Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Marijuana

Medical Marijuana vs Recreational Marijuana Use

 Medical marijuana products are derived from the cannabis sativa plant and formulated for use in treating and/or relieving symptoms of chronic conditions. Adult-use marijuana products, also called recreational marijuana, are formulated from cannabis to optimize an experience of enjoyment rather than for health benefits.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana in an Adult-Use State

  • Personalized treatment
  • Access to better-quality and higher-strength products
  • Legal protections
  • Save on state tax
  • Reciprocity with other states

“Ranking psychoactive substances by their ratios of lethal dose to effective dose gives a general picture of how likely each is to precipitate an acute fatal reaction. By this measure, many illicit drugs are considerably safer than alcohol.” – The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs. Gable, Robert S.

Robert S. Gable is an emeritus professor at Claremont Graduate University and received both a doctorate in education from Harvard and a doctorate in experimental psychology from Brandeis.

Personalized Treatment

The amount and strength of cannabis that works best may vary significantly from patient to patient, depending on their specific conditions and tolerance levels.

Patients can consult with a medical professional to determine the best dosing schedule and method of consumption for their specific needs.

Quality Cannabis Products

Medical marijuana users can access better-quality and higher-strength cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries

  • Quality and consistency of content is verified by a product’s Certificate of Analysis
  • Medical cannabis products often provide higher potency compared to cannabis sold for Adult Use
  • Ratio products (CBD to THC content) make it easier to find your ideal dose
  • Usually rich in terpenes, or even offered in whole-plant products

In California, THC limits for cannabis products are strictly regulated, with edibles capped at 100mg of THC and lotions/tinctures limited to 1000mg of THC. However, medical marijuana dispensaries are permitted higher potency levels, allowing up to 2000mg of THC in lotions. This flexibility caters to medical patients who may require stronger potency to effectively manage their conditions, highlighting the inadequacy of recreational products for certain medical needs.

Legal Protections

A medical marijuana card provides an additional layer of legal protection

  • Higher possession limits are crucial for patients who rely on consistent access to their medicine for chronic conditions. Well-defined limits in the state’s medical marijuana program can mean less worry about legal repercussions for possessing the amounts necessary for their treatment.
  • The age limit for recreational cannabis use is 21. A medical marijuana card allows younger patients with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for their treatment under the supervision of an approved caregiver, who can purchase medication on their behalf. This can be especially important for patients with physically limiting conditions such as severe epilepsy.
  • States with reciprocity for medical marijuana cardholders currently include Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, as well as Washington D.C.

Higher Possession Limits

Cannabis regulations vary significantly between recreational users and medical marijuana cardholders. In states like California, medical patients can purchase up to 8 ounces of cannabis daily, while recreational buyers are limited to just 1 ounce per day. This stark contrast extends to possession and cultivation rights, where medical cardholders often enjoy higher possession limits and the ability to grow more plants, depending on state laws. For instance, in Nevada, medical users can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, compared to the 1 ounce limit for recreational users. Furthermore, while recreational users in some states like Colorado can grow up to six plants, medical growers may request permission to exceed this limit.

These differences highlight the preferential treatment afforded to medical marijuana cardholders in terms of cannabis access and cultivation rights. While recreational users face stricter purchase limits and often cannot grow their own cannabis, medical patients enjoy higher purchase allowances and greater flexibility in cultivation, reflecting the varying regulatory frameworks across states.

Saving on State Tax

  • Recreational marijuana products are generally subject to higher sales taxes
  • Medical cardholders are often exempt from this tax or pay a much lower rate

Access to Medical-Only dispensaries

  • Possessing a medical marijuana card grants access to specialized medical dispensaries, distinct from recreational outlets, available exclusively to cardholders. These dispensaries offer a diverse array of products, strains, and professional guidance tailored to medical needs.
  • Medical marijuana cardholders benefit from access to knowledgeable professionals such as medical doctors and cannabis coaches, who provide guidance on product selection, dosages, and usage for various medical conditions. 
  • Recreational dispensaries may offer assistance from budtenders, they may lack the specialized expertise needed to address medical inquiries effectively, making medical dispensaries a preferred choice for those seeking tailored medical guidance.

Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Even if recreational marijuana becomes legal in Florida, there are several reasons why someone would still benefit from having a Florida medical marijuana card. First, it provides legal protection, ensuring that possession remains within the bounds of the law. Second, medical patients may have access to higher potency cannabis products if their condition requires it. Third, cardholders can legally purchase cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries, ensuring safe and regulated access. Finally, medical cannabis is specifically tailored for treating certain conditions, allowing patients to explore treatment options that may not be available elsewhere .

If you or a loved one are struggling with a qualifying medical condition, obtaining a Florida medical marijuana card could provide much-needed relief. Don’t hesitate to take the first step towards accessing effective treatment options. Reach out to MMTCFL today to schedule an appointment with a Florida medical marijuana doctor and start your journey towards improved well-being. Your health and quality of life are worth prioritizing. Take action now to explore how medical marijuana may benefit you.