The last decade has seen a tremendous shift as more states move to legalize cannabis for recreational or adult use purposes, while some states remain medical only, and others remain under prohibition. The move to legalize cannabis in both medicinal and recreational avenues have people calling into question what the difference is between medical and recreational cannabis. Is there really a difference?
Let’s explore some of the viewpoints that differentiate cannabis for medical use and recreational purposes.
Cannabis for Medical Use
Medical cannabis has been around in the United States for a long time, with the earliest efforts towards legalizing it stemming back to the early-1990s with the efforts of the late HIV/AIDS advocate Denis Peron.
Generally, in states where medical cannabis is legal, patients can receive a medical recommendation from a cannabis prescribing doctor in order to purchase legal cannabis products.
When using cannabis for medical purposes, people are likely to choose strains, products, and methods of consumption that aim to target specific symptoms. A medical cannabis regimen is usually made up of daily doses, dose timing, CBD rich strains, and a thoughtful consumption targeted at only relieving medical symptoms. Many choose high-THC strains for their powerful effects for pain relief, appetite stimulation, promoting sleep, and other desirable effects. While THC is used, many medical patients don’t necessarily use to “get high”.
This all being said, it would be naïve for the cannabis community to think that for some, medical cannabis may also bleed into recreational use as well.
What does Recreational Use Mean?
What does recreational cannabis use truly imply? Is to be viewed as an alternative to getting drunk with your buddies, or is it something that can be enjoyed at any time, for any reason?
This is for the consumer to decide. The effects of cannabis are different for each person, and the reasons for using cannabis are personal.
Efforts to regulate the use of cannabis for recreational or adult use acknowledge that cannabis is used for different reasons, although cannabis legalization isn’t necessarily a “carte blanche” to use anywhere or everywhere. Cannabis legalization allows states and governments, municipalities, and legal entities to profit from cannabis while moving cannabis out of the black market under strict regulations.
Cannabis for recreational use spans from opting for a joint or pull off your vaporizer at the end of a long work day rather than a glass of wine, to sharing a joint around a campfire with your friends, or something that can be shared lovingly between romantic partners. The beauty about recreational cannabis, and its legalization is that the decision to use cannabis for recreational purposes is now put into the hands of adults, rather than authorities.
Along with the medical use of cannabis, cannabis for recreational purposes comes with cautions and risks. You should never drive under the influence of cannabis. Be aware of the strain you’re using and understand its THC potency. Be a conscious consumer of the products you buy on the legal market – ask questions – that’s what budtenders and cannabis stores are for!
Be a considerate consumer as well and always be aware of the consumption and possession laws in your state. No matter whether you’re using cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, it is a powerful substance that you should disclose to your doctor, especially since it can potentially have interactions with medications.
Pick Your Method
Now is the time to embrace the magic of legal cannabis into your life – whether it is for medical or recreational purposes. The choice is yours to make, and the benefits of cannabis are yours to explore. If you’re in a state that has not legalized cannabis, CBD is a great place to start, with it now becoming available through the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill last year.
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