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What is the Difference Between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana?

Difference Between Medical Marijuana And Recreational Marijuana
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Many people have some confusion around the topic of the difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, which is understandable because they both come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa. But there are many differences in harvesting, use, effects on the user, and legality that make their uses very different. This article explores what you should know about them.

Medical marijuana is a more potent form of the herb. The first difference is that medical marijuana has high levels of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical compound in cannabis that has earned marijuana its reputation as a drug.

This means it can be prescribed by a doctor for certain ailments such as nausea from cancer treatments, seizures related to epilepsy or muscular spasms from multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as some other conditions.

In order to prescribe medical marijuana, a patient must have an approved qualifying medical condition and they must have been given permission from their physician after trying all other conventional methods first. Once they have been diagnosed with one of those conditions and given a recommendation from their practicing physician, then they can apply for a medical marijuana card within a state that offers such a program.

When medical marijuana is prescribed to a patient, there are certain strains used that have been created specifically for their ailment. For example, someone with MS will be prescribed a strain of the plant in which the THC has been removed and in its place are grown in high quantities of cannabidiol, or CBD. This high-CBD strain prevents spasms and seizures and allows patients to function without pain.

When referring to recreational marijuana, its strains contain both THC and CBD because it offers a wider array of benefits than just relief from pain or normal functionality. In recreational marijuana, the THC levels tend to be higher so they actually get you “high.” Recreational marijuana also offers many more health benefits, such as prevention from Alzheimer’s and age-related loss of cognitive functions.

While medical marijuana is only available to those who have been diagnosed with a specific qualifying medical ailment and given recommended orders from their doctor, recreational weed can be obtained by any adult over the age of 21 without a prescription and there are no conditions that qualify for its use. This means that it’s legal to possess and use recreationally throughout the entire United States where as certain states offer dispensaries where medical marijuana can be purchased.

So, if you’re looking for access to the herb, then recreational marijuana is much more accessible than medical marijuana because there are fewer restrictions on its use. If you want relief only from symptoms such as nausea or pain, then medical marijuana is ideal but if you want access to all of the hundreds of cannabinoids in the herb, both THC and CBD, then recreational marijuana is going to provide you with a wider variety of health benefits.

Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

There are many differences between these two types of marijuanas that need to be understood before diving into either, or using them medicinally or recreationally. For example, there have been studies done where patients have used medical marijuana for their conditions and it was very beneficial for them because they can function normally without pain from spasms and other neuropathic issues while also reducing inflammation and enhancing appetite which helps to thwart off nausea and improve their overall quality of life.

But if these same individuals were given recreational weed instead of medical marijuana, they would experience euphoria and get high, which is why we refer to it as recreational use. Recreational use prevents them from getting the other health benefits that medical marijuana has to offer because all of their efforts would be focused on trying to remain coherent and prevent themselves from becoming too high.

Furthermore, if they chose to take recreational marijuana instead of medical cannabis and ended up getting extremely high (usually by consuming too much), it could put a strain on their heart and blood pressure which would make their symptoms worse than what they started with.

As far as growing either type of weed is concerned, the process is very similar for both except for one major difference: recreational growers focus more on taste as well as how high you get, while medicinal growers focus more on cannabinoids such as CBD and CBN along with terpenes, which are fragrant oils found in plants that have many different properties including reducing inflammation, injecting flavor into the cannabis, and possessing anti-inflammatory properties.

For example, there are strains of cannabis grown for their high quantities of caryophyllene, which helps reduce pain related to neuropathy. If you were growing either type of cannabis for medical purposes, then genetic breeding is a must (and should be done in separate rooms) while recreational growers can get away with using clones if they’re focusing on taste and potency.

If we look at the history of both types we’ll find that medicinal marijuana has been around much longer than recreational weed because it was initially introduced as an alternative form of treatment for patients who suffer from MS and other such conditions.

The United States wasn’t very open to the idea of legalizing weed for medicinal purposes, however, because it was associated with hippies and the counter-culture movements that were prevalent throughout the 1960’s. There are even reports that former President Richard Nixon tried to demonize weed by linking its use to students who were against the Vietnam War (you know, those long-haired, freaky liberals).

During this time, recreational marijuana wasn’t really known about or used by many people outside of certain individuals who would smoke up in private, so it never gained notoriety until much later, when it became legal for medical use in California. But once they started seeing how beneficial it could be for patients who were suffering from various health issues, many states began legalizing its medical use as well which has snowballed into what we have today.

Effects of Marijuana Use

If you’re a medical marijuana user then you know what you’re going for but for someone who’s new to the idea of smoking weed, it’s important that they understand how it affects them before they get started because more often than not, people think that having a small amount will give them an indica or sativa effect which is sometimes true but most of the time false.

If one were to smoke only a gram of weed which contains about 14% THC and wait around 45 minutes to an hour without consuming any food or drinks, then that person would probably start feeling a bit high within twenty minutes after taking their first hit.

As a result, said person might say, “Wow, I feel so stoned. I should lay down on my bed,” which makes them think they’re feeling the indica effects but what’s really happening is that their blood sugar is dropping due to lack of nutrients (this is why it’s important to eat food before, during, and after consuming weed for medical or recreational purposes).

If this individual keeps smoking without eating anything then they’ll likely end up becoming nauseous because weed causes your body to go into protection mode by releasing hormones like cortisol. The reason you sweat when you smoke weed isn’t entirely clear, but one thing we do know for sure is that your nervous system reacts to the cannabinoids by causing the release of neurotransmitters, or chemicals that help relay messages around our bodies. One example would be dopamine, which regulates how you feel pleasure as well as motivation.

In the case of a person who has been smoking weed for a while but decides that they want to eat while high, then it’s important that they don’t overeat especially if their normal appetite is fairly small. If you’re trying to gain weight then eating too much food afterwards could lead to becoming nauseous because your body will attempt to rid itself of this extra intake by vomiting up whatever it can.

There are many ways of ingesting cannabis, and they all will provide some kind of benefit whether it’s for medical or recreational purposes. Ingesting marijuana by eating an edible can take up to 2 hours on average before one feels the effects so try not to eat more than one whole candy bar-sized edible at a time. If you feel sick from taking too many servings, try waiting 2 hours after smoking weed before trying to get high from taking another edible and also have something to snack on if you’re hungry.

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