You’ve probably heard that recreational marijuana is illegal in the State of Florida as of 2023. However, there are certain health conditions that are eligible for medical marijuana treatment under Florida law. So what’s the difference between medical marijuana vs. recreational? Let’s break it down:
THC, the main cannabinoid in recreational marijuana, is famous for its mind and mood-altering effects. It’s the compound that produces the “high” that people experience after consuming cannabis products. Like CBD, THC is also known for its potential health benefits, including:
While most forms of recreational marijuana contain THC, many forms of medical marijuana contain CBD alone — not THC — which means you will notice a positive impact on your mood, sleep, inflammation, or pain without any kind of psychoactive effect.
However, some forms of medical marijuana do contain THC. The best way to find out what kind of medical marijuana is right for you is to consult a licensed medical marijuana doctor.
Some medical marijuana products (as well as many recreational products) contain both THC and CBD. There is research that suggests THC and CBD provide more effective pain relief when combined than either provides alone. Other, minor cannabinoids (like CBG) can also play a role in this.
To purchase medical marijuana, you must be registered in your state. Once you’ve registered, you’ll typically receive a medical marijuana card to serve as convenient proof of registration. To receive a medical marijuana card, you will first need to be evaluated by a doctor for a qualifying condition. Some qualifying conditions in the State of Florida include:
While recreational cannabis is generally restricted to consumers 21 years of age or older, the minimum age for medical marijuana treatment varies by state. In Florida, patients with qualifying conditions can obtain medical marijuana cards with the help of a doctor when they turn 18.
One of the biggest differences between medical marajuana and recreational marijuana is how it’s sold and taxed. Recreational marijuana sales are usually taxed heavily, whereas medical marijuana is usually exempt from marijuana taxes.
In Florida, registered medical marijuana patients can fill orders from qualified physicians at licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers. In states where both recreational and medical marijuana are legal, dispensaries are often permitted to sell both kinds of products. (In fact, some fully-legal states do not differentiate between “medical” and “recreational” cannabis at all. “Medical” cannabis is simply any cannabis product that has been specifically selected for its qualities to treat a particular condition.)
When it comes to the effects of cannabis, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana share many of the same properties and potential benefits. The major differences come down to how it’s sold, taxed, and regulated by law.
If you’re thinking about getting your medical marijuana card in Port Charlotte, our friendly, licensed physicians at Iona Cannabis Clinic can help you through the process and answer all your questions. Schedule an appointment today!