Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

Cannabis Product

Now that cannabis products have become legal in more and more states across the country, more and more people are beginning to research and experiment with them. Visiting a dispensary in Santa Ana California is an exciting experience, as there is so much to learn, and there are so many potential products to try. 

During their first visit to a dispensary, many visitors wonder what the difference is between medical and recreational cannabis, and whether each menu provides different experiences for users. Learn more about the difference between medical and recreational marijuana using our handy guide below!

What Is Medical Marijuana?

Cannabis has been used medicinally for all kinds of ailments for hundreds of years. Over half of  the states in the U.S.have passed laws that allow the legal sale and purchase “medical marijuana”. Medical marijuana encompasses cannabis products that can be purchased by a medical marijuana card holder.

Medical marijuana was first legalized in 1996 in California, largely because research showed that cannabis had huge potential to help people with a wide variety of difficult illnesses. Cannabis research is still relatively new, though the recent increase in medical and recreational use has allowed researchers to begin studying it more in-depth. 

Systematic reviews of cannabis use, for example, found that patients with chronic pain see a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms when using cannabis, while patients on chemotherapy who use cannabis experience far less nausea and vomiting. 

Some of the most common conditions medical marijuana is used for include:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Nausea and vomiting, especially from chemotherapy
  • Poor appetite and extreme weight loss
  • Muscle spasms
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy

There are several other conditions that doctors may recommend using cannabis as a partial treatment for. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor whether you could benefit from it for any of your ailments or conditions, and where to find a medical dispensary near you. You can also simply search, “where to find a medical dispensary near me”.

How Is Medical Marijuana Used?

There are numerous ways for medical marijuana patients to use cannabis products for relief. Those with chronic pain often find success with topical treatments like soothing balms or salves on inflamed and painful areas. People with appetite issues, mental health conditions, and other chronic diseases tend to do well with cannabis tinctures, capsules, or edibles for longer-lasting relief, though vaping and smoking cannabis can provide more immediate, yet shorter, relief as well. 

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What Is Recreational Marijuana?

Recreational marijuana, in contrast, is available for people without proof of a medical condition or recommendation from a doctor. The primary reason people choose to use recreational marijuana is for its calming and relaxing properties, making it a nice way to unwind and enjoy fun or creative activities, like listening to music, watching movies, or playing video games. Many people also enjoy using recreational marijuana in social situations, much like people who enjoy casually consuming alcohol with friends and family. 

States that have made recreational marijuana legal have acknowledged that cannabis is a safe and enjoyable substance, especially when it is obtained from trustworthy and regulated California dispensaries.

How Do People Usually Use Recreational Marijuana?

People enjoy recreational marijuana using the same methods as medical marijuana, though it mostly comes down to personal preference. Fortunately, your local budtender can help you find the exact type of recreational cannabis product you’re looking for. The most popular types of recreational products tend to be edibles, like Smokiez Gummies and Dr. Norm’s Snickerdoodle, vape products, such as Raw Garden Guava Lemonade Pen, and pre-rolls, like Pure Beauty Pink Box Pre-Rolls

All of these products and more can be found at Planet 13 via in-store shopping, online ordering for pick-up, and even dispensary delivery! 

Key Differences Between the Two

Because medical and recreational cannabis are used for different purposes, medical and recreational menus generally provide different product offerings. Medical cannabis products tend to have higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which has more medicinal properties. When delivered in conjunction with small amounts of other key cannabis components, such as terpenes and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD tends to have a greater positive effect. This is referred to as the entourage effect

Medical marijuana is also more closely monitored and must adhere to much stricter standards, especially regarding things like pesticides and other ingredients. These strict standards are part of the reason why some states even allow children to use medical cannabis for their medical conditions. 

Recreational marijuana products are mostly taken for the high feeling they can provide, which is why they tend to have higher concentrations of THC, though they still contain some CBD and other important components. Although they are still somewhat regulated, recreational marijuana products are generally not monitored as closely as medical ones. They are also much easier to access than medical marijuana products, which require medical ID cards from qualified physicians.

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Recreational and Medical Cannabis Laws Differ by State

Laws regarding both recreational and medical cannabis differ by state. In some states, cannabis is only legal for medicinal purposes, and medical marijuana ID cards are required. In others, you simply have to be of legal age to obtain cannabis from a dispensary. Others still only allow CBD products to be purchased, while Kansas, Nebraska, and Idaho currently have no public cannabis access programs.

Regardless of which state you are in when you purchase cannabis, you cannot cross state lines with marijuana products even if you have a medical ID card. This is true even if you travel from a state with legalized marijuana to another state where cannabis is also legal. Some cities may also have their own ordinances that prohibit you from using cannabis – medical or recreational,  so be sure to check local laws before consuming cannabis in a new city or town. 

Visit the Best OC Dispensary, Planet 13, Today

Whether you use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, Planet 13 Dispensaries is the best OC dispensary that offers a vast selection of cannabis products. Our knowledgeable budtenders can help you find the best cannabis products to suit your needs, and we currently offer in-store shopping, online order pick-up, and even delivery! 

If you’d like more information about the products we offer, please contact us today!