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Medical Marijuana vs Recreational Weed

Two rows of cannabis plants double stacked in cultivation facility

This may blow your mind, but there really is no difference between cannabis for medical or recreational use. The terms “medical” and “recreational” are legal distinctions only, used by states to help shape regulations. Currently, 24 states have legalized recreational marijuana with another 17 states legalizing it for medicaluse only. Cannabis laws are evolving, so be sure to check with your state for the most up-to-date age requirements, tax rate and possession amounts. 


Medical vs Recreational: Same Plant, Different Purposes

All cannabis products come from the same plant species, but that doesn’t mean all cannabis is the same. Not at all. The beautiful thing about the cannabis plant is that it comes in so many varieties — each with distinct compounds that offer a huge array of benefits.   


How CBD and THC Work in the Body

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps control things like our mood, appetite, and how we feel pain. Phytocannabinoids found in cannabis, like THC and CBD, work naturally with this system because they act in a similar way to the endocannabinoids in our bodies. 

Both CBD and THC are proven to offer medical benefits. The recreational benefits of THC are well-known, of course, but new research supports several health benefits, too, like managing the side effects of chemotherapy, improving sleep quality and helping with chronic pain.  

Many strains with therapeutic benefits contain high levels of specific compounds called terpenes. For example, Beta Caryophyllene and Terpinolene are two terpenes known for reducing inflammation and relieving pain. 


Medical Edibles 

For some people, smoking or vaping cannabis may not be ideal. That’s where edibles can be an effective alternative. Marijuana edibles are more potent, but the effects tend to take longer to kick in. It’s always a good idea to start low and slow — wait at least an hour after taking an edible to understand its effects. On average, an edible is effective for four to six hours, but that can vary based on your metabolism and tolerance.  


Shop Today! 

If you have a medical condition, it’s a good idea to talk with a healthcare provider about how cannabis can help. They can also make suggestions on how much you need and when you should dose. When you’re ready to purchase, ask your favorite budtender to help you find cannabis products that are right for you. Shop in store or online today.  


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