Today in Colorado, there are over 500 licensed medical marijuana centers. These centers, or dispensaries, allow medical marijuana patients to purchase products designed to alleviate symptoms from a plethora of ailments. Many of these dispensaries, like Choice Organics, also serve the recreational cannabis market. The question many customers and patients alike are asking – what is the difference? We will consider the differences between flower, concentrates, edibles, and the different rules affecting each consumer.

Is medical cannabis more potent than recreational? As far as the flower is concerned there is little difference, with many of the same strains being grown in the same fashion in neighboring grow rooms. Some strains have been purpose-bred for use on the medical side, having a higher medicinal quality to them – only to be received just as well on the retail side. Both recreational and medical cannabis consumer can expect high quality and potent flower no matter where one shops.

Concentrates and topical products present one key difference. Many medical products have higher levels of the cannabinoid CBD, which when combined with THC, can have more of a therapeutic effect then it has on its own. This is compared to the retail side, where most infused products are high in THC, but not CBD. One key caveat is select recreational products that are high in CBD and available to recreational consumers. Ask your budtender about the options available.  

When we look at the ingestible, or edible, end of the spectrum consumers should expect different dosages between the two markets. Patients often times need to medicate multiple times during the day, leaving them with a higher tolerance than the average recreational consumer. As a result, when patients look to edibles, the dose for many can be upwards of five times that of a recreational consumer. Dosages are limiting in the recreational market and may not exceed 100mg of THC per single edible product. Medical customers are able to purchase products without strict THC limits so typically these dosages range anywhere from 5mg THC up to 350mg THC or more.

Finally, medical patients in the State of Colorado are granted higher limits on purchasing power compared to their recreational counterparts. A medical customer is legally allowed to purchase up to 2 ounces per transaction while recreational customers are limited to 1 ounce per transaction. Furthermore, out of state recreational customers may only purchase a ¼ ounce of cannabis products per transaction. Medical customers are granted more flexibility through Amendment 20 granting them this additional privilege. The purpose of which was to allow patients the flexibility to dose and grow whatever may be needed to address their ailment under the supervision of a doctor. Recreational limits are attempting to curb the trafficking of cannabis outside of the state of Colorado. However, both patient and customer alike may grow up to six plants under Amendment 20 and Amendment 64.

If you are someone who feels that you could benefit from the use of cannabis medically, our budtenders will work with you to find a product which is both effective and within your budget. This can help determine if cannabis, and its many components, would be a good fit in your daily life. Speak with a representative from the Choice Organics medical dispensary if you have questions about getting your medical cannabis card.

From flower to edibles, concentrates and more, there is an overabundance of products to choose from. We at Choice Organics are here to answer any questions you may have, and help put you on the road to better health.

Author: Max Blaustein, Assistant Recreational Manager at Choice Organics