Confused about the difference between Medical Marijuana and Recreational? Don’t be!
There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion around about the nature and legality of the cannabis family of plants.
But with the emergence of medical marijuana as a legitimate form of assistive treatment for a range of conditions, we see that it’s necessary to dispel some myths and spread some knowledge on what’s what with medical marijuana.
So, over the next few blogs we’ll discuss the difference between medical and recreational marijuana as well as the legal situation in the various states of Australia.
Marijuana is a member of the cannabis plant family, which include compounds called cannabinoids. Each type of cannabinoid has a different effect on mind and body. Today we’re looking at the two main cannabinoids, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).
What is THC?
THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid. It’s known for producing the stereotypical ‘high’ people associate with marijuana use.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-pyschoactive cannabinoid. It’s known for delivering other effects, including pain relief & relaxation.
Both cannabinoids exist in most strains of the cannabis plant family, but their ratios differ.
As a rule of thumb:
- Indica varieties of marijuana tend to have more CBD cannabinoids.
- Sativa varieties of marijuana tend to have more THC cannabinoids.
So what is Medicinal Marijuana?
You hear people talking about medical marijuana, more so today now than ever. But what do they actually mean? Well, they’re talking about using the plant, or plant products, to help alleviate symptoms of illnesses and conditions.
Which is why Medical Marijuana generally has a higher percentage of CBD and a lower percentage of THC.
The power of CBD is said to be great for helping alleviate symptoms for health issues, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Eating disorders
- Muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
- Some forms of epilepsy
Though some users of medical marijuana swear by it for other uses too.
Medical marijuana isn’t a ‘new thing’. For instance, medical marijuana was bought to the west in the 1800s. However, its earliest recorded use was in China in 2700BC. Other groups throughout history were using medical marijuana too, including the Greeks, Egyptians as well as India. You can read more about Medical Marijuana History here.
Medical marijuana treatment is still only available in Australia under limited circumstances and is not available for retail sale. Though we think this will change in the very near future.
What’s Recreational Marijuana?
Recreational marijuana is used with no medical justification. It’s the type of marijuana use the uninformed would usually associate all marijuana with. It usually has a higher THC percentage, delivering a stereotypical marijuana ‘high’, but it has a lower CBD percentage.
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in most Australian states and territories. We’ll talk more about what that means in the coming weeks.
How Do Cannabinoids Work?
Your body produces its own cannabinoids through the endocannabinoid system. These cannabinoids are similar to those found in marijuana. So by ingesting plant-based cannabinoids, you’re triggering endocannabinoid receptors in your brain & nervous system.
The effects of this include things like:
- Slowed reaction times
- Impaired judgement
- Increased appetite
- Dulled pain perception
- Better stress response
- Changed moods
The two main cannabinoids (THC and CBD) affect the endocannabinoid system in different ways, therefore selecting the right strain of marijuana for achieving your goals is important!
What’s the Future Hold?
Drug companies are already manufacturing drugs that use CBD. In the US one drug, Epidiolex, received FDA approval recently. Epidiolex is used to treat certain types of seizure.
In Victoria, the Labor government passed laws allowing the growth and cultivation of medical marijuana under very strict controls. This was largely done to allow the use of CBD and other extracts for treatment of childhood epilepsy.
While the initial steps have been very cautious, the approval for even a small amount of medical marijuana uses gives us hope that in future it will be more widely available.
Living with Multiple Sclerosis and Cannabis
Whilst current regulations see access to CBD oil only accessible via registered doctors and clinics, (Schedule 4 medicine), and also currently prohibited for retail sale across Australia, you can rest assured that at The Hemp Superstore®️ we are working hard to make sure that everybody in Australia will has access to the most efficacious selection of CBD oils locally and from across the globe.
Making sense of Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana
Check back with us often for the latest news in recreational and medicinal use in Australia. Until then, we hope you’ve learned a little bit more about the wonderful world of hemp and marijuana!
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