If you have a medical condition that causes chronic pain, nausea, seizures, or other debilitating symptoms, it’s likely that you have considered the use of medical marijuana to treat your condition.
However, you may also have reservations about using the herb due to its reputation as a recreational drug. Many people wonder if there are any real differences between medical and recreational marijuana or if it is just a matter of semantics. The truth is, there are real differences and just because you use marijuana to treat a medical condition does not mean you are using it for recreational purposes.
Medical Marijuana vs Recreational Marijuana
Medical and recreational marijuana differ in a number of ways ranging from the actual chemical makeup of the two types of drug to reasons for use and legality. Here are the main differences.
Medical marijuana uses the whole unprocessed cannabis plant or chemicals the plant contains to treat symptoms of medical conditions. With over 100 known chemicals, the marijuana plant is complex in nature. The two most well-known chemicals are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (or CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana and the portion that produces the ‘high’ that most people associate with the recreational drug. CBD, on the other hand, does not have the same ‘high’ effect and can treat a number of conditions without the associated side effects of THC.
Medical marijuana has a higher CBD content than THC, though if you are smoking the herb you cannot eliminate the THC component altogether. Researchers are continually working to develop medicines that include only the CBD from the marijuana plant, but most medical marijuana will still have some of the effects of THC.
It’s important to work with a professional dispensary so you can obtain medical marijuana that is low in THC, especially if you have just begun your medical marijuana treatment program and do not know how the drug will affect you.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 29 states in the U.S., including California. In CA, you may purchase medical marijuana from any dispensary in the state as long as you have a state-issued medical marijuana ID card. The ID card also exempts you from state taxes on your purchase and allows you to grow marijuana in your home for personal medical use. Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, is legal in only a handful of states and many recreational users have no legal dispensaries from which to purchase the drug.
If you are worried about getting in trouble with law enforcement for buying, growing, or using medical marijuana, it’s important that you first obtain your state-issued ID card. These cards are valid for one year, easy to qualify online, and are recognized by all major forms of law enforcement.
Reason for use
Those who use marijuana for medical purposes have much different reasons than those who use it for recreation. Medical marijuana is for those who have a condition such as cancer, glaucoma, anxiety, or chronic pain that impedes their everyday lives.
They may choose marijuana to complement their prescription drugs or other treatment plan or they may choose it as an alternative to limit the harmful side effects that more traditional treatments have.
Those who use recreational marijuana, on the other hand, are partaking in the drug solely for the benefit of the ‘high’. They may still experience medical benefits if they have any chronic conditions, but their main reason for using the drug is for the effects that come from the high concentration of THC.
Why You Might Consider Medical Marijuana
Now that you see the difference between medical and recreational marijuana, you may be more open to the idea of using it for treatment. If you fall into one of these two categories, trying medical marijuana may be a good option for you.
You have a medical condition that has not been effectively treated
Many individuals with chronic pain conditions have not found adequate relief from mainstream treatments such as surgery, over-the-counter medicine, or prescription drugs. You may have tried physical therapy, chiropractic, or a number of other options to get relief from your symptoms with no satisfying results. In this case, you may find that the CBD in medical marijuana is a good alternative to mainstream medicine and provides more pain relief that anything you’ve tried in the past.
You want to reduce the side effects of prescription drugs
Even if prescription drugs are doing an effective job at reducing your pain and helping you live a full life, you may not like the many side effects that come with taking them. Constipation, fatigue, muscle weakness, memory problems, and sleep disruption are just a few of the common side effects of prescription drugs and they can often be more troublesome than the original condition.
How To Legally Obtain Medical Marijuana
If you live in the state of California and have obtained a state-issued medical marijuana ID card, you can legally purchase medical marijuana from any approved dispensary in the state. You can also grow your own medical marijuana for personal use in your home. You do not have to worry about being detained or arrested by any law enforcement professional and you can be rest assured that you are within your legal boundaries when you purchase and use the drug.
If you have questions about where to legally purchase medical marijuana, you can ask one of our knowledgeable professionals. Our professional medical team can also answer any questions you have about obtaining a state-issued ID card and what conditions qualify you for one.
If you choose to pursue medical marijuana as a treatment option, you can fill out a form on our website and have approval within minutes. A state-issued ID card will then be shipped to you in discreet packaging within the day.
Medical marijuana is a widely-accepted treatment for a number of conditions that cause chronic pain, nausea, and other life-inhibiting symptoms.
Once you know the difference between medical and recreational marijuana, you can feel better about considering it as a treatment option for your condition.