Medical Marijuana – how is it different from normal Marijuana?
Think of marijuana and chances are a drug that gets you high will spring to mind. However, marijuana is more than just a recreational drug. In recent years, marijuana has been making a name for itself in medical circles as a wonder drug to treat a whole host of different ailments, many of which have failed to respond to traditional medicines. But, what is medical marijuana and what makes it different from normal marijuana?
It’s all about the ingredients
The key difference between medical and normal marijuana, or cannabis, is what each type is made up of.
There are over 100 different ingredients or chemicals, called cannabinoids, in a marijuana plant. One of the cannabinoids in marijuana is called tetrahydrocannabinol, which is more commonly known as THC. It is this active ingredient, THC, which is responsible for creating the high that is associated with recreational or normal marijuana.
Therefore, medical marijuana is tweaked so that it contains much less THC than the recreational version but has a higher content of the ingredient, cannabidiol, or CBD, instead. It is CBD that has been taking the medical profession by storm, as it’s been proven to help with tackling various medical conditions, including alleviating pain, anxiety and stress. CBD is also shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. Interestingly, while normal marijuana, with its higher THC to CBD ratio, can produce a psychotic effect in users, medical marijuana, which has the opposite ratio of active ingredients, is known as having anti-psychotic properties.
The way the end-product is produced
Medical and normal marijuana stem from the same cannabis plant, but the way the plant is cultivated and produced tends to differ between the two. Cannabis that is used for medicinal purposes undergoes a much stricter and more controlled process than its recreational counterpart before it becomes available for consumption. It is carefully cultivated in a safe, controlled, indoor environment, whereas recreational cannabis can be grown inside or outdoors, and doesn’t undergo the same strict processes. As well as ensuring medical cannabis isn’t subjected to pesticide use, those cultivating it will need to make sure that it is safe and pure for users.
Because many countries impose legal restrictions on the cultivation, consumption and sale of recreational cannabis, it is impossible to control how it is produced, so end-users might not know what they’re getting in terms of a safe or pure product.
As stated, normal marijuana is illegal in many countries, so getting hold of it can put the user at risk of getting into trouble with the law. On the other hand, marijuana for medical purposes is not illegal, and there is an increasing number of health shops that sell CBD-related products, as well as medical practitioners who use medical marijuana to treat their patients. Therefore, medical marijuana is much more widely accepted and available by prescription from a regulated medical practice.
Medical marijuana can also be safely used by a wide range of people, including the elderly and children.
To learn more about medical marijuana, contact our experts at The London Cannabis Clinic today.