Cannabis has been used for a variety of purposes for thousands of years. The plant has a wide variety of applications, including clothing, weapons, food, and leisure.
Recreational and medical cannabis, on the other hand, are currently generating a lot of interest. However, what is the distinction between recreational and medical cannabis? Let’s look at it.
What is Recreational Cannabis?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, dope, grass, and grass (recreational cannabis), is the most popular illicit drug in the United Kingdom, with over 10 million people aged 16 to 64 having used it at least once in their lives.
Recreational marijuana is cannabis used for fun rather than medical purposes. Marijuana users consume THC, which causes euphoric effects, such as happiness, relaxation, and sleepiness.
What is Medical Cannabis?
Medical cannabis is a wide term that refers to any type of cannabis-based medical remedy that alleviates symptoms of both physical and mental illness.
Only a small number of people in England are likely to receive a prescription for medical cannabis owing to the fact that it is currently only available for the treatment of very severe cases of the following conditions:
- Children and adults with rare, severe forms of epilepsy
- Adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy
- People with muscle stiffness and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis (MS)
If a patient has failed to respond positively to other therapies, or if the medicine isn’t right for them, Xyrem might be offered as a last resort.
Many medical cannabis treatments do not include the chemical that gives users a high, and any that do have a carefully monitored quantity. The long-term effects of THC are uncertain at this time.
Instead, the majority of medical cannabis preparations contain just CBD, which has no intoxicating effect but can assist with ailments including chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and epilepsy.
The main risks associated with THC cannabis products are:
- Psychosis – There is evidence suggesting that cannabis with THC in it might raise the risk of developing a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia.
According to the NHS, smoking marijuana raises the chance of developing mental illnesses like schizophrenia, with those who used it more than 50 times before age 18 being three times more likely to develop schizophrenia by the age of 45.
- Dependency on the medicine – It’s possible for customers of cannabis products containing THC to develop a physical and emotional addiction to the substance over time.
THC tolerance develops in the brain’s reward circuit after repeated exposure. The brain must rewire back when the supply is stopped, causing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
However, experts opine that while THC medications are carefully regulated and watched by a physician, the hazard of addiction is minor.
What are THC and CBD?
THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, causes the “high” felt by users. It is responsible for producing the “high” felt by persons. The FDA has authorized dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet) as synthetic forms of THC that may help relieve nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment.
Another component of cannabis, CBD or cannabidiol is another non-psychoactive component found in the plant. CBD is thought to account for the majority of marijuana’s medical benefits.
Epidiolex is a CBD oil extract undergoing clinical research for epilepsy.
THC:CBD: Nabiximols (Sativex) is a botanical drug produced from the cannabis plant with an equal ratio of THC and CBD. It has been prescribed as a medicine in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe for various indications including multiple sclerosis, spasticity, neuropathic pain, overactive bladder, and so on.
Cannabis strains for medical use are available in a wide range of THC and CBD concentrations. According to the professional viewpoint, 10mg of THC should be regarded as “one serving,” and no more should be inhaled or consumed by someone new to medical marijuana until they understand their responsibilities.
What is medical arijuana used for?
Researchers are researching if medical marijuana has the potential to treat a variety of diseases, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Appetite loss
- Crohn’s disease
- Diseases affecting the immune system like HIV/AIDS or Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Eating disorders such as anorexia
- Mental health conditions like schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
But it hasn’t been proved to aid most of these diseases, with a few exceptions, according to Bonn-Miller.
“The greatest amount of evidence for cannabis’ therapeutic effects relate to its capacity to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, and spasticity from MS,” Bonn-Miller adds.
How does it help?
Cannabinoids — the active chemicals in medical cannabis — are similar to chemicals produced by the body that are involved with hunger, memory, movement, and pain.
Cannabinoids have been shown in studies to produce many medical benefits, including:
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- Control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy
- Kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth
- Relax tight muscles in people with MS
- Stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS
Can Medical Cannabis help with seizure disorders?
A lot of attention was paid to medical marijuana recently when parents claimed that a particular type of the drug helped control seizures in their children. Epidiolex, which is produced from CBD, has been authorized by the FDA as a treatment for people with extremely severe or hard-to-treat seizures. Some patients had a significant reduction in seizures after taking this medication in studies.
What is the Difference between Recreational and Medical Cannabis?
Cannabis is a pharmaceutical drug. It’s made in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), ensuring top quality and purity with an established THC:CBD ratio and strength.
In the United Kingdom, the Home Office’s Department of Health and Social Care and the Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency supervise and license cannabis-based medical treatments.
Cannabis purchased on the street or from an unlicensed vendor for other purposes, such as pleasure use, is not regulated. The THC:CBD ratio and potency are frequently unknown.
Furthermore, given that many dealers are unlicensed, cannabis may be contaminated with hazardous chemicals like pesticides and mildew since they are more concerned with the money than the consumer.
Is Recreational Cannabis Safe?
Cannabis is not as safe as people believe it to be. There’s no way to ensure that cannabis sold by a dealer is safe to consume, because you have no idea what chemicals are in it. Even self-grown cannabis has the potential to harm your health owing to THC concerns.
Cannabis overconsumption has been associated with a variety of mental illnesses, including anxiety, sadness, and paranoia, especially in individuals who are genetically predisposed.
For many individuals, the short but pleasurable highs provided by brief marijuana use are not worth the long-term health risks and debilitating mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.
It’s also worth pointing out that not everyone benefits from recreational cannabis. Marijuana use can result in the following undesirable side effects:
- Inhibited motor skills (making driving more dangerous)
- Lowered inhibitions (leading to poor decision making)
- Irritated and inflamed lungs from the smoke
- Greater risk of stroke or heart attack through increased heart rate
How do you get Medical Cannabis?
To obtain medical cannabis, you must first acquire a written prescription from a licensed physician in states where it is permitted. (Not all doctors are willing to suggest medical cannabis to their patients.) You must have an illness that qualifies you for use of medical marijuana. Each state has its own list of qualifying conditions. Your state may also demand that you obtain a medical marijuana identification card before purchasing the drug at a dispensary.