Cannabis doesn't just treat health issues. It is also pleasant (and safe) to use recreationally. As consumers overcome their cannabis phobias, demand --... Cannabis: As Phobias Fade, Profits Will Increase

Much of what is said and written about cannabis in our media and popular culture is completely negative – and 100% false. But a significant percentage of what is said/written is simply silly.

Falling into the latter category is the ongoing (and completely juvenile) phobia that there is something wrong about consuming cannabis and feeling good. A thought-provoking article from Leafly frames the issue well.

Somehow it’s okay to talk about cannabis offering patients medical relief, but god forbid we should legalize it because it offers a healthy person pleasure: No. You go too far.


It’s vaguely similar to the phobia about sex among the most puritanical members of society. Sex is for procreation only, it’s “wrong” to do it simply for enjoyment. Back to cannabis.

As most people know, cannabis has only one psychoactive ingredient. It is the cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Tetrahydrocannabinol is a mildly psychoactive substance. We know it’s mild because of the very high concentrations at which it is currently being (safely) purchased and consumed. Potency levels in cannabis reach as high as 30% THC.

Consuming most “hard drugs” at such potencies is at least dangerous, if not fatal. Then there are the other legal drugs: alcohol and nicotine.

We generally water-down (toxic) alcohol to below 10% because of the dangers of alcohol poisoning. Consuming (very toxic) nicotine in concentrations anywhere near 30% would be instantly lethal.

Cannabis is safe. It is mild. It is non-toxic.

It delivers health benefits – which is why it has been prescribed for the treatment of thousands of different medical conditions.

Obviously, completely novice consumers need to be cautious in consuming high-potency cannabis. Not because they will die (no one has ever overdosed from cannabis), but simply because the intensity of psychoactive effect may no longer be enjoyable.

THC doesn’t cause people to hallucinate. Because it’s non-toxic, it doesn’t cause people to slur their speech, or stagger around (like alcohol).

Despite this, the juvenile phobias about cannabis making people feel good persist. Again, Leafly does well.

This pleasure-phobic principle is embedded in public banter and jokes. Last week former FDA head Scott Gottlieb went on CNBC and talked about a woman who calmed her dog’s anxiety with CBD. Another panelist on the show joked that “the dog was high.” Gottlieb smirked. “Exactly,” he said. “It might have had THC in it. I didn’t ask her if he had the munchies too.” (Hat-tip to Marijuana Moment’s Kyle Jaeger for reporting on Gottlieb’s appearance.)

The meds probably didn’t have THC in them, but what if they did? Would that have made the dog’s calmed anxiety somehow illegitimate? The collective assumption that floated Gottlieb’s joke was this: Using cannabis for pleasure is cheating. It’s wicked and irresponsible. It is an artificial means of obtaining pleasure, which we’ve been raised to believe should flow only from natural sources. Like…caffeine and alcohol.

Yes, juvenile and hypocritical.

How many people in the workplace openly talk about not merely liking their morning coffee, but “needing it” for the pick-me-up it that the caffeine delivers? But if those same people consume some cannabis after work to help relax – after all that caffeine – this is somehow wrong/evil.

Why is this of any significance to cannabis investors? Because as these juvenile phobias fade away, the market potential of recreational cannabis will really begin to assert itself.

This isn’t a guess, or a theory. It’s already happening.

Cannabis is rapidly becoming the recreational drug-of-choice of among educated professionals. These are people who are more likely to think for themselves and less likely to pay attention to the anti-cannabis drivel of clueless, media talking-heads.

Why are highly educated people moving to cannabis? A previous Seed Investor article took a closer look at cannabis’ sin of making people feel good.

Not to “get high”, but simply for mood enhancement. Alone and/or late at night it helps people relax – and sleep. In social contexts, it enhances their engagement. Still too controversial for some: cannabis is being discussed more and more for its potential to improve on-the-job performance, through improved focus.

There is already data emerging that cannabis can improve both the training and post-workout recovery of elite athletes. But none of the juveniles who mock cannabis use would be aware of any of this.

Cannabis Prohibition is finally dying a long-overdue death. Cannabis ignorance (derived from 100 years of anti-cannabis propaganda) will take considerably longer to disappear.

In the meantime, astute investors have the opportunity to capitalize on all of this ‘stealth’ potential of cannabis consumption/demand.

Colorado has the world’s most mature legal cannabis market. But recent sales have set new records in three of the last four months. The more that people get to know cannabis, the better they like it.

Because it’s safe.
Because it’s mild.
Because it makes them feel good.
That’s not a crime – any longer.

As cannabis consumers overcome their phobias and are no longer ashamed or embarrassed to acknowledge they like cannabis, industry revenues (and profits) will increase commensurately.

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