medical marijuana vs recreational


What Is The Difference Between Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

Not so long ago, almost everyone preferred to use cannabis privately and would only discuss it with someone they knew also enjoyed it.

Now that marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use in so many states, that is quickly changing. If you’re fortunate enough to reside in one of these states, you can now openly discuss how cannabis improves your quality of life without feeling uncomfortable. 

A multitude of new terms and legal classifications are introduced along with this newly discovered freedom. Additionally, it might be challenging to keep up with the ever-evolving cannabis legislation.

We are going to evaluate the differences between medical and recreational marijuana as well as some of the laws you should be aware of.

Let’s start by understanding what each type of marijuana is:

What Is Recreational Marijuana?

Recreational marijuana is consumed for social and recreational reasons without any medical reasons. In several US states, adults 21 and older may possess up to the state’s allotted amount of marijuana for personal use.

What Is Medical Marijuana?

A healthcare professional may prescribe medical marijuana to treat a qualifying ailment and any related symptoms. Users of medical marijuana need a diagnosis and prescription from a doctor. State-specific regulations apply. 

Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

Buying Experience

Medical Marijuana

You will need to apply for a medical card to buy medical marijuana. A qualified health professional will analyze your health condition and give you a medical certificate deeming you eligible for a medical card. Don’t forget to carry your medical card to make a purchase.

While the budtender at the store can assist you choose the best products, it’s better if you conduct your own research. Users of medical marijuana, as opposed to those who use it recreationally, use it to treat or lessen symptoms of their ailments.

Medical marijuana strains are created to treat specific ailments; for example, a pain-relieving strain would not be the best choice for someone looking to reduce their anxiety. So, when you’ve chosen your product, you just need to get it billed.

Recreational Marijuana

In some states, marijuana buying experience for both medical and recreational may be the same. However, people buy recreational marijuana to get high and therefore they must research well to buy products that their bodies can handle.

Experienced marijuana users, for instance, may benefit from high-THC strains, strong edibles, or concentrates. However, newbies shouldn’t be using these strong products.

Furthermore, you must choose if you want to buy a stimulating Sativa, a relaxing indica, or a mix of the two.

The budtender can always provide assistance if you’re unsure. Purchase your goods from here and start enjoying recreational marijuana!

Taxation: Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

Medical marijuana is sold tax-free in many states, however, a few states charge a minimal amount ranging between 3-5%. On the other hand, a high tax is levied on the sale of recreational marijuana in states where it is legal.

Accessibility: Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

While recreational establishments just require clients to be 21 years of age or older with a valid photo ID, medical dispensaries require customers to have a valid medical marijuana card. This increases the general public’s access to recreational dispensaries. Medical dispensaries, however, offer a more personalized experience and specific products to individuals with qualifying conditions.

Product Potency: Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

In order to meet patients’ medical needs, medical dispensaries often offer products with greater potency levels or specific cannabinoid ratios. Recreational dispensaries, on the other hand, might put more of an emphasis on providing a variety of products catering to different tastes and preferences, with variable levels of potency.

Product Types: Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana


No product form other than oral administration is allowed, including sublingual, suppositories, capsules, pills, and tablets.


No restriction or as permitted by authorities.

Cost: Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

State-to-state pricing differences in cannabis are significant, and like all commodities, prices change in response to the market. The retail pricing of cannabis products for medical use fluctuates lesser than those for recreational marijuana. 

Medical cardholders in some states can save up to 20% compared to recreational users when it comes to cannabis taxes.

Purchase Limits: Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

The maximum amount you can buy at recreational and medical dispensaries differs. While recreational customers can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every transaction and up to 15 grams of concentrate, medical patients are permitted to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis per day. The amount of marijuana can be different in different states.

Age Requirements: Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

Customers need to be at least 21 years old and have a valid, government-issued photo ID in order to enter and make purchases at a recreational dispensary. This is a significant distinction from medical dispensaries, which assists customers of all ages according to their health conditions.


Regulations governing marijuana, for both medical and recreational purposes, are constantly changing. To avoid legal consequences, it’s crucial to stay updated on your state’s legislation by frequently checking official websites or following our blogs. 

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