Yesterday, January 23rd, 2016 the BBC reported that an 18-year old woman was admitted to a hospital after having a severe reaction to vaporizing cannabidiol oil she bought online.


Today the BBC reported that the ‘Cannabis vaping teen is recovering well’.

Lightly Veiled Propaganda via the BBC

The reports are short and succinct, offering very little insight into the story aside from the fact that a young woman was hospitalized after vaporizing cannabis oil. A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Constabulary said “never to buy or use any kind of drug obtained online”. Advice we would have to agree with for the most part.

We have a pretty big bone to pick with the BBC for their reports though. These articles do absolutely nothing to help answer what could have happened to the young woman to bring on such a reaction.

The BBC seems to have released two lightly veiled propaganda pieces that are meant to scare readers into steering clear from cannabis oil. The real issue here is the company or site that sold the woman this ‘cannabis oil’.

What exactly was in the oil that caused such a reaction? Where did she purchase it from? Where should people purchase cannabis oil to ensure it is safe? All questions that weren’t covered in any amount of detail.

Instead the article was filled with lines like “A teenager who was hospitalized after inhaling cannabis oil she bought online is recovering well”, and “Police said she became seriously ill after she bought a product containing oil derived from cannabis plants which can be inhaled through a vaporizer.

As a reader, I get the impression that the young woman was hospitalized thanks to cannabis oil, not because of contaminants found in the oil. Now perhaps the woman did have a severe reaction to the CBD oil and no contaminants were to blame. I have a difficult time believing that the CBD oil itself was the culprit.

Maybe the BBC just didn’t have the answers, which is understandable. But it doesn’t excuse their multiple articles demonizing cannabis oil without asking any questions about how it could have possibly happened. It’s either lazy reporting or it’s constructed to help encourage fear and doubt in legalizing the use of cannabis. Either way it is shameful and we disapprove whole heartedly.

Mainstream Media Standing in the Way of Cannabis Legalization

I don’t mean to pick on the BBC here, I am a big fan of much of their work actually. This piece is meant to point out the obvious problems we still face trying to end the stigma around cannabis. Major media outlets are continuing to spread doubt through well-spun articles that are almost completely devoid of scientific facts to keep prohibition in place.

That being said, some people on the pro-legalization side are doing very similar things. Spinning stories and research papers to strengthen their argument, getting severe tunnel vision and rejecting any tidbits that may hurt their cause.

Our plea is for media outlets everywhere to report the facts, get the full story and spread the truth when it comes to cannabis. We are up against decades of prohibition era propaganda and it makes it quite difficult to break the stigma. Let’s stop spreading half-truths and lies and get the facts when it comes to cannabis. It can be a supremely beneficial medicine and a far more desirable stress reliever than alcohol or tobacco.

Let’s use cannabis to better our lives, not use cannabis to ruin other’s lives.