, also depends on the personal tolerance of the user.

There are several medical effects of marijuana. Medical marijuana not only helps to reduce anxiety and pain, but it is also known to help cancer patients during chemotherapy by reducing their urge to vomit. It relaxes muscles, reduces inflammation, and is also used in cases of severe diseases like Alzheimer’s or glaucoma. Its effects also include a high rate of progress with patients who have eating disorders.

5. Accessibility

For medical purposes, a patient has to be above the age of 18 years to consume marijuana. For this, they need to produce a doctor’s recommendation at a medical dispensary to buy their dosage.

You also need to have a condition or illness that can be cured by the consumption of medical marijuana to even obtain a doctor’s recommendation. Above all, the state you live in has to legalize marijuana for medical use.

For recreational purposes, you need to be above 21 years of age to buy marijuana or even grow it in your private property. You can buy marijuana from a licensed dispensary near your area. This will be possible, again, only if your state has legalized marijuana.

Once you are at the dispensary, you have to produce valid identification to prove your age, and only then can you buy it. However, in many states, marijuana is sold even on the streets. You can even check out various places for weed delivery San Francisco and see if they can home deliver in your area.


Before you decide to consume marijuana, it is important to determine how you want to use it and what your purpose is. Accordingly, consult a doctor if you want to use it for medical purposes and follow the dosage that is prescribed for your condition.

When it comes to recreational use, make sure you are abiding by all the laws that are laid down by your state with regard to the consumption and selling of marijuana. With the growth of digital mediums and the legalization of marijuana, there are many services such as weed delivery Sacramento that you can check out.

It is important to be responsible while using weed for recreation. Also, make sure you always keep in touch with any new laws that are passed regarding the same. By doing this, you are not only keeping others safe from passive smoke but also protecting yourself from unnecessarily breaking the law.