Marijuana is a widely used drug, but for various reasons. Some people use it recreationally, as a means to get high, have fun, or kickback and relax. Others use it medicinally, as a means to deal with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, depression, chronic pain, in addition to other conditions.
American citizens have welcomed the idea of medical marijuana, and for good reason: according to the Washington Post, 92 percent of medical marijuana patients say that it works.
Recreational and medical marijuana don’t appear different – people use cannabis for a variety of reasons; however, there are deviations. The biggest one, perhaps, lies in the cannabinoids, chemical compounds that make up the cannabis plant. There are ways to use marijuana medicinal without having to use it to get the recreational effects. Not all cannabis use has to be done recreationally. Remember, Start low and go slow.
THC versus CBD
The two main cannabinoids in marijuana are THC and CBD. THC is psychoactive – it gets users high. Those looking to smoke marijuana recreationally typically reach for strains that are packed with THC: the higher the percent of THC, the higher the high.
CBD is not psychoactive – it doesn’t get users high. However, it does possess a myriad of health benefits. Medicinal users often look for cannabis strains that are high in CBD. These strains can still get the user high (as they contain some THC in addition to CBD), but not as acutely as strains preferred for recreation.
CBD is well-known for its effectiveness against inflammation, anxiety, and acute and chronic pain. Therefore, some people choose to use tinctures, oil, or edibles that are purely CBD. These products won’t produce any sort of high (as they’re void of THC), but they offer the desired relief.
For certain illnesses, CBD alone works; for other maladies, CBD combined with THC works better. People who are going through chemo and suffering appetite loss, for instance, often find that strains high in THC induce hunger most effectively. Under many circumstances, there’s a “best of both worlds” outcome: THC enhances CBD and vice versa.
Difference in Strains
The type of strain is another area where recreational and medicinal marijuana differ. Someone looking to smoke before a party is likely to use a strain dominated by sativa, which is conducive to energy, socialization, and conversation. Someone interested in marijuana to thwart insomnia is likely to use a strain dominated by indica, which is conducive to relaxation, calmness, and sleep. Someone needing to manage their chronic pain is likely to use a strain high in both THC and CBD.
The budtenders who work in recreational dispensaries versus medical dispensaries differ, too. In recreational shops, they’re knowledgeable about strains that induce euphoria or relaxation. In medical shops, they’re knowledgeable about strains that help sufferers of MS or Crohn’s Disease and other maladies that produce chronic pain. Of course, the best budtenders are savvy about all the attributes of cannabis, regardless of the shop in which they’re employed.