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What is the Difference Between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana?


Smoking marijuana is a long time resource used by many different cultures as a way to cure different ailments of the body. In 2001, Canada became the first country to come up with a system that would easily regulate the use of medical marijuana which is now available for a variety of health complications. It has been used to help deal with nausea, vomiting, and even helping some to regain their appetite. More serious uses for medical marijuana include helping those that are suffering from cancer or AIDS/HIV.


One of the major differences between medical and recreational marijuana is availability. Those interested in smoking medical marijuana will have to have a medical condition that requires it along with a medical id card issued by a doctor. Street or recreational marijuana on the other hand is available to anyone who has the finances to make the purchase and knows where to get it from.

Where You Get it

If you have a medical marijuana ID card you can walk into any location and purchase whatever type of marijuana you want to relieve your symptoms. If you are looking to purchase recreational marijuana you’re going to need to find a dealer who is willing to sell it to you at a reasonable price.


Medical marijuana prices can be a bit more reasonable because production, transportation, and selling it are allowed in certain states. Recreational marijuana will generally cost more because producing it, transporting, and selling are still illegal outside of a medical marijuana facility.

How it’s Grown

Medical marijuana is grown and combined with natural chemicals and medicines that are needed to help those patients that are in real need. However, recreational marijuana is not in its purest form. Depending upon who the grower is, there could be chemicals throughout the entire growing process and sometimes drugs are laced in order to pack a bigger punch. Recreational drugs have THC while medical marijuana consists of nabilone which is a synthetic form of THC.

The Affects

Another significant difference between medical and recreational marijuana is the affect it will have on the user. Those who purchase medical marijuana are looking for pain relief, help increasing their appetite, and for other medical remedies. Those who purchase recreational marijuana are looking to chase the psychological effects of the drug. They are looking for that “high” feeling as opposed to looking at it to heal something.


As the debate continues countrywide there are still consequences for those who utilize marijuana for recreational purposes. So for instance, those who purchase medical marijuana within a state that legalized it have nothing to worry about with the law. As long as they have their medical ID they are not fined or arrested. However, those who purchase recreational marijuana if caught could face jail time or fines because recreational use still has not become legal in the states.

The significant differences in these strands of marijuana are part of the reason why many government officials and medical professionals are having a hard time agreeing on making it legal.

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