Bonfire vs. Blowtorch – 5 things to know about medical vs. recreational cannabis


Not all cannabis products are created equally, but do you know the difference between medical and recreational products?

To help explain the nuances, we spoke to Brent Zettl, CEO, and Dr. Lionel Marks de Chabris, Chief Medical Officer at ZYUS Life Sciences, a Canadian company leading research and development of the next generation of plant-made therapeutics, to learn more about the differences between medical and recreational cannabinoid products that you may not have considered.

1. Bonfire vs. Blowtorch

Medical patients who rely on cannabinoids for symptom management have distinct needs from recreational cannabis users. Products developed for medical patients and recreational consumers are designed for different objectives. Recreational products are designed to create a recreational experience and are likely to have higher levels of THC (the cannabinoid responsible for causing intoxicating effects). Whereas, medical patients depend on high-quality and consistent therapeutic products to provide targeted relief. “I view the difference between recreational and medical cannabinoids like the difference between a bonfire and a blowtorch,” said Brent Zettl, ZYUS CEO. “They both use the same core component, but the blowtorch is more precise, targeted and developed to achieve a specific result – just like medical cannabinoids are developed to create a consistent response and help target and manage symptoms.”

2. By Medical Authorization/Prescription

In a recent survey, 36% of Zoomer readers said they have a prescription or medical authorization to access cannabinoids. Following the legalisation of recreational cannabis in Canada almost two years ago, there are now multiple licensed sources to purchase recreational cannabis from, but there is still only one way to access medical cannabinoids – with a medical authorization. “Discussing the full range of therapeutic options with your health care provider (“HCP”) is important so they can tailor a  personalized management strategy for your condition,” said Dr. Marks de Chabris. Your HCP will have insight into your medical history that will help them make an informed decision to determine how best to try cannabinoids, especially as it relates to guidance on dosing.

3. An Evidence-Based Approach

Like any field of medicine, medical research into cannabinoids is driving forward the development of the next generation of therapies for medical patients. “ZYUS is investing in clinical trials and research to help further the scientific understanding of cannabinoids and the transformational affect they can have on patient outcomes,” said Brent Zettl. “We believe that a science-based approach, backed with evidence and clinical research, will lead to the development of best in class standardized formulations for patients, both here in Canada and around the world.”

4. Consistency

To better manage symptoms, medical patients should seek a medical producer that manufactures its products using an exacting standard in the development and manufacture of its products so the patient receives a consistent response and level of relief every time. “Consistency is critical in any treatment program,” said Dr. Marks de Chabris. “Consistency in the formulation and consistency in the supply from the licensed producer are key to ensuring the highest standards of patient care. It is important to select a medical cannabinoid producer that exceeds these standards.”

5. Patients First

“For Canadians considering cannabinoids as a medical option, the care provided to patients should be a key deciding factor,” said Dr. Marks de Chabris. “Federally licensed producers, who focus on medical cannabinoids, put patients first and have HCPs on staff and patient care teams on hand to support you to an improved quality of life.”

“Recreational products generally create a recreational experience, which is fine by itself,” added Brent Zettl. “But if you are looking for a targeted medical solution, then consulting with your HCP to develop a medical approach, precisely tailored for your needs, and selecting a product that is developed and manufactured using an exacting standard ultimately provides greater possibility for positive outcomes when managing a condition.”

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