What Is the Difference Between Medical and Recreational Marijuana?

Recently, the topic of marijuana and whether it should be legal or not has become quite popular. Undeniably, it does have its benefits, but you should also know that the type of marijuana people use for fun in their free time is not the same as medical marijuana. So, if you’ve been given a medical marijuana recommendation from your doctor, or if you’re simply wondering about the differences between medical and recreational marijuana, here are a few things you should know about these two types of cannabis. 

Legal problems

As you probably know, even though cannabis has been around for a while, it’s still illegal in many countries. So, those who choose to use it, often have to do it privately. This also means that it’s not as easy to get. On the other hand, medical cannabis is more widely accepted due to its numerous medical benefits, and if prescribed, it’s not hard to gain access to. 


When talking about quality, while both types go through the same growth process, there are differences in terms of production. Medical cannabis is usually of much higher quality due to strict production rules and a much more controlled cultivation environment. For instance, there can be no pesticides used on the plant, and it’s almost always grown indoors. On the other hand, recreational marihuana is less safe, and you can never be certain about its quality, especially in places where it’s illegal. 


One big difference between medical and recreational marijuana is how you can buy it. In the countries where recreational cannabis is legal, there may be some similarities, but the process would still not be the same. For example, when buying medical marijuana, you have to show your ID and medical cannabis card, which shows that you are allowed to buy marijuana for medical purposes.

Also, medical marijuana sellers have to acquire certain certifications and undergo special training that teaches them all they need to know about this type of cannabis. Those selling recreational marijuana would not offer you anything besides the product. Moreover, there are also stores selling both medical and recreational marijuana, like Shango store, where you can buy a quality product regardless of whether you need it for medical or recreational purposes. 

THC and CBD Levels

One of the main differences is the Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, which is the active ingredient in cannabis. Recreational marijuana tends to have more THC, which is what makes people who use it “high”. While THC can still be medically beneficial, those who need marijuana for health benefits don’t want to get high. CBD, on the other hand, does have medical benefits, but it doesn’t lead to any psychoactive experiences. So, if you’re looking for medical marijuana, you want to find the product with a higher CBD ratio, which has also proven to have anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.


Recreational marijuana is mostly used for entertainment and relaxation. People buying it usually aren’t interested in any actual benefits other than personal satisfaction. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, has more than a few purposes. Plus, it can be used by both kids and the elderly without any health issues, while recreational marijuana has a very strict age limit. This also adds to the accessibility of both types, as medical marijuana is more available to users regardless of their age. 

When talking about marijuana, it’s important to know that there isn’t just one type. There are differences between medical marijuana that actually helps people and the recreational one, which can be helpful too, but is mostly used for entertainment. So, regardless of which one you’re interested in, knowing the differences can help you choose the best product for your needs.

David Wiliam

David Webb is a Sydney-based business consultant and a marketing analyst. With a decade of experience in the online business environment and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry.

David Wiliam has 23 posts and counting. See all posts by David Wiliam


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