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Medicinal and recreational cannabis use: What´s the difference?

Why? Explanations for drug use and drug dealing in social drug research

"The concepts `medicinal´ and ´recreational´ cannabis use are commonly used in the public discourse and in research. However, we observe that the lines between recreational and and medicinal cannabis use are not clear cut," Dr. Frederique Bawin reports in the new reader "Why? Explanations for drug use and drug dealing ..." She studied the narratives of adult self-identified medicinal cannabis users in Belgium and notes:


"The fact that cannabis has a mental influence was most valuable to people who used the substance as a treatment for their mental health problems (e.g. Tourette´s syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder/PTSD). Cannabis helped tackle those psychological problems in different ways (e.g. relaxation, sedation, anxiolysis). The psychotropic effects of cannabis were perceived beneficial for relieving physical complaints as well (e.g. pain), this time through mental distraction. Cannabis made it possible for participants in the study to distance themselves mentally from their symptoms and to refocus on other things instead of their discomforts. A few respondents who dealt with physical conditions which impacted their mental health negatively, said that, due to cannabis use they were able to cope with both physical as well as mental health problems. A man (55) suffering from prostate cancer described it as follows:

"The first proof of cannabis efficacy was when I could eat again, the second proof when I could dance again. The next was my mind ... It is incredible, you have to have it tried yourself, especially when you are severely ill. It helps you, I think of it as a person that helps me. You know what the worst thing is you go through in life? The moment that you know you are mortal. Oh boy, that hit me hard. Than I cried and had to smoke joints.´"

Zsuzsa Kalo, Julie Tieberghien, Dirk J. Korf:
Why? Explanations for drug use and drug dealing in social drug research.
Pabst, 192 pages, Paperback ISBN 978-3-95853-537-4, eBook ISBN 978-3-95853-538-1