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Is Medical Cannabis and Medical Marijuana the Same Thing?

There are 101 words for marijuana. You may be familiar with some of the most common words like weed, bud, pot, grass, flower, and green. It never used to matter what you called it because it was still an illicit substance. Every word we used was a secret code. But now that this plant is legal, this messy terminology makes it confusing. Especially for patients. What is the difference between medical cannabis and medical marijuana?


The short answer is that there is no difference at all. Cannabis and marijuana are technically talking about the same plant, with the same medicinal qualities. But of course, there is always more to the story than what first meets the eye.


For patients looking for mail-order medical marijuana online, don’t get confused. Mail order medical cannabis is exactly the same product, just with a more modern and accurate take on the name. Are you still confused? Let’s get into the details. 


What is Medical Cannabis?


Medical cannabis refers broadly to cannabis sativa L. — a plant humans have used in some capacity for thousands of years. But, medical cannabis is a pretty comprehensive term. Underneath this umbrella falls three categories: indica, sativa, and ruderalis. 


Indica and sativa are the most popular categories for medicinal applications, but ruderalis genetics often end up within hybrids as growers aim for different genetic expressions. 


Every strain you’ve ever heard of (and all the strains you haven’t heard of yet) are different types of cannabis sativa L. That means OG Shark, Death Bubba, Nuken, and Rockstar are all types of medical cannabis.


The differences between each strain come down to different cannabinoid profiles and terpenes expressions. Or, unique mixtures of the medicinal compounds and aromas. 

If you have never heard of cannabinoids before, these are the natural chemicals produced by the plant which have therapeutic effects. For example, THC is the intoxicating cannabinoid that gets you high but also relieves pain. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid which reduces inflammation.

Every strain of medical cannabis contains a different mixture of these compounds, but they are all still medical cannabis.


What is Medical Marijuana?


We can already hear you asking, “So if that’s medical cannabis, what’s medical marijuana?” Here is the joke — they are both the same thing. The only difference is the word marijuana.


Marijuana is an outdated, but commonly used word for cannabis sativa L. Thanks to legalization and a better scientific understanding of the plant, the world is moving towards using the plant’s Latin name “cannabis” over the more common name “marijuana.”


The history of the word “marijuana” is shrouded in mystery. But there are several ongoing theories about its etymology. The first is that marijuana (spelled marihuana in most older sources) comes from Mexican Spanish. Cannabis didn’t exist in the Americas before Spanish contact, and therefore it’s likely that this word developed as the plant became more popular among Spanish-speaking populations in Mexico. 


But where did that word originate? Some experts believe the name marijuana comes from the Chinese word for hemp seed flower “ma ren hua.” Considering the history of medical marijuana use in China dates back thousands of years, this seems likely.


What’s the Deal?


So if cannabis and marijuana are just different words we use to describe the same thing, what’s the deal? Scientifically speaking, medical marijuana is an outdated reference. Marijuana is also a reference to an age where the plant was explicitly illegal and a serious criminal offense. For some people, that means marijuana comes with a negative connotation. 


With that said, most old-timers and patients who have used the plant for a long time will still call it marijuana. They grew up calling it by that name, and they will likely continue to call it marijuana until the end of time. It’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks.


Medical cannabis, on the other hand, is free from that dark history. It’s the Latin name for the plant, cannabis sativa L., and, therefore, closely aligned with the new scientific research and understanding.


So what should you call it? Or more urgently, what should you Google when you want mail-order medical marijuana? In Canada, you can call it anything you want. Both medical cannabis and medical marijuana will return the same results.


Is Medical Marijuana (and Medical Cannabis) Legal in Canada?


Canada is a very advanced country when it comes to medical marijuana. Way back in 2001, the federal government passed legislation that created the medical cannabis program. At that time, there were two avenues through which patients in Canada could qualify for a prescription.


Under the first category, patients could qualify for compassionate and/or end of life care. This category also covered the following:

  • Pain-related to Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injury of spinal cord disease.
  • Pain and other conditions related to cancer or HIV/AIDS.
  • Pain-related to arthritis
  • Seizure disorders

The second category was much broader. It essentially covered everything else, so long as patients received the written support of a doctor.


Since its beginning in 2001, the medical cannabis program in Canada has evolved over the years. Now the Health Canada program is called the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (or MMPR). If you have received a doctor’s prescription, you must apply to purchase cannabis from a licensed producer. Then the licensed producer sends you medical marijuana (which is also medical cannabis).


But with the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2018, the value of the medical program has come into question. After all, who wants to go through all the paperwork, applications, and rigamarole when you can quickly and easily buy weed online in Canada? Mail order medical marijuana is the same product as mail order recreational marijuana, just less paperwork. Medical marijuana patients are increasingly turning to online dispensaries for access to the medicine they need the most.


It’s Just Works: Medical Cannabis Versus Marijuana


It all comes down to words, but nothing else. There is no medicinal, scientific, or recreational difference between medical cannabis versus medical marijuana. The same benefits you’ll get from one, you’ll get from the other. If you want mail-order medical marijuana, medical cannabis will deliver the very same results.


Just remember, marijuana is an outdated term according to some standards, and cannabis is the more modern approach.


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