Medical cannabis vs recreational cannabis

A stock photo of Medical Marijuana. Perfect for projects about Medical Cannabis, recreational drugs and Marijuana.

Cannabis has been around for ages. It’s been used medicinally for ages, too. According to, most ancient cultures cultivated cannabis, not to get high, but rather as herbal medicine. The hemp plant, the male form of the cannabis plant, was grown for use in textiles, rope, paper, and sails. While some evidence shows that ancient cultures were aware of cannabis’s psychoactive effects, it’s believed that THC was produced for use in religious ceremonies or for healing.

As you know, in modern times, marijuana, the female form of the cannabis plant, is used recreationally — specifically to get high. Marijuana was criminalized in the United States and other countries in the 20th century, but that is changing with many states, including California, legalizing consumption of cannabis.

For example, in California, legislation now allows for the following:

Medical cannabis — The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 made it possible for patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other diseases to access medical marijuana to ease their symptoms without running afoul of state law.
Recreational cannabis — In January 2018, California’s Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Both medical and recreational cannabis have rules and restrictions for consumers and licensing requirements for cannabis professionals. A dispensary may be licensed to sell medical cannabis, recreational cannabis, or both. Moreover, each city has a say in how cannabis is sold, or not sold as the case may be, in their jurisdictions.


Both medical and recreational cannabis come from the same plant, causing many to assume they are one and the same. However, there is a difference.

Plants are developed and grown to produce specific characteristics. This is true of agriculture in general. For example, the tomatoes you buy at the store are bred to withstand shipping, look attractive, and survive their time on store shelves. You’ve probably noticed that they don’t taste nearly as delicious or have the same texture or coloring of the heirloom tomatoes you grow in your backyard.

Cannabis plants can be grown to produce specific characteristics as well. In this case, the focus tends to be on the plant’s production of cannabinoids, typically THC (the compound responsible for the high) and CBD (a beneficial compound without the high). Dozens of other cannabinoids exist and may be targeted by producers looking to bring out a certain trait.

Thus, if you’re looking to get high, recreational cannabis products are made from cannabis strains that have bred for that. On the other hand, if you’re looking to reduce inflammation and pain or ease the symptoms of a medical condition, medical cannabis is a far better choice because medical cannabis products are made from cannabis strains bred to help treat medical conditions. Self-medicating with recreational cannabis is NOT recommended.

Tikun Olam’s proprietary medical cannabis strains are the result of years of extensive research by the world’s leading cannabis researchers and bred their ability to improve health and wellness. Tikun Olam’s cannabis plants are grown in pristine, sterile environments and meet stringent quality control standards. With six strains developed to help treat dozens of medical conditions and a variety of delivery methods (flower, oil, vape oil, tincture, transdermal patches, lotions, etc.), Tikun Olam is the number one choice for medical cannabis.