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Medical cannabis versus recreational cannabis: Important things you should know about

  • Venus Montalla
  • 2 Months ago
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All over the world, cannabis is considered to be one of the most popular recreational drugs. Yet, unlike other drugs of the same type, cannabis is also known to work as a medical drug due to its therapeutic properties. Below are some of the important things you should know about these two,

What is medical cannabis?

The cannabis plant is known to contain more than 100 bioactive chemicals. Collectively called as cannabinoids, these chemicals have different effects on the body. In terms of medical application, two main cannabinoids are most widely used: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In terms of cannabinoid-content, medical cannabis has more CBD than THC.

Generally, CBD is the component that makes the drug medicinal (Higher CBD means the lower the psychoactive effect of the drug). Basically, CBD affects the body’s endocannabinoid system and is responsible for the regulation of various physiological functions like mood, hormone production, immune system function, and many more.

Generally, products that contain CBD are considered to be safe. CBD, unlike other cannabinoids, is safe and non-psychoactive even at high contents and bears no significant side effects. At present, medical cannabis drugs containing synthesized cannabinoids are known to treat chronic pain, nausea, and other side effects of chemotherapy.

However, it is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration does not recognize pure cannabis plant as a medicine.

What is recreational cannabis?

More commonly known as “pot” or “weed”, recreational cannabis is the form of cannabis that is used without medical rationalization. In terms of its bioactive components, recreational cannabis contains higher amounts of THC than its medical counterpart, thus providing its users the euphoric feeling.

In the cannabis industry, recreational cannabis can be bought by anyone, aged 21 years old or older and has a valid ID, at any recreational dispensaries. And unlike their medical cannabis counterpart, recreational cannabis dispensaries are not controlled by strict laws.

As a recreational drug, cannabis can be used in various forms. Most of the time, the dry and shredded mixture of leaves, flowers, seeds, and stems, is smoked as a cigarette, as a blunt, or in a pipe. Sometimes, it tops of the female plants are used to make hashish, which is considered to have the highest concentration of THC. In some instances, recreational cannabis is taken in the form of tea or just mixed in food products.

Laws concerning the two

At present, there are different laws concerning medical and recreational cannabis worldwide. And as these laws change, it is really important to take note of the differences between these two forms of cannabis.Generally, medical cannabis is somewhat more legal and more accepted than the latter. It is also becoming harder to trace which states and countries allow the use of recreational cannabis because of the various laws being amended to allow the use of medical cannabis.

In about 29 states in the United States, cannabis is legal to use with a medical or prescription card. Meanwhile, eight US states namely: Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, California, and Alaska allow the use of recreational cannabis.However, in some states and countries, cannabis, regardless whether it is medical or recreational, is considered to be a hard drug; thus making it illegal even for medical reasons.

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Venus Montalla has a BS degree in Biology and has worked as a research assistant in various projects.

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