Medical & Recreational Marijuana: Understanding the Difference

Even though it’s 2020, and the internet is packed with information about cannabis and its products, people are still not fully aware of the difference between medical and recreational marijuana.

The possible reason for that could be the fact that people didn’t understand all the benefits of marijuana back in the day when it was entirely prohibited by law. The majority of people have come to realize that marijuana is not harmful but are still reluctant to educate themselves more.

That’s why we decided to talk about the difference between medical and recreational marijuana. If you’re interested in finding out more, keep on reading.

What’s the Main Difference Between Medical and Recreational Marijuana?

In short, the difference between the two is in the different amount of THC and CBD found in the plant. Medical marijuana contains more CBD, while recreational marijuana contains more THC.

What’s the Difference Between THC and CBD?

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, while CBD stands for cannabinoid. The terminology might be confusing for some, but that’s why we’re here to explain the difference between the two.

THC comes from the cannabis plant that has a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD can be extracted from hemp or marijuana plants that contain a smaller amount of THC but are high in CBD.

Cannabis products with high levels of THC are used for recreational purposes, while products that are high in CBD and low in THC are used for medical purposes.

How Is Medical Marijuana Used?

As we’ve already mentioned, CBD is the main ingredient in medical marijuana. It can be consumed by inhaling or in the form of topical creams, tinctures, and edibles.

According to CBD facts, in order to be considered legal, CBD extracted from industrial hemp mustn’t contain more than 0.3% THC. At the same time, recreational marijuana doesn’t necessarily contain the amount of CBD that can help treat different health conditions.

Medicine did its part of the job to create a cure for many health problems. Industrially made CBD products contain the required amount of cannabinoid that’s proven beneficial in the treatment of some health conditions. Some of them are anxiety, seizures, inflammation, nausea, migraines, cancer-related side effects, and others.

Recreational Marijuana

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How Is Recreational Marijuana Used?

At the moment, both recreational and medical marijuana is legal in 11 US states and Washington, DC and Canada.

Unlike medical marijuana that contains only 0.3% THC or less, recreational marijuana, on average, can contain between 17% and 28% THC. The higher the percentage, the stronger the feeling of euphoria.

Most of the time, cannabis is consumed by inhaling. However, other methods of consumption are also available, like oils, capsules, or edibles.


The real problem for states to legalize marijuana entirely is the percentage of THC, which is considered to cause problems for both users and society. That’s why medical marijuana is legal in most US states, but recreational isn’t.

It’s certain that full legalization is soon going to happen everywhere. Marijuana has a lot fewer side effects than tobacco or alcohol, and people are aware of this fact. Until then, people have to make peace with the fact that marijuana can be used for medical purposes only in most states.

By Ljubica Cvetskovska, co-founder and Content Coordinator at Deals on Cannabis

About the Author:

As a full-time writer and researcher of all things cannabis-related, I have come across countless accounts of people trying to find trusted and reliable sources to meet their CBD needs and requirements.

When dealing with a product like cannabis it can be nerve-racking to separate the fact from fiction, which is why I decided to devote my time, energy and skills on finding the best and most easily-accessible data on this topic. Combining that with bringing users closer to affordable and verified coupons and deals on CBD and weed products, it’s a dream come true.

My writing and reading keep me pretty busy, but in my free time, I love to binge-watch a TV show or two or hit the gym. Can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body, right?

Featured Image: Pixabay

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