How is Medicinal Cannabis Different From Recreational?


One of the beautiful things about living in Washington is that I am currently able to use cannabis as medicine and have safe access to it. With the latest chatter about medical cannabis being shut down and rolled into the recreational market I am compelled to point out some very big differences between recreational use and using cannabis  for medicine and health reasons.

I sometimes find it amusing and slightly offensive when people suggest that I only medicate by smoking and probably just get high all of the time because that is how they relate to marijuana. Most people only know cannabis as a something that is smoked recreationally for the euphoric effects. That is, in fact, how I was introduced to cannabis so I can empathize with that thinking. When I started using cannabis for chronic pain I was exposed to a whole different world where one does not ever need to get high to benefit.

Here are a few ways that my medicinal cannabis use is different from recreational use:

1) I am not on a mission to be high. In fact, most recreational users would be disappointed with the effect of many of my cannabis medicines because the majority of them are not psychoactive and do not make you high. If I were limited to only using the recreational marijuana that is specifically designed to make you high I would not experience the same level of health benefits. Believe me, I’ve tried, it is not the same.

 2) I don’t need to smoke my medicine because I have safe access to other options. Smoking, while effective, is the least effective way for me personally to take cannabis as medicine.  I have several other delivery methods besides smoking that do the job well. Most of my recreational friends only smoke their cannabis and while I can be social and partake with them on their recreational level it is a different experience for me.

3) I eat raw cannabis. I eat and juice the leaves and the flowers of organically grown plants to receive 60 times the medicinal benefits of other delivery methods without any psychoactive effects. It is amazing. To get the full benefits of using raw cannabis this way one must take it consistently which requires a steady supply of raw plants. It is honestly not possible to find raw cannabis unless I grow it myself or know somebody who I trust that grows organically and can occasionally provide it to me. Recreational users do not even know that cannabis is a vegetable and superfood of this planet.

4) I use cannabis concentrates. I add it to my food or take it sublingually and it is amazing for my pain. Many recreational users have never even seen a medicinal cannabis concentrate.

5) I don’t eat the “pot brownies” found at a party just because they have cannabis in them. Not only am I picky about my food but using cannabis as medicine has taught me that unless I know who made the infused treat, how potent it might be, and exactly what is in it I should always pass.  Recreational users will not only partake in the pot brownies they will often have another before the first one kicks in.

6) I use cannabis for multiple reasons: Chronic pain, inflammation, digestive disorders, autoimmune disorders, migraines, anxiety, and depression. Recreational users are using marijuana to get high.

7) I use high CBD cannabis strains which are amazing as medicine but not so popular among the recreational crowds because they do not deliver a THC high. Recreational users are not often familiar with what CBD even is.

8) I use cannabis topicals on my skin that don’t make me high but do make my body more comfortable to live in. While these topicals are very therapeutic, they are recreationally boring.

I frequently hear goofy remarks from recreational cannabis users about how they wish they had their medical recommendation so they could be high all of the time. (I often want to say they could have mine if they would also take my scoliotic spine and chronic pain.)

I love the recreational users. I used to be one myself, back in the day. I embrace the freedom, generosity, and friends that surround the use of recreational cannabis and hope that my options and freedoms as a medicinal cannabis patient remain through the implementation of legalizing cannabis in Washington.



18 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bobbi Jo on October 24, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Spot on. Your writting is the best. Getting my grow room ready as no one wants to give up leaves!

    That was a perfect explanation

  2. Very well written and I definitely respect your position on this issue. With 502 is it legal to sell raw undried cannabis in a recreational store? I assume that selling CBD dry medication given a market for it,would be available too but like you say it won’t be the “best” seller by any means. I would think people that don’t use high THC cannabis might be interested in high CBD cannabis for its medicinal effects when they don’t have a recommendation…I believe eventually it will be available. I think the term recreational cannabis is really a bad term since there are people out there that can’t afford medical recommendations or they don’t qualify for one, or live on the east side of WA but yet could use cannabis for any number of medical concerns. As always having someone grow it that you trust or grow it yourself would be the ideal way to go. I think we need to start an initiative asap for home grow for everyone like CO. I would work on the campaign for sure!

  3. Can I re-post this on my blog?? I will absolutely give you all the credit for your work as well as appropriate links.

  4. Posted by Roger Hackbush on October 24, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Well articulated. Keep up the good work!

  5. Posted by Maria Castro on October 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    oooo I can’t wait to read this!!!!

  6. Thank you! And thanks for reading.

  7. Yes, please. Share away and thank you for doing so. 🙂

  8. I also dislike the term “recreational user.” Thanks for adding to the conversation!

  9. Thank you for your words, sweet lady. Keep the leaves! 🙂

  10. Posted by Paulina Leyton on November 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    hi, my mom has terminal cancer and we’re new in the use of marihuana as medicine… do you get the same effect with the dry leaves? thanks for all the info.

  11. If/when cannabis is legalized in my state, my wife and I plan on opening a medicinal based dispensary. There will be no crazy looking pipes or Jimmy Hendrix posters. There will not be vaporizers either. We will focus on edibles, concentrates for cooking, and dry herb as well. We truly feel that smoking and even vaporizing are unnecessary ways to use this amazing plant. Like all other herbs, it should be ingested in teas, tinctures, edibles, etc. Opinions that’s all. I feel that dispensaries similar to what I’ve explained above are the only way to legitimize medical use and suppress the negative stigma tied to this plan. When people see that it can benefit you without bongs and rolling papers, they will see this gift in a totally different light. This plant needs to be put under a different light so that perceptions are changed, and that light isn’t an open flame.

  12. I appreciate your opinions and agree that there is a severe lack of education about cannabis/hemp in the general society. May legalization come swiftly to your part of the country.

  13. Hi Paulina,
    Every delivery method for taking in cannabis will give a different effect. As far as treating cancer, I don’t know the most effective protocol when using cannabis. Sending hugs to you and your mom.

  14. Posted by Eric Pabst on March 18, 2014 at 4:50 am

    I just want to say that im still a recreational user. Have been for yrs. It has helped with all my problems. I wouldnt trade it for any other drugs but medical. Ive got adhd, klinefeltors, ms, multiple personalities, so on so forth. I feel that medicinal marijuana helped me get by in life. Havent stop nor will I stop cause it really does help not like what everyone keeps saying. “If u smoke marijuana it will lead to other drugs. Um no it dnt. People lead thereselves into other drugs not marijuana”. Just like the hole ordeal bout guns. Guns dnt kill ppl, ppl kill ppl with unlawful rights in owning guns. Im just saying that medicinal marijuana should b legalized in all states. The government would make millions off putting taxes on medical marijuana each yr.

  15. Hi Eric,
    Thank you for your comments. I totally agree that cannabis should be legal for all adults to use recreationally, medicinally, or as a superfood.

  16. Great hammer of Thor, that is polelfurwy helpful!

  17. All Cannabis is Medicinal. Even Hemp is Medicinal. Everyone that uses it is medicating whether they realize it or not. Calling it “Recreational” plays into the hands of the Reefer Madness hysteria. How a person ingests it is a personal medical issue. Some people need the psychoactive effect. Ask this question of those that try to differentiate between the two,,,where is the ” recreational” Hydrocodone , or Vicodin, or Prozak? There should be no more restrictions than you have on produce now. When we separate the “madness” from the sanity, you will be able to get raw leaf right downtown next to the potatoes and apples. Don’t use their word for our Cannabis. I treat it like the “N” word. It offends me, and should offend any Cannasapien. Peace.

  18. Reblogged this on Dustysommers's New Book and commented:
    My feelings exactly…!

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