The Top 10 Documentaries about Cannabis
Feb 1, 2016
Categories : Other subjects
Watching documentaries is probably not as effective as reading a book or talking to someone who has great knowledge in the field of your personal interest. One has to admit that documentaries are a great way of combining different bits and pieces of information into a film that can potentially educate and entertain at the same time.
Enjoy these documentaries and make sure to spread the truth about cannabis without approaching this topic only from your personal point of view. People who oppose the legalisation process in Europe deserve a fact-based and objective discussion, just like the ones who think this might be a good idea.
10. What if Cannabis Cured Cancer?
Short info: This documentary provides scientific explanations about the effects that cannabinoids have on cancer cells in the laboratory.
Released in: 2010
Directed by: Len Richmond
This film is about the highly sensitive topic of potential cancer treatments. Nobody wants to raise false expectations in something that is not proven to work but there are scientists that discovered interesting effects from cannabinoids on cancer cells. Maybe it’s way too soon, and research is not at the point of fully understanding the mechanisms of the endocannbinoid system but this film is definitely an eye-opener, and recommended for those who are interested in the medicinal properties of a plant that has been used for thousands of years, until it got outlawed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
9. When we grow, this is what we can do
Short info: This documentary shares characteristics with “The Union” but focuses more of the role of the United Kingdom instead of Canada and the US.
Released in: 2011
Directed by: Seth Finegold
Seth Finegold does an excellent job in examining the role of cannabis from many different angles. He looks at the historic facts of industrial hemp and prohibition, sheds light on many aspects including medicinal use and growing, and interviews the head of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, Professor David Nutt, psychiatrist, neuropsychopharmacologist, and former drug adviser to the UK. This guy published a scientific paper in 2010 that clearly shows that substances like mushrooms, cannabis, LSD, and MDMA, are not nearly as harmful as legal substances like tobacco or alcohol. Saying the truth involved him being fired from his job by Home Security, Alan Johnson. Wow. This doesn’t necessarily speak for the ability of UK lawmakers to integrate scientific evidence in their decisions to establish a reasonable and working drug policy for citizens of the UK. Epic fail!
8. Medical Cannabis and Its Impacts on Human Health
Short info: In this document there are medical experts talking about the impact of cannabis on the human body.
Released in: 2011
Directed by: Lindsey Ward
Leading researchers and medical doctors examine the medicinal value of cannabis. This documentary features interviews with Dr. Donald Abrams, Dr. Donald Tashkin and Dr. David Bearman. The great thing about this documentary is how scientific results from over 15.000 clinical trials are being put in contrast to the myths about this plant. It’s also quiet informative how governments sometimes use these myths and put emphasis on them, to an extent where one could almost think that some governments don’t really focus on the truth and the well-being of their citizens, but desperately try to mislead the public opinion into a certain direction for whatever reason. After darkness, there will be light. Let's hope this saying is true in the case of infomation about cannabis.
7. In Pot We Trust
Short info: This documentary features interviews of patients that use medicinal cannabis, comments from Dr. Lester Grinspoon, and also views from people who oppose the legalisation of cannabis.
Released in: 2007
Directed by: Star Price
It is notable that this documentary also presents views from people who are against the legalisation process of medicinal cannabis. Not letting opposing views fall under the table is important in order to have a fair and fact-based debate about this issue. Dr. Lester Grinspoon is one of the most knowledgeable human beings when it comes to the scientific explanation behind the medicinal value of this plant. He also presents his viewpoint and provides very interesting results of his research. In Pot We Trust manages to display opposing views by focusing on facts and not spreading false information.
6. Weed 1 & 2
Short info: Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for the Health, Medical & Wellness unit at CNN, drastically changed his mind on cannabis and made two films about it.
Released in: 2013 & 2014
Directed by: CNN
Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN made a honorable move in 2013 by apologizing for not digging deeply enough into the medicinal effects of cannabis, and for writing articles misleading readers on these important aspects. When it comes to media coverage of cannabis related subjects, there are most likely more people that can learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them. Sanjay Gupta changed sides and now is a proponent of medicinal cannabis. These two great documentaries mainly deal with the medical value of this plant and make his apology highly convincing.
5. The Culture High
Short info: This film examines arguments that are related to cannabis on both sides, from people who support, and people who oppose the legalisation of cannabis.
Released in: 2014
Directed by: Brett Harvey
This documentary features a lot of experts, including doctors, scientists and celebrities of the cannabis world. The Culture High does an excellent job in revealing the truth behind individual arguments and views of people who support or oppose the legalisation process. It’s a very informative film that examines many aspects relating to cannabis, on multiple levels. By doing this multi-layered analysis of the situation the viewer is put in the position of getting a complete picture of the situation today. From the filmmakers of “The Union: The business behind getting high”.
4. The Emperor of Hemp
Short Info: The documentary is covering the interesting life of the famous cannabis legend Jack Herer, and his efforts to decriminalize and legalise cannabis.
Released in: 1999
Directed by: Jeff Jones
Jack Herer was of the opinion, like many others are still today, that cannabis has the ability of change the planet for a better, or to save the earth, to be a little bit more drastic. He advocated the use of industrial hemp and is author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a book that is also referred to as the “hemp bible”. One can only hope that Jack Herer is at a better place now and that his spirits live on in the plants he was so passionate about. This documentary really has some educational value, especially when trying to understand cannabis and its role in the heads of people, who think that hemp is something positive, and so much more than a psychoactive drug.
3. Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis
Short info: This documentary focuses entirely on the medicinal value of the cannabis plant and examines the way THC and CBD can treat symptoms of various diseases.
Released in: 2011
Directed by: Anna Rau
This is a good documentary for people who are mainly interested in facts about the medicinal value of cannabis. Both sides are being presented, people who are of the opinion that cannabis has no medicinal value, and people saying it definitely has. The mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system and its relation to treatment of diseases like nausea, glaucoma, and epilepsy are being accurately displayed and communicated. Treating certain diseases with cannabis can be an option but of course has its limitations. Learn more by watching this film.
2. A NORML Life
Short info: This film focuses on the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the US and the role of the American non-profit organization NORML.
Released in: 2011
Directed by: Rod Pitman
NORML stands for National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. This non-profit organization was established in 1970 and is one of the greatest platforms that support the responsible use of cannabis by adults. This documentary features interviews from patients who state that they benefit from using cannabis, but also from cannabis activists, doctors and caregivers. It gives the viewer a good overview on aspects of the medicinal cannabis movement in the US but one has to take into account that the situation has already changed a lot since the year 2010.
1. The Union – The business behind getting high
Short info: The Union features an in-depth analysis of how a whole industry can function without having a reliable legal framework. Somehow, it seems to work.
Released in: 2007
Directed by: Brett Harvey
All these tons of weed don’t magically rain from the skies, even if this would be the ideal case. Filmmaker Adam Scorgie dives into the matter of medicinal cannabis in Canada. Basically all parties that are in some way related to this industry present their views and insights. The positions of growers and police officers, economists and politicians, along with medical doctors, draw a more or less complete picture of the situation. It has to be noted that this film was released in 2007 and therefore doesn’t necessarily reflect the situation of today. One thing is for sure, this industry is growing.