Explaining The Cannabis Explosion

Welcome to the Canadian cannabis Renaissance.

As the country is poised to leap into legalizing cannabis next year, it’s no surprise that Canada is falling for a whole new leaf. Thanks to a combination of emerging medical research and a critical shift in acceptance, cannabis’ popularity has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years, making Canada one of the biggest consumers of cannabis in the world. Here are two are the biggest reasons why:

The culture of acceptance

Cannabis has had a wild ride over the last few hundred years in North America. From its initial use as an herbal remedy to being demonized and declared illegal as ‘marijuana’, the image of cannabis has changed dramatically. Yet despite decades of being beholden to an unsavory image, suddenly cannabis is finding its path back to social acceptance.

There are plenty of possible explanations for this. The cannabis-loving youth of the 1960s and 1970s are now all grown up, aging, and helping change popular opinion. Maybe they taught their own kids about drugs in a completely different manner than their own parents did, which then trickled down to the next generation of parents. Then there’s today’s youth. Their organic, eco-driven and ‘back to basics’ way of life may draw them to the plant’s natural aspect and counter culture background.

Plus, of course there are the famous musicians, actors, athletes and influencers who use cannabis and aren’t afraid to admit it…even before it became legal in Hollywood. We aren’t talking about the strung out, failing celebrities who shamefully grace the covers of tabloids, but those with chart-topping hits, box office-breaking films and seemingly productive and normal (though not our kind of normal) lives. If your favourite actor can post a photo holding a vaporizer or standing next to a cannabis plant, it makes everyone else feel a little more okay to do the same.

The journey from danger drug to wonder drug

Another reason for cannabis’ staggering rise in popularity is its widespread medicinal use. More research is being conducted and released on the medical effects of cannabis, and more patients are demanding an alternative option to the treatments they had been using previously—especially if those treatments were not working or had negative side effects. From arthritis and ALS to strokes and MS, we’ve linked to dozens of published studies in our medical-focused articles that talk about various medical effects that cannabis can have. We know this research is just getting started, and as more and more scientists and doctors continue to study the medical possibilities of cannabis, who knows where this story may end.

With more than half of the states in the US having approved cannabis for medical use, along with all of Canada, industry acceleration is steady and continues even today. By the end of 2016 almost 130,000 Canadians had signed up for medical cannabis, according to Health Canada’s data. This was a 32% jump from the more than 98,000 registered by September 2016, and judging by the continual increase in Licensed Producers and their patients, we believe these numbers will continue to climb. Health Canada’s most recent statistics puts the Canadian medical cannabis market at over 200,000 patients as of this past June.

The popularity of cannabis, either in terms of cultural acceptance or medical use (or both) has certainly paved the way for the upcoming legalization in Canada next year. Although the data differs depending on the source, it’s clear that huge portion of the country is pro legalization. This means that this marvelous plant’s popularity is only going to grow.

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