What’s the Difference Between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana Use?

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on November 7, 2014 · 0 comments

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The difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana isn’t in how you use it—it has to do with the strain of marijuana you are using and how the cannabinoids present in the plant interact with your brain.


Medical marijuana seeds produce marijuana plants that contain different amounts of the main active cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the diverse chemical compounds that give marijuana it’s unique properties. THC is responsible for the pain-reliving effects of marijuana, but it’s also responsible for the high associated with it. CBD is responsible for many of the physical pain-relief medical marijuana users experience. However, the levels of these two main cannabinoids in different combinations can provide greater relief for some conditions than others.


In general, medical marijuana plants have lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD. The level of CBD in the bud is determined by the strain of marijuana you are using. CBD is naturally found in plants with low levels of THC, but some plants are now being bred to have high levels of both. There is not much you can do to impact CBD levels in terms of when the buds are harvested and how you care for the plant. It’s all bred into the genetics.


The only legal difference between medical marijuana use and recreational use in states where both are legal is that you need a doctor’s recommendation for medical use. Both states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use have quality control standards in place to protect consumers, while many of the states that have legalized marijuana for medical use only, like California, do not.


The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.


Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.

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