Recreational vs. Medical Weed...Is There A Difference?

What is Different with Recreational Weed and what medical marijuana patients should know.

April 30, 2018

In other states, people are raving about how marijuana might or might not get legalized. We’re lucky in California where recreational weed now exists. But, it’s interesting to see how others debate this topic. Specifically, there’s an increasing amount of comments floating around about how “medical weed” and “street weed” are completely different. Are they actually different? What’s different about them?  We’ll dispel some confusions on this topic for you.


What is Recreational Weed?

Straight from the ground, pulled out of the hydroponic growing system, plucked from a pot in your cousin’s neighbor’s garden. Sometimes it’s organic and healthy, but if you go to the wrong dealer it could have crushed up glass, silica powder or even crystal meth inside.

Scary, right?

Thankfully, we’re in California where recreational weed is legal. This transition means that cannabis crops go through proper processing procedures before meeting the end user. Thus, customers do not have to worry about any of those serious issues when buying recreational weed here in San Francisco.


What is Different with Recreational Weed?

Recreational weed does not have any THC removed but sometimes medical weed does. The result is a much more potent “high effect” from the recreational bud. The difference isn’t quite as noticeable when the bud is vaped, but the same still remains true. For users seeking the “getting stoned” feeling, recreational weed is the way to go.

Meanwhile, medical weed contains more CBD than THC. With medical marijuana, though, the lower amount of THC (which is a psychoactive compound) results in less of a potent high effect.

The fact that the THC content is lesser means a few nasty side effects might not surface, which is often a good thing for those treating medical problems. For example, the psychoactive properties are a major negative for patients with, say, schizophrenia. Meanwhile, the CBD does help with that disorder so only medical weed would be truly beneficial to them. In fact, many schizophrenia patients opt for CBD oil instead to completely avoid the THC.


What Medical Marijuana Patients Should Know

You don’t need a crazy amount of THC to get the medicating effects you need to treat the symptoms your condition carries. Your medical marijuana evaluations when you meet with a doctor will determine what strains are best for you. The main factor is whether you need something that’s more of an indica or sativa strain. Some testing can be done from there to make sure you use the best strain possible.

Switching to recreational can be disastrous as the amount of THC will be much more than what you’re used to having. This change could take away from the effectiveness of the medical weed once you return to it. Chances are you will revert back anyway, as the recreational marijuana contains side effects you won’t experience with medical bud.


What if you’re a recreational user?

If so, chances are you’ve had weed for longer than its been legal. Most recreational users have a bit of history with the drug. Therefore, your tolerance to the THC is already higher than the average new medical user. This serves as a setback because if you switch to medical weed you might not feel the potent effects it offers. Your body is already used to the high it gets from recreational weed, which means transitioning from recreational to medical can be difficult.



Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are not entirely the same. The major difference is the THC content level in each. You could have a strain with the same name, but there will typically be less THC in the medical one. This stark difference is not a bad thing and medical marijuana patients should not feel shafted.

The reality is that medical weed is more effective when someone just wants to cope with health-bogging symptoms — but recreational weed is much stronger and a go-to for partying purposes as well.

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