medical marijuana on table

Medical Cannabis vs Recreational Cannabis

Whether you’re a seasoned consumer or new to the world of cannabis, you may be wondering: what are the differences between medical and recreational marijuana? Besides the obvious, are there any true differences between medical marijuana and recreational weed? The answers may surprise you. While both types come from the same species of plant (the cannabis plant), there are important distinctions between the two. Even for adults living in Colorado, where both recreational and medicinal cannabis is legalized, understanding the differences between each type is important.

Here’s a useful breakdown of the basic differences between recreational and medical marijuana:

Federal and State Laws

When it comes to federal law, there is currently no distinction between recreational and medical cannabis – both are classified as an illegal substance. Despite this, the large majority of states have legalized medical marijuana in some form, with a number of others passing measures allowing for recreational adult use of cannabis.

For example, Colorado cannabis laws permit adults to use cannabis recreationally as well as medically, with certain medical marijuana permissions also granted for minors.

Purpose and Intended Use

One of the most important distinctions between medical and recreational cannabis is their purpose or the way in which they are intended to be used:

    • Medical marijuana is specifically utilized by qualifying patients for the treatment of symptoms related to certain medical conditions.
    • Recreational marijuana is generally used for the purpose of enjoyment, rather than symptom alleviation.

As a result of these differences, varying strains of marijuana are typically preferred for each distinct purpose. According to Harvard researchers, adults choosing marijuana for recreational purposes typically select strains different than those interested in the plant’s medicinal properties:

Although products used by recreational marijuana consumers and medical marijuana patients are derived from the same plant species, they are generally utilized for different purposes… Recreational marijuana users often seek products high in THC, the main psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant. And, while medical patients may also choose products with high THC levels, they often seek products high in other potentially therapeutic cannabinoids.

Who Can Legally Purchase Each Type

Another difference between recreational and medical cannabis are the individuals legally allowed to purchase each kind. According to Colorado state marijuana laws, the following regulations apply to the purchase (and use) of cannabis:

    • Recreational cannabis can be purchased by adults age 21 and older, with up to one ounce allowed in your possession at a time.
    • Medical cannabis is for sale only to qualifying patients (those 18 and older with a qualifying condition, or minors that meet the regulatory requirements) with a Colorado MMJ card.

Where You Can Legally Purchase Each Type

Finally, there are unique regulations for the Colorado dispensaries selling recreational and/or medicinal cannabis:

    • Medical marijuana in Colorado is only sold by dispensaries that meet the state’s MMJ licensure requirements.
    • Recreational marijuana can only be purchased at licensed retail dispensaries.

Shop Premium Cannabis at One of the Best Dispensaries in Denver

At Greenfields Cannabis Co, we offer an extensive selection of both recreational and medical marijuana for adult use. With a range of price points and strains available, we make it easy to find exceptionally high-quality cannabis products to suit your individual needs and preferences. The menu for our Denver dispensaries features pre-rolls, concentrates, edibles, and topicals, and our friendly team of knowledgeable budtenders are always happy to answer questions you may have. Plus, we always run special deals on select top-tier products, offering the opportunity to try something new for an extremely affordable price.

Learn more about how adult consumers in Denver are incorporating medical and recreational cannabis into their everyday lives by visiting Greenfield’s Cannabis Co. today.

Image Credit: getty, tvirbickis

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