The Difference Between Medical and Recreational Cannabis, and Which to Choose

By Danielle Guercio, Life Hacker on January 27, 2023

Should you bother with a medical card if your state offers legal recreational use? Actually, yes.

While certainly a good way to relax, as long as humans have used it, cannabis has also been a wellness tool. From seeds discovered in ancient China to salves in ancient Egypt and spiritual smoothies in ancient India, the list is as curious as it is comprehensive, especially considering our modern outlook on the plant. Today, cannabis is either sold on the black market or hyper-regulated, and no matter why you use it, it’s harder to get than other (often much riskier) substances humans love.

As of this writing, 37 states permit medical cannabis sales, while 21 states allow adult use (also known as recreational cannabis). In those 21 latter states, both medical and recreational options are available. With this selection of purchase possibilities, which one is right for you? Why bother getting a medical card in a state where you can just hit up a recreational dispensary?
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