Even though marijuana has been legalized in many states, most people are still at a loss when it comes to spotting the differences between recreational and medical weed. And yes, there are differences, if you had any doubt about that.
In the following, we’ll see that recreational and medical cannabis are theoretically the same plant, it’s only their compounds that differ.
Marijuana has over 90 chemical compounds that are released into one’s system when it’s smoked or swallowed. We are mainly interested in two: THC and CBD.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD stands for cannabidiol. If you’re an enthusiast and you are actually interested in how a plant can make you kick the ground beneath you, you know that THC is the compound that gives you the “high” effect.
This is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. While there are a few medications that contain THC (Sativex, for instance), medical weed usually has little to no THC in it.
Therefore, weed that has been grown for medical purposes won’t make you high, although you might feel an ounce of the relaxation that recreational weed usually offers you.
Another difference would be that recreational weed usually comes from a different strain.
Cannabis smoking makes you high because, depending on the size of the joint you’ve rolled, your body is blasted with a lot of THC. In the case of medical marijuana, this contains more CBD than THC.
Don’t get it wrong: THC is extremely potent in treating a variety of disorders. Among others, it can make one hungry (especially helpful for those who have illnesses that kill their appetite), reduce nausea and even alleviate the symptoms of neuropathy.
Because of its potency, it can be, as we mentioned above, included in some medications. Now let’s talk about CBD.
The Effects of CBD
Marijuana is a phenomenal plant because it’s so complex. Why do we say that? Because CBD usually fights off the bad effects of THC, like paranoia and enhanced alertness. Weed, therefore, regulates itself.
CBD has been proved effective in treating a variety of disorders. Among its most important effects are: it inhibits anxiety, it decreases the inflammatory response of the body, it keeps blood sugar at normal levels and has a mild effect on epilepsy.
So there you have it: medical cannabis contains low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD, and recreational marijuana the exact opposite.
While they’re technically the same thing, medical and recreational cannabis serve different purposes. It’s less likely you’ll get high by smoking a bud of weed that has been engineered for medical use.
These differences stand to show how versatile this plant is and, in the words of the late Bill Hicks, it should be compulsory, not banned. Hopefully, you’ll leave this page more informed than you came.
The anathema on this herb will be lifted only when all the people will be properly informed on its positive effects on our health. Until then, there’s no chance it will be legalized all over the place. You can explore places where marijuana has already been legalized.