What is the Difference Between Medicinal and Recreational Drugs?

Cannabis is quickly becoming the preferred substance for recreational and medical use. Whether you’re hitting up the San Diego dispensary for weekend relaxation or physical relief, it’s important to know the difference between the types of cannabis available. Choosing the wrong strain may result in poor results, or even effects that you are trying t avoid! Here is a quick breakdown of the differences between medicinal and recreational cannabis to help you create a more enjoyable experience.

Medicine or Merchandise?

While there is no official distinction between medicinal and recreational marijuana, there are certain traits strains express that put them into one category or the other. Generally, medicinal cannabis is based on higher CBD content, while recreational options are prone to have much more THC. The compound CBD has been found to help treat a number of different issues, while THC can help similar conditions with additional psychoactive effects.

Identifying cannabis with a high CBD content isn’t the only way a strain can be considered medicinal. Many people find the THC effects help to combat a number of psychological problems, such as those associated with PTSD. If you are looking to combat chronic pain or other issues while still being able to remain level-headed, medicinal strains tend to work best. For those looking for more of an intoxication effect, ask the staff at a San Diego dispensary to point you toward the recreational varieties.

Generations of Use

People have been using cannabis as a recreational and medicinal substance for thousands of years. Originally cultivated in Asia using hemp fiber for rope and paper, evidence for its use outside of textiles has only recently been discovered. As far back as 2,500 years ago, people had been using a handheld brazier to heat marijuana leaves with stones, inhaling the resulting vapors. These smokers were likely followers of the Zoroastrian religion, whose sacred texts often tout the spiritual value of cannabis.

Chinese manuscripts also note the substances healing properties. Medicinal works describe cannabis as the “liberator of sin” and the “giver of pleasure.” Visitors to the Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum in Amsterdam will find a wealth of documentation and artifacts detailing the plant’s use through the ages. In short, the idea to use cannabis for fun and relief has been around for a long time.

Explaining Strains

Because medicinal marijuana focuses on CBD effects, specific strains have been bred that have very little THC. By understanding how to identify these breeds, you’re more likely to choose a product that offers the results you desire. Cannabis strains fall into three different categories: sativa, indica, and hybrid. While it was previously believed that these types produced dramatically different effects, in truth they describe how the plant looks and grows more than how they will affect a patient.

  • Sativas have been associated with a more energized high that makes people more active and conversational. Medicinal users like sativas because it doesn’t always make them feel groggy, and they can remain alert throughout their day. These plants usually have broad leaves and can grow quite tall.
  • Indicas are known to produce a more relaxed effect that some call “couch-lock.” This is a great strain for people looking for insomnia relief or to escape anxiety and help with depression. Indica plants tend to be shorter and squatter with larger collections of bud-like flowers.
  • Hybrid plants contain a mix of both genetics. They usually look similar to one or the other parent and have different levels of THC and CBD.
  • CBD-Dominant strains are designed specifically for medicinal use since they don’t provide any kind of high. Hemp-based CBD products can be purchased over the counter, but marijuana-sourced items are usually found in the San Diego dispensary.

While “recreational” strains can also be used for medicinal purposes, most CBD-heavy breeds aren’t a great choice if you’re simply looking for a good time.

Quality Control

Because a San Diego dispensary has to meet certain guidelines, you can be assured that their product is of generally good quality. In states where recreational sales are still illegal, those looking for an entertaining experience will have to find other means. For those who know how to identify quality cannabis, the difference between store and street-bought items is obvious. From the look and smell alone, most people will be able to identify which came from a dispensary. When it comes to medicinal marijuana, people with prescriptions don’t have the same problem and know firsthand that they are getting a good product.

Medicinal Musings

When it comes to choosing cannabis strains, you’re going to want one that offers the experience you’re looking for. Talk to your doctor and the staff at a San Diego dispensary for advice on which strains and CBD levels are good for you. When it comes time to party, remember to look for THC levels to indicate its possible effects. Checking CBD and THC amounts will let you know which products are best suited for work, play, or recuperation!