What the difference between medical and recreational cannabis? How can we determine the difference between a cannabis user and a cannabis patient? In this article, we are going to take a sneak-peak into the world of cannabis to answer these recurring questions posed to this growing industry.
When determining the type of cannabis usage a person is participating in one must first consider intent. The most important factor to consider when speaking with a cannabis user may that be for research purposes or general conversation is their intentions behind their usage. Ask yourself or even the person you are speaking with if their goal for their consumption of cannabis products is to enjoy the cerebral effects offered by the intoxicating qualities of THC or if they are using it to treat a specific condition and or symptoms. The defining difference between medical and recreational is that medical cannabis is a tool used by medical professionals to treat medical conditions or their symptoms, whereas recreational cannabis is used by patrons to achieve a desired euphoric effect from the plant’s psychoactive components.
Medical cannabis is a valid and often necessary tool in the treatment of various illnesses and conditions. As previously referenced intentions during usage play, a huge role in identifying medical cannabis products but the intention of the user is not the sole factor for identification; Medical cannabis can also be identified by prescription, the levels of cannabinoids, and its pricing.
A prescription from a medical professional is a major distinguishing factor between medical and recreational cannabis. For cannabis to be classified as a medicinal product, one must have the means to provide a medical diagnosis following a written prescription produced by a medical professional. The most common conditions that would require a cannabis prescription are anxiety, epilepsy, cancer, depression, chronic pain conditions, and insomnia. A medical professional may exercise cannabis as a tool in the treatment of their patients and 36 out of the 50 states this practice is completely legal. If a medical professional prescribes cannabis to a patient, a medical cannabis identification card will be presented at the dispensary where the prescription is filled. Dispensaries also require that only the patient being served is checked out privately when handling a medical prescription.
The cannabinoid levels within the cannabis product purchased are another great tool to differentiate between medical and recreational cannabis. Medicinal cannabis products often have a lower percentage of THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol) versus a higher percentage of CBD (Cannabidiol). CBD(Cannabidiol) is scientifically proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-psychotic properties. CBD(Cannabidiol) and hemp are both legal in all 50 states and can be purchased without the psychoactive component THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). The different levels of CBD(Cannabidiol) versus THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol) are what make medical cannabis safe for consumption by the elderly and children.
The pricing of medical and recreational cannabis varies greatly depending on location and product quality. Although it is difficult to give general information regarding the price difference between the two there is at least one fact available to the public and that is that medical cannabis is tax-deductible. Tax-deductible items are items that can be deducted from taxable income when calculating income tax due. With medical cannabis being tax-deductible it often means the overall price for medical cannabis products is less than that of recreational cannabis products.
Cannabis is still classified under schedule 1 by the federal government so despite its medicinal qualities can still equate to a charge of possession. Although medical and recreational cannabis products have become more commonly accepted there are still those that view the use of cannabis products as criminal and unfortunately, in the eyes of the federal government, they would be correct. Most picture the average cannabis consumer as a young imbalanced person simply seeking their next high but a study done in October of 2021 by the University of Michigan tells us otherwise. The students from the University of Michigan interviewed 348 adults at the local medical cannabis dispensary and found that 66.1% of the people surveyed were males with an average age of 41.5 years with over half being at least 50 years of age. Cannabis is no longer the forbidden fruit of our youth as we continue research into this plant we are finding there’s something there for everyone. So whether you are consuming cannabis for recreational purposes or for medical be safe and enjoy the miracle plant that has everyone talking.