Cannabis is becoming legalized all over across the globe. Whether it is recreationally or medically it is important to know the difference and what you should choose based on your needs. Below I will discuss medical cannabis vs. recreational cannabis and what is the difference between the two.
The Growth of the Cannabis Market
Firstly let’s explore about the way cannabis impacts the economy as a whole in North America. The demand for cannabis has substantially grown according to FORBES, “the North America’s cannabis market will go from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion in 2027. The adult-use (recreational) market will cover 67% of the spending; medical marijuana will take up the remaining 33%.”
This can put a lot of pressure on cannabis supply to ensure the needs are met both for recreational and medicinal cannabis.
You can purchase recreational weed at various dispensaries and online through government operated websites. The cost of recreational cannabis can vary and fluctuate with the demand. You can expect to pay anywhere between $6-$14 dollars a gram.
One key difference between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis is that costs may be higher for recreational cannabis and may not be stable as recreational marijuana can be.
Medicinal cannabis should and always take priority over recreational. This was a promise that government made, but it is undetermined whether it has been fulfilled or not. In canada, there was a shortage of supply for your recreational cannabis when it initially became illegal.
The government needs to ensure that there is enough stock for medicinal users foremost. This can cause a shortage and make it difficult to obtain recreational cannabis.
Recreational cannabis is mainly focused on the ‘experience’ and not so much on the medicinal values of the plant. Although there is medical benefits, this is not the focus of recreational cannabis. The strains are more focused on the effects of cannabis with high THC strains.
Medical cannabis can be more cost efficient and patients are not so vulnerable to price increases as recreational cannabis is. The price range varies as does recreational cannabis but there are some programs in place for patients that may not be able to afford medical cannabis or have a special status to acquire affordable cannabis. This is called medical cannabis compassionate care pricing. You can also check with your licensed producer to determine your eligibility.
The government is supposed to be taking steps to ensure that medical cannabis is safely widely available to patients. This means that patients will have direct access to licensed producers and pharmaceutical companies such as Shopper’s Drug Mart.
As for the U.S since cannabis is illegal in some areas pharmaceutical giants are leveraging CBD and making it available on their shelves.
The level of quality will be a major focus from licensed producers. There are strict standards to meet for both medical cannabis and recreational cannabis, but licensed producers will engineer their strains according to certain medical conditions in mind.
This will pave the way for ground breaking research and development on medical cannabis for the patients.
Aside from high THC strains, you will also have access to CBD, which is primarily with low THC and focuses on no or low psychoactive properties. CBD is known to help with pain management among many other benefits.
In Canada particularly some insurance companies such as Sunlife have announced that you may be eligible to claim medical cannabis costs on your health insurance plan. Check with your local insurance company to see if you are eligible.