Published on 17 Feb 2015

How I got stoned on skunk

I had sucked in two huge gulps of the stuff before I started spluttering. I am not a smoker, and the skunk was being delivered in vapour form – two huge balloons of the stuff.

The first balloon was dilating slowly. I increased the strength of my gulps, spluttered more, and after some five minutes had consumed the lot.

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I was in a small lab room somewhere behind University College Hospital. I had been told to arrive by 7am because the MRI scanner, into which I would be put, was only available at 8am.

I was part of a Home Office-approved, NHS-supported trial of skunk, under Professor Val Curran, who moved graciously about the place as I became more stoned. A young doctor, Rebecca, was on hand to supervise me.

I am a guinea pig along with others for the trial which has been filmed for Channel 4’s Drugs Live: Cannabis On Trial programme on 3 March.

We had three appointments with Prof Val. At each we had to imbibe two balloons of vapour. One session was to involve street strong skunk that so many consume. Another session was to involve ‘adulterated skunk’ in which the drug’s two worst chemicals had been removed. Another was to involve a placebo.

‘Lost all control’

I knew within five minutes, or so, of taking the first two balloons, that I had taken skunk. What was happening to me outstripped anything I have ever experienced.

I have been passed the odd spliff of cannabis in the distant past perhaps a dozen times. But this of course in a social context, in which you probably only get two or three puffs of the thing. I never experienced anything beyond a slight sense of mellowness.

By the time I was completely stoned I felt utterly bereft. I felt as if my soul had been wrenched from my body. There was no one in my world. I felt I had lost all control and had only the vaguest awareness of who I was and what on earth I was doing. I cascaded into a very, very, dark place, the darkest mental place I have ever been. I was frightened, paranoid, and felt physically and mentally wrapped in a dense blanket of fog. I lost all sense that I was being filmed by Channel 4.

The moment came for me to stumble along the corridor to the MRI scanner for Dr Val to see what the drug was doing to my brain. I lay on the slim hi-tech rack that I knew would take me into what already appeared to me to be a tunnel of terror. I’m too tall for the scanner. The mask over my head kept catching the top of the inside once I’m pushed in.

The terror in me kept rising, my panic chasing hard behind. When you see the film, you can here this distant voice wailing “I can’t stay in here…let me out!”

I’ve worked in war zone but I’ve never been as overwhelmingly frightened as I was right then – and as I emerge from the scanner you see me blearily sitting up and hugging young Dr Rebecca for my dear life, as if she was my mother.

Never again

It took me four hours to come down. Just toward the end I felt a sense of euphoria and expressed it by drawing a pastoral scene on an old box that was lying around in the lab. I drew trees, a fence, a river, and a couple of people – perhaps the very people, trees, and water, that I had felt so deprived of whilst stoned.

I have no idea yet what my experience contributed to the research. Did the other guinea pigs suffer? Did any have some have some other kind of experience? We won’t know until ‘Drugs Live ‘ airs on 3 March.

In the meantime, the placebo had no effect despite the vapour smelling like skunk. The adulterated stuff was just boring. It smelt like skunk, it was a bit foggy and destabilising but I never lost site of my world as I had before.

I would never do it again. I can fully believe this week’s figures that tell us that 25 per cent of all psychosis treated in Britain is associated with smoking skunk.

But what I know, every citizen should know, this is a dangerous, horrible substance.

I had no idea it could be so powerful and terrifyingly mind altering. And I am someone who worked for three years in a drug dependents day centre.

I’ve never believed criminalisation was the answer, I do now believe that education should include a serious and detailed account of what drugs do to your brain.

If many who smoke this stuff had ever seen the physical effects on the brain as displayed through the MRI scanner, they would make a more informed judgement as to what they were doing.

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178 reader comments

  1. Realist says:

    One MASSIVE flaw is that people don’t always inhale 2 huge balloons of vapor. Also we should consider the effect this has on society compared to legal drugs such as ALCOHOL.

    1. R. E. Zed says:

      I can’t believe someone didn’t say, “Dude, this isn’t a good idea to have him do this much.”

      “You grew up Amish and you’re curious about alcohol? You know what would be a GREAT idea? BINGE DRINKING!”

      No.

      1. Phoebe says:

        Jon,
        You are so unfair to mother nature’s medicine & fellow cannabis users, first of all I’ve had 40+ years of a cannabis relationship, never, ever has that happened. You should “never” commit to testing or sampling unless you have that relationship, & nothing has changed from years ago, there was top notch erb, (Columbian, Alco. Gold, Mexican, & many different strains of Hash, & even Opium laced hash, I am also so disappointed in your journalism on this, next time have a tester then do an interview!

      2. Ygritte says:

        You know nothing, Jon Snow

    2. Arthur says:

      Jon try magic mushrooms you’ll love them.

    3. Jack says:

      Come on mate, we all know what alcohol does. John’s talking about cannabis here.

  2. Nostra Damnus says:

    What else did you expect? You jumped right in with the strongest stuff available having had no real experience with it and it knocked you for six. I could have just told you that. What you’ve done is akin to drinking a litre of spirits the very first time you touch alcohol. That kind of thing usually ends pretty badly.

    “But what I know, every citizen should know, this is a dangerous, horrible substance.”

    In contrast to alcohol, you didn’t end up unconscious, in hospital, getting your stomach pumped and you can actually remember what happened.

    Really. What people should actually know is to treat all substances with a modicum of respect and find their own level rather than being so naive as to take a dose that would floor an elephant the very first time they try it.

    1. Respectable middle aged lady says:

      Exactly.

      You’ve always been able to make yourself feel utterly vile if you ingest enough all at once, be it the unexpectedly strong grass that American in your university hall had back in the late 1970s, eating too many slices of hashcake in Amsterdam, insane loonies with bongs – or just being horrendously stupid.

      Presumably the medical staff concerned do know they’re administering massive overdoses to people?

    2. Naomi says:

      Couldn’t have put it better. The MDMA trial participants were given a sensible dose.. Whoever thought two balloons full was a normal amount!?!

    3. Joe says:
  3. Adam Skene says:

    I am passionate about very little but this is an issue I have always maintained an interest in

    I believe this to be a freedom issue. A person should be able to ingest substances that do not directly harm others.

    As an adult I feel it wrong that I am told what I can and cannot take to relax. Yes cannabis can be harmful but no more so than alcohol and other taxable commodities.

    Also economically cannabis prohibition makes no sense at all – any burden placed on the NHS will be alleviated by reduced resources by the police force. Taxable income on cannabis would pay for education and treatment programmes with plenty left over to invest in other social improvement schemes

    Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda – does that make it wrong? Of course not but it mirrors how governments attempt to control citizens behavior.

    ‘We need to talk about liberating minds not just liberating society’

  4. Nostra Damnus says:

    “If many who smoke this stuff had ever seen the physical effects on the brain as displayed through the MRI scanner, they would make a more informed judgement as to what they were doing.”

    What exactly did you see in the MRI scanner? The whole point of any drug taken recreationally is for the mind-altering effects, be it nicotine, alcohol, cannabis or anything else. Those effects will show up on MRI and EEG scans, that’s just life doing what it does. Other forms of external stimuli do exactly the same thing, like the adrenaline rush from extreme sports or the endorphin response from being sexually stimulated.

    I guess all those mountain bikers, basejumpers, paragliders and lovers will reconsider their ill-informed and poorly judged actions if they see what their poor brains are doing on some MRI scanner.

  5. NickDavisGB says:

    It would be interesting to see the comments from someone who was a smoker to the same strain you were exposed to.

    1. gabriel says:

      I have been smoking cannabis for 39 years & have been smoking skunk for over 15 as cannabis is not available ,I took lsd every month for 15 years & now I’m 48 and profesional chef and have been for 28 years ,smoking weed relaxes me after work and I get a fantastic nights sleep ,I do get hungry and eat double wot I eat when stoned I admit but instead of eating fast food i have fresh fruit handy ,I’m also very polite and helpful when I’m stoned and don’t talk like I do when I’m not stoned ,I concentrate better and it makes me happy ,I was born in Uruguay & I’m gonna go back as at least I don’t have to worry about getting nicked, all weed has a different taste and I luv the very stinky weed that is full of flavour,, any docs want to experiment on me please contact me .:)

  6. CeCe says:

    This seems to me to be a huge about to inhale at once and doesn’t at all seem the same as a couple of joints between a few of you.

  7. Ben says:

    Fair play for taking part Jon. A few things it is desperately important to remember when taking drugs: firstly, they are not for everybody – everyone will have a different experience, some positive (most when it comes to weed), some negative. Sounds like you went from 0-100mph when most people would ease themselves in slowly. Secondly, setting is very important. If you were in the comfort of your own home, your experience may have been very different. Thirdly, putting (poor) people in prison for using drugs (non-violent, victimless crime) is incredibly counter-productive. If this programme can contribute towards a sensible discussion about regulation and legalisation/decriminalisation (as is happening globally) all the better. We need to move away from the “war on drugs” as it has been a complete and abject failure in every sense and it’s practically impossible to get the spineless politicians to look at the evidence and change tack accordingly.

    1. stilts says:

      I wonder if john snow has a fear of confined spaces this could be a reason why he wanted to get out of the scanner ,

      1. Jmcc says:

        He said he’s had scans before and hadn’t felt like that.

  8. Tamsin Sutherland says:

    What a spurious tale. I’ve been smoking cannabis for at least 35 years with no ill effects whatsoever – and regularly smoke ‘skunk’.

    This would be akin to taking someone that had had a couple of glasses of shandy in their youth and getting them to drink half a bottle of Absinthe – of course Mr. Snow didn’t enjoy it – no one would…!

    Like all other substances that alter one’s brain chemistry, it is a road that one travels – to use the drinking analogy again, one doesn’t start off by immediately downing a bottle of the hard stuff, no?

    And even then – many people would, I full suspect; have exactly the same kind of reaction if the experiment were repeated with strong alcohol under the same kind of personal circumstances.

    As it has come to be rather widely recognised – this kind of sensationalist reportage is nothing more than tantamount to propaganda. There are many, many thousands of people who have used recreational cannabis for decades, such as myself; in moderation with no ill effects – and I would contest that people suffering from the kind of ill effects might very well have a psychological predilection to do so.

    I’d refute this report as being nothing more than spurious sensationalism – and contest Mr. Snow’s findings in the flattest possible terms.

    I would be quite happy to undergo exactly the selfsame experiment and stand my experience up against his any day of the week.

  9. Philip Edwards says:

    Jon,

    A worthy, courageous experiment. And a warning to anybody stupid enough to “do” drugs.

    Which is why all drug dealers should be locked up for the rest of their natural and the key thrown away. They destroy human dignity and whole societies. Which, of course, is why the CIA is so heavily involved in the filthy trade and why European establishments are more than happy to have swathes of society “narcotised.”

    There’s nothing “mind expanding” about drugs or “clever” about the people who deal in them. They are the precise opposite of everything worthwhile in human nature.

    It would be interesting to see how many of the C4 News editorial, research and reporting staff dabble in the muck. Or, for that matter, how prevalent it is in broadcast news and other media.

    Junkies are the victims. Dealers are the scum of the earth.

    1. Si brindle says:

      “There’s nothing “mind expanding” about drugs or “clever” about the people who deal in them. They are the precise opposite of everything worthwhile in human nature.”

      But mind-expanding is literally what some psychoactive drugs do; they have been a part of human culture for thousands and thousands of years, in civilisations and communities across the planet. For many people the ingestion of psychoactive substances has been a way to explore what it is to experience reality; to adventure through inner, rather than outer, space, in other words – and that sense of pushing boundaries, of experimentation and exploration, i would contend is something very worthwhile in human nature.

      Taking a substance that alters the way you perceive things is not in itself either good or bad.

    2. TheEcon says:

      There would be no market for drug dealers if substances were available from clean, legal facilities.

      Societies utter ignorance of this fact is creating and sustaining these criminal organisations.

    3. BigPL says:

      do you drink coffee Philip? Or smoke cigarettes? Glass of wine with your dinner? All drugs…

      It’s the narrow minded opinion of some and the agenda driven opinions of others that keep drugs like this illegal whereas effective regulation is clearly the right and common sensical answer. “good people disobey bad laws”

    4. Hugh says:

      Do you drink alcohol Philip? Any idea how many people that drug kills every year? Any idea what detrimental effects that drug has on society?

  10. Casper says:

    Jon, it’s all about moderation dear chap. You have clearly inhaled a debilitating amount of cannabis. Imagine the experiment were injecting you with the equivalent of half bottle of whisky, and if you were teetotaled. You would likely have a horrendous experience and call alcohol a devilish substance, one you would vow never to touch again.

  11. joe says:

    I love Jon Snow and his willingness to try at least before passing a close minded judgement. This ‘clinical trial’ is not really a fair representation of how most people smoking ‘Skunk’ actually smoke the drug. If anybody were to inhale two large balloons they would feel some of the effects Jon did even a seasoned smoker. It’s the equivalent of overdosing on ‘Skunk’. This for me is only another supporting factor in regulating and legalising the substance. Whatever happens ‘Skunk’ WILL be available so why not make it available with controlled levels of THC and Cannabinoids. Provide dose advice and regulation with taxes directed towards drug care of cannabis and other substance abusers??

    1. AlunH says:

      Joe’s comment is the most sensible one I’ve read so far. If you watched the entire Ch 4 program, the emphasis was that Skunk is potentially harmful due to the imbalance of THC in relation to other cannabinoids. This is due to the hybridisation of cannabis in order to maximise its effects from the minimum of space required to grow it. That would not have been a driving force if it were legal.

      Sadly, criminalisation is what has lead to the proliferation of these high THC varietals. Thankfully some forward thinking parts of the U.S. Have now legalised production which gives buyers the opportunity to choose more balanced strains of cannabis which are less likely to induce psychosis in certain individuals.

      Cannabis is an extremely useful medicine in the treatment of spasticity and as a recreational drug is far less damaging than alcohol. But its legal status in most countries remains as it is due to the inability to generate tax revenues or big business profits for the elite in the way that alcohol does.

      Until the politicians stop thinking about profit for themselves and their industrial oligarch chums I’m afraid nothing will change.

  12. Tom says:

    Hi Jon
    I have been using marijuana since I was 17. I am now approaching my 60’s and have smoked skunk several times. In my experience, the pure form of marijuana naturally grown in various parts of the world is beneficial to the minds and well being of some people but not others. Skunk on the other hand is a nasty human manipulated money making abhorrence that should be avoided at all costs. It is seriously bad shit !

    1. Tess says:

      Exactly…these hybrids the kids are smoking these days are so high in THC at the expense of CBD.

    2. Andrew says:

      Skunk is just a word for high-quality cannabis that the Daily Mail set uses. Cannabis is cannabis, whether it’s grown outdoors or under HID lights.

  13. mark says:

    This seems like an odd test if I’m honest.
    An interesting control here, rather than some duff vapour, would be taking someone who doesn’t drink (other than the odd sip of a pint with friends when they were a student) and then making them drink a bottle of whiskey. Wonder how many people would say that alochol is safe after that? I’m guessing very few.

  14. themobious says:

    Hi john. Big fan generally but your experience is incredibly similar to a non-drinker downing a bottle of absynth and then saying alcohol is a nasty drug based solely on that experience. Shame really as your view is important to many and this doesnt give balance to the debate.

    A

  15. ryan rose says:

    I think this is a very bad example of use of cannabis. I have smoked cannabis for about 15 years and would never dream of giviñg someone as fresh and new to it as you were during this experiment the sort of quantity you had comsumed in that space of time. That is the very definition of substance abuse. If you were to go to the same extreme with others like heroine there is a great chance to cause an overdose and kill the person. So how exactly is this a fair experiment?

  16. Bob says:

    Induced psychosis is very scary indeed. As long as you didn’t think the TV or radio was talking to you! To be fair doing skunk at your age is quite brave but I don’t think it’s up there with traveling the world to war zones and places hit by disaster to report it to us. Being ‘stoned out of it’ is by comparison something for the cowards to do. The ‘war’ in your mind is a very different thing. The strong chemically treated weed that is sold across the country should be reclassified. It is very harmful and it makes you think ‘Why would someone want to pay money to feel like this?’ This generates a lot of work for the NHS too. . . “Stick to uppers” a voice in the background said. The claustrophobic sensation of being psychologically invaded and weak is really quite grim if you are in the wrong company. Stay off the grass!

  17. Cyrus says:

    Context is everything when it comes to psychoactives. With all due respect and sympathy to Jon Snow – taking a psychotropic substance in such a sterile, controlled context is absurd. Anyone would have an adverse reaction in such a clinical, forced environment – anyone with a modicum of experience knows to ingest things in a safe, happy relaxed setting. Not halfway between a sensationalist TV program and a hospital.

  18. Anton says:

    for a start for your first time trying cannabis in (assuming) 30-40 years, you shouldnt be clearing vapourisers! anyone with an ounce of knowledge on marijuana will tell you that you dont need anymore than one drag on a joint (thats not vaporising, thats combustion by the way which is a far lower dose in one drag) the first time and you will feel those calming effects that John himself describes, i would most certainly have told him had i been there NOT to clear more than one hit of a vapouriser, this is just plain ignorance, if you want to test marijuana perhaps you should talk to some regular users first and ask them how they recommened you try the drug, if you was testing alcohol you wouldnt tell someone to drink 1l of whiskey 1st time round, one hit on a vapouriser is more than enough for any test, basically John has jumped in at the deep end, like having never drunk alcohol and then doing 10 shots of whiskey, its not going to feel good or have the desirable effects

    i seriously question the so called “doctors” that allowed John to consume so much for a man with so little experience especially considering the strength of cannabis today in comparison to the 60-70s!

    Id also like to know about the other subjects in this “study” cant wait to see this documentary, but i am going to assume that rather than it be about how important EDUCATION is on ALL drugs it will be used as another validation of prohibition which will continue to lead to massive waste of tax money, meanwhile in Colorado crime is down and they have so much tax from marijuana is starting to actually become an issue…

  19. Dave says:

    Reefer Madness! Don’t do it kids. One puff and you’ll be a crazed depressed psycho…etc

  20. Martin Quirk says:
  21. Jonny J says:

    Very disappointed that you had a bad experience.

    As others have pointed out though, you went through the equivalent of someone who drinks the occasional glass of wine with a meal downing a whole bottle of Polish spirit in ten minutes (although, of course without the associated physical risks).

    Moderation in all things!

  22. SJK says:

    Well Jon, it was hardly surprising you got a bit freaked out by your experience with the weed. Having barely smoked in your life, you proceed to inhale two “huge balloons of vapour” in the space of 5 or 10 minutes, enter into an enclosed space in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by unfamiliar people in white coats. To be honest that same experience would more than likely floor most regular tokers. Jon, as an ex-counselor you should know full well that positive drug experiences are influenced largely by “set and setting”. Clearly this was not a consideration with this “experiment”. From a scientific and a journalistic perspective, this whole thing was all wrong.

    It’s poor journalism to make sweeping statements about a particular drug, based on one bad experience (especially when you clearly had way too much). As someone said earlier on, if you drank a whole bottle of whisky in 5 minutes you’d probably vow to never touch the stuff again – and I doubt that you’d write a blog about it either. As someone that is anti “war on drugs” I’d have thought you’d be more mindful of making generalisations about so-called “skunk” – in one short article you’ve pretty much contributed to the arguments for keeping the possession of what is a relatively harmless substance (compared to alcohol) a criminal offence.

  23. Jack says:

    2 balloons is way to much If you where to drink 2 bottles of vodka you would have a similar experience.

  24. Keith Platt says:

    I can only add to the well-reasoned comments left by my fellow smokers. If you asked the most hardened of smokers if they fancied getting out off their heads at 7am in a laboratory you’d get a swift “no thanks!”.
    This does however make me fear for “Drugs Live” on Channel 4. This “experiment” has all the hallmarks of lazy, creatively bankrupt TV executives sitting around a table throwing out “good TV” ideas that will grab ratings, like this one but ultimately bring nothing new to the debate and will no doubt just reinforce all the usual stereotypes.
    No doubt the conclusion of the program will be that the public need to be educated and informed whilst ironically the program will do neither. I hope I’m wrong.

  25. Andrew says:

    This is what passes for journalism in the UK? You had an unpleasant experience because you took a high dose of cannabis with no tolerance. If you had never consumed caffeine before and decided to chug down a 6 pack of Redbulls, you would have an even worse time. Just because you had an unpleasant experience doesn’t mean that marijuana is a “dangerous, horrible substance” or that it causes mental illness(if it did, why is it that Britain’s schizophrenia rate didn’t budge when marijuana use rates skyrocketed in the 60s or when they dropped in the 80s?) The fact is that marijuana is the safest recreational drug known to man, far safer than alcohol or tobacco. It doesn’t shorten the user’s lifespan, doesn’t cause brain damage, cancer or other fatal illnesses and very well may have important health benefits. But why tell the truth when you can engage in unscrupulous fear-mongering for better ratings?

  26. Joe Minella says:

    How can you not think that this “test” was structured deliberately to cause a bad reaction? I’ve been using cannabis for 40 years. It has been a good companion. Giving this much to an inexperienced consumer is irresponsible and stupid and unscientific. Disgusting.

  27. Jonny says:

    I think even if you were a very regular user of super strong skunk, two vape balloons full in one go would still really mess with your head.

    As I understand it, if you fill a balloon with cannabis vapour it is commonly intended to be consumed over a period of time and not all in one go. Let alone two!

    Poor Jon Snow, those scientists sold you down the river.. I feel for you!

  28. Anne says:

    People who do drugs only want their drugs. They won’t fight for better living conditions, higher wages, for a good NHS, better schools, free education, and so on. So, I am afraid, politicians are quite happy about every drug user. Drugs numb the people. And surely many politicians also do drugs. They also don’t do much to make this world a better place. So the only people who suffer are the kids and maybe mothers, because they cannot make their brains happy with drugs. They have to face reality, whilst men are high in their drug-paradise.

  29. Patrick says:

    The way this was conducted was pretty silly. If you take that much with little experience, don’t expect to have an easy time. Perhaps regular users would struggle even. I say all this as someone who doesn’t go near it any more. I do think it’s a problem, and won’t even smoke weaker cannabis, but you didn’t need to put yourself through that. If taken at all, drugs should be taken in small doses, with the dosage steadily increased if you want to explore more, until you find your limit. There’s scientific value in that, not in throwing yourself in at the deep end – that way, you discover nothing of what’s in between, and won’t, because you won’t go near it again! My problems were related to bereavement at a young age – when I gave up cannabis, I stopped having a certain frightening experience for a while, but it came back and I still wasn’t smoking it, so I realised something deeper was going on. I’ve made great progress with that, but I’ve found on a few occasions in the last 10 years that smoking cannabis, strong or weak, doesn’t help, so I just don’t now, as much as I’d like to enjoy it like I once did.

  30. Richard says:

    Inhaling a whole balloon of street strength skunk is the equivalent of drinking 3 bottles of neat vodka. Whilst you experienced some traumatic feelings, could you imagine the alternative that an alcohol test would do. At the end of it all you felt “euphoria” and even drew a pastas picture. The equivalent with alcohol would have been lewd behaviour, vomiting, possibly having your stomach pumped and a hangover from hell. Do that test as well, and tell me if you had to repeat one which would you do? People who use cannabis are well aware it isn’t good for them but that’s no different from social drinkers or cigarette smokers is it?

  31. Normal reasonable human. says:

    All about the propaganda train! Choo Choo!!!
    Are you serious? As everyone else has said;
    No one would do 2 full bags of vapour (It’s a big bag so you can save it or pass it around), this was over kill anyway.
    And this guy has zero tolerance. I hope there is a side by side comparison of them having a teetotaller downing two bottles of vodka.

    Journalism like this is beyond a farce. I assume the supporting political parties popped a fairly chunky lump sum into channel 4’s pocket for this heap of rubbish; and i know a heap of rubbish when i see one. I watched ‘The Jump’

  32. Patrick says:

    The way this was conducted was pretty silly. If you take that much with little experience, don’t expect to have an easy time. Perhaps regular users would struggle even. I say all this as someone who doesn’t go near it any more. I do think it’s a problem, and won’t even smoke weaker cannabis, but you didn’t need to put yourself through that. If taken at all, drugs should be taken in small doses, with the dosage steadily increased if you want to explore more, until you find your limit. There’s scientific value in that, not in throwing yourself in at the deep end – that way, you discover nothing of what’s in between, and won’t, because you won’t go near it again! My problems were related to the loss of my mother at a young age – when I gave up cannabis, I stopped having a certain frightening experience for a while, but it came back and I still wasn’t smoking it, so I realised something deeper was going on. I’ve made great progress with that, but I’ve found on a few occasions in the last 10 years that smoking cannabis, strong or weak, doesn’t help, so I just don’t now, as much as I’d like to enjoy it like I once did.

  33. Hunter says:

    Decriminalisation is the way forward, tax it make money from it, control the quality and strength of strains available. We are in danger of falling way behind on this issue in this UK, American markets are making billions from mariajuana Legalisation and are now ploughing that money back into social infrastructure.
    Jon you lightweighted out mate.
    Also a side note for these ‘doctors’ no one wants to be in a clinical lab whilst stoned, That’s Bad mojo kemosabe, not rocket science that its going to have a negative effect.
    I recommend Jon has another 2 hits and a walk in the park to balance out this study.

  34. Austen Colback says:

    what an idiot, i used to smoke skunk loads and i have never nor i have i heard of anyone else having an experience like that. He was probably paranoid and worried about having it before hand and the weed just exacerbated that; not to mention that being hooked up to machines can be a horrible experience anyway, especially if you’re not used to feeling really high.

  35. Simon McCulloch says:

    Should have lit a Diptyque candle, put on some Led Zeppelin and kicked back rather than show up at the hospital at 7am confronted with an MRI scanner- in terms of ambience it’s not exactly sunrise at the stone circle Glasto. I’d be crawling up the walls.

    Love you Jon Snow but this is a silly read. Everyone knows all drugs damage your brain. That’s not why people take them? Not even my closest mates who smoke would contemplate hitting two ballons in one go – would you neck half a bottle of vodka at a party in one? Only if you’re a wally.

  36. noel says:

    Your experience contributed nothing to the research.

    As others said if you have no experience of taking drugs then go for the most extreme way of getting stoned on good stuff of course you may have issues! It is a mild psychdelic after all.

    Funny thing is I and many like me given the same stuff would kick back listen to some tunes and enjoy the way the music feels while feeling totally at peace and relaxed and I’d enjoy the mind expanding properties too, but then it’s my thing.

    If I downed two bottles of vodka I’d feel the same as you did with skunk, what a surprise! (ps. no one really calls it that, and no it’s not stronger than hash of the past, get a grip!)

  37. Kathy says:

    First of all, let’s not make any category mistakes here. Skunk, hash and hydro etc are all pretty much different drugs. Jon’s blog is not about the effects of canabis, it’s about the effects skunk and skunk alone. There is no comment on the medicinal or recreational benefits of other forms of canabis.

    I suffered canabis related psychosis 15 years ago and it was an extremely unpleasant and life-shattering experience.

    I started small, as per the advice to Jon in these comments, just a few drags on joint. I was 15. From then, I smoked hash occasionally on weekends with friends. I liked giggling and getting the munchies, it was that simple. I always noticed that I felt dulled for a day or so after, sometimes this was pleasant, sometimes less so. But mostly it didn’t have much of a negative impact on my life.

    When I left school to go to university (with good grades despite the dope smoking) I started to experiment a little more seriously. Quickly I came across skunk. I was ok at first because I had become a bit more ballsy and probably had a tolerance built up form the hash. But it didn’t last long. Paranoia, dread, and paralysing anxiety followed, and soon wouldn’t let me go. My worst experience of skunk is just how Jon describes it. The fear, anxiety and dread eventually became crippling even after days of not smoking.

    This was not just ‘freaking out’.It was a terrifying and prolonged internal subjective experience from which there was no escape. It took Jon four hours to come down after one lungful. I’d say it took me at least 6 months after a few short months of occasional use.

    I stopped smoking it out of utter fear, and stopped drinking too, but by that stage I was already suffering from panic disorder and therefore struggling socially and academically at university. I developed phobias and other problems that took me years to overcome. I went form being an energetic party girl with a bright future to a depressed and anxiety-ridden young woman who could not trust her own thoughts. With time, I completely recovered an have gone on to live a very healthy and happy life, but in all honesty it took years. Skunk robbed me of my late-teens and early twenties. It is my opinion that it should come with a mental health warning.

    I am so happy that this subject is coming to attention. Many people who have drug associated mental health problems suffer in silence. In my experience there is a social stigma attached to drug related psychosis, especially when it’s caused by a ‘lighter’ drug like skunk. I hope more people may seek help as a result of Jon’s work.

    1. Flip W says:

      Kathy, I can relate to your post completely, although the effects weren’t so severe in my case.

      Hybridised (what appears to be high THC/low CBD) cannabis is not a pleasurable experience for myself when compared to (I assume) lower THC/higher CBD cannabis. I always sourced my ‘medication’ to have an effect relating to mellow and relaxing properties that aided with concentration and sleep issues. For 10+ years, a few weak, single cigarette-paper sized, hand rolled ‘joints’ at night after work did wonders for my severe insomnia, and the next day without re-dosing, it also did wonders for my ADD problems. However, ‘Skunk” had the complete opposite effect for me, it makes my heart race, creates anxiety, isolates me from the world, and sends my thoughts racing at a mile a second which is the complete opposite of what I want from my ‘medication’; the following day I feel lethargic and hazy. Hybridisation seems to have created something that goes completely against what I personally need from its active components.

      There’s a massive difference between using and abusing anything, from gambling to alcohol to food to drugs; the difference appears to be, for example, in education, each individuals’ personal state of mind, and being able to monitor and regulate its distribution, to name a few. I can no longer afford cannabis (unable to work – fulltime carer), let alone source any from anywhere in the first place, so I am now on benzodiazepines for sleep (highly addictive and a controlled drug – marginally effective), and methylphenidate for concentration (also a controlled drug – similar affectivity as cannabis). Both are not great to take because of the side effects, mostly with the methylphenidate; which did not occur with my preferred choice of cannabis.

      Like has been mentioned within other posts, some chemicals (i.e. medications) help some people and not others. Try giving large doses of caffeine to help anxiety, magic mushrooms to aid schizoid personality disorder, or methadone to help heroin addicts… oh, wait, forget that last example… I have been against medications all my life, especially synthesised chemicals, choosing only ever cannabis, however, I now have to go the chemical route because I would never risk growing the ‘medical cannabis’, let alone afford the electricity, and I also have the potential to leave a family member without care and disrupt their life.

      —————————-

      Jon (Snow-Whitey, That Bites More from the Apple than He Can Chew),

      Although I think you have done some excellent work over your career, next time someone offers you anything, especially drugs, I do recommend caution and titration! 2 x ‘lungs (bongs)’ in one go is slightly reminiscent of when I was a kid and my mate, a first timer, was gung-ho and was adamant to do a full-bowl water bong to impress his mates. It is safe to say he ‘pulled-a-whitey’ and pretty much suffered what you did… Most importantly though, the Home Office approved NHS professionals should be seriously questioned about the way they undertook their trials, of course, that is unless the trial was purely there to create a severe experience to document and create some sensationalism, but surely the Home Office – a department of the UK Government, the NHS or a journalist would ever condone that, would they? I sadly think I know the answer to that question…..

  38. Simon says:

    HI Jon, I doubt you read these comments but I have to say my bit.

    As stated many times already, you had WAY too much, you were set-up to have a horrible time.

    Skunk is the name of one particular strain of Cannabis, it was first created in 1985. it is a crossbreed of three sativa strains and one indica, two american, one afgan and one thai. pure sativa and sativa-dominant strains generally have a high thc to cbd ratio which gives a certain kind of high that some people are not comfortable with including myself. it’s these type of strains that anyone with anxiety issues should avoid. There are MANY MANY other strains out there which produce different effects on the user. Informed choice is the key here but sadly, bad information is being disseminated here deliberately to muddy the waters.

    It is impossible to chemically make weed stronger, more bad information, it’s all in the breeding and genetics. chemicals are generally used to add weight to the weed for maximum profit they have no effect on the strength.

    By the way, I’ve recently been back to uni as an adult. I got a 2:1. smoked high grade every day.

  39. zero says:

    There’s a couple of little things called ‘set and ‘setting’ that were for some reason unaccounted for…

  40. Doktor Gott says:

    Jon – for heaven’s sake, what do you expect??? Do you really think a sensible test of the effects of alcohol is to have someone drink two bottles of vodka and say that is representative of the everyday effects of it?

    As someone who is familiar with the balloon set-up, I’d frankly say that what you did was beyond stupid if it were repeated outside of a clinical setting. Those kind of things are meant to last of an evening, not consumed rapidly in quick succession.

    I think a far more accurate study might actually involve varying the amount consumed rather than testing it against placebos and doctored versions of the same substance. At least then you could compare and contrast the experiences of users at varying doseages.

    The reality is that it should be everything in moderation, eh?

  41. Stephen R says:

    Next week on Channel 4: straight man blows gay man and says he didn’t like it.

  42. CJ says:

    At what point will the discussion open into how various people experience it in various ways. My best friend, less of a smoker than myself, can only do a few hoots, to calm her mind, or else she’ll get like this guy. I’m not like that. Perhaps my chemistry is written differently than my friend’s or this guy’s. It amps up my good thoughts and makes all my terrible, depressed, suicidal thoughts invalid.

    It works differently for different people. Just because you can’t handle it doesn’t mean you should deprive someone of something that makes life more accessible and enjoyable.

    Or we can keep putting each other down. Whatever.

  43. Dean Fowler says:

    To say I am disappointed in you Jon, is an understatement.
    I have been using cannabis (without incident) for the last 30 years and I would never try to take two bags full of vapour, especially in an unfamiliar setting.
    This is extremely lazy journalism and tells me that the resulting programme is just going to be more of the same ‘drugs are bad, mmmmmkay!’ propaganda we’ve seen for the fast forty-odd years.
    Time to change the record.

  44. Doktor Gott says:

    Jon,

    Please change your name to Jonny Two Balloons.

    Please!

    :D

  45. Faye says:

    Basically agree with the comments here. If you smoke way too much for your tolerance like John did, the effect is akin to drinking a couple of very strong expressos’ with a touch of paranoia and self awareness.

  46. Scott says:

    Do you consider that the two balloons that you did would be the equivalent of some one doing buckets?

  47. CHandi says:

    Jon:As you rightly say it is not Cannabis – the herb. But Skunk – adulterated concoction. Please watch on YouTube the argument presented by Chomsky as to the real reason of why Cannabis is not legalised. But smoking tobacco is still legal.

  48. Andrew says:

    @ Anne:

    “People who do drugs only want their drugs. They won’t fight for better living conditions, higher wages, for a good NHS, better schools, free education, and so on.”

    This is just nonsense. People who smoke cannabis enjoy the same things that non-smokers do. They care about their families, their community, their country. This is like claiming that anyone who enjoys a cup of coffee or a pint of beer “only want their drugs” and nothing else. In fact, here in the US, Nixon declared a war on (some) drugs in order to crack down on and crush the anti-war, anti-racism movements in the country, so claiming that cannabis makes people complacent and sheep-like is just silly. Maybe you should get over your caricatural ideas about us pot smokers and get to know some of us; we’re your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends. We’re no less friendly or caring than any other group of people.

    @Kathy:

    “First of all, let’s not make any category mistakes here. Skunk, hash and hydro etc are all pretty much different drugs. Jon’s blog is not about the effects of canabis, it’s about the effects skunk and skunk alone”

    This is false. Cannabis is cannabis. Different varieties have different strengths and different ratios of cannabinoids, but it’s the same drug. “Skunk” is a meaningless term invented by the Daily Mail set. There is no biological or chemical basis to label “skunk” different from any other form of cannabis(except hemp, obviously, which isn’t psychoactive.) It’s a term that’s only used in the UK, land of Reefer Madness. If you’re talking about herbs sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids like JWH-018, that’s a completely different subject; it has nothing to do with marijuana.

    1. simon says:

      careful mate, you could be in danger of giving out accurate information there

  49. jon says:

    What poor Jon Snow experienced was a temporary drug induced psychosis, common with some people when taking too much cannabis (Check out Withnail And I’s Camberwell Carrot scene). Too much amphetamine can have a simularly horrific effect, basically a temporary madness.
    He must remember though, that people grow Skunk, smoke it, buy it and enjoy it. His poor experience is just another example of some unsuitable sucker doing too much-a scary experience but “mostly harmless” as Douglas Adams said.

  50. Thoughtful says:

    It isn’t that long ago people were told not only that tobacco was safe to use, they were encouraged to use it or even told it was good for them.

    Now we know different. Medical science has established it is lethal.

    Eventually so called “recreational” drugs will be exposed for the fraud they are. Just like tobacco. But like tobacco there will always be excuse makers, dupes and profiteers.

    Do the crime, do the time. If you live long enough.

  51. neil bailey says:

    If weed was legal I could go down the shop and buy some nice, soft black hasheesh. As it stands it’s difficult to get hold of anything except skunk, BECAUSE draw is illegal – same as prohibition in America, they were brewing moonshine because it was high-grade, transporting and distributing lesser products wasn’t as worth the hassle.

  52. Richard Collier says:

    Jon I’m sorry but not surprised you had a “bad trip” You’ve used it in subjective format..as a journalist!. Where as if you had used it objectively you might have found out a bit more about the positive and free wheeling aspects of your personality. Of course I note that many of the comments on your blog have said that you swam too deep, too big a hit in one go! Certainly!
    Anyway! I don’t smoke anything at all now…gone passed it! However in the late sixties while in Africa I smoked a substance called “Zanzibar”. The local in habitats in the Congo wrap the freshly picked marijuana heads & leaves tightly in Banana leaves ..its then buried in the ground for 9 – 12 months. After a puff or two and in the first few minutes all knowledge of the world completely disappears, you may feel also nauseous but after that its cloud 9 all the way!! Skunk is nothing! nothing as compared !

  53. Rory Magee says:

    i couldn’t agree more with Jon. The stuff is repugnant and breeds lethargy in the young when they can ill afford it. Keep it illegal and get children away from it

  54. Kathy says:

    @Andrew: Thanks for the information but I stand by my statement that they are subjectively different drugs, and that Jon is talking about skunk only and not cannabis as a whole. I have a lot of time for the medicinal and therapeutic effects of certain cannabis derivatives. And zero time for the potentially very harmful mental health effects of skunk.

  55. Trevor Loveland says:

    That is awful.
    This isn’t research, it’s abuse!
    How dare they subject an inexperienced person to such a large dose in the name of ‘science’ (which in reality is actually in the name of ‘entertainment’)
    Their agenda is obviously to force a bad experience on to people so that their ‘research’ can show cannabis is bad for you.
    I’m sure they knew what they were doing and they should be ashamed of themselves.

  56. Mr. Nemo says:

    You like smoking huh? Well let’s see how you like a whole carton of smokes!

  57. Newton says:

    I’m not altogether surprised being utterly baked while inside the claustrophobic confines of an MRI scanner was extremely unpleasant. I recommend a re-trial reclined on a comfy sofa, with a glass of red, while watching Black Mirror on 4OD, which I’ll happily volunteer for, if you supply the drugs.

  58. Andrew says:

    @ Thoughtful:

    “Eventually so called “recreational” drugs will be exposed for the fraud they are. Just like tobacco.”

    Sorry, but this comparison is asinine. It took us so long to figure out how dangerous tobacco was because tobacco companies spent billions of pounds to silence researchers, promote their own biased studies and unduly influence research centers and universities. Studies that showed tobacco caused cancer or other diseases were buried and any researcher who wanted to make the results public was threatened with expensive lawsuits led by the best, most moneyed legal teams in the world. There is nothing like that with cannabis. There are no multibillion-dollar marijuana companies or lobbyists. High Times or Barney’s coffeeshop do not have the ability to bribe scientists or to shut down research it doesn’t like. Since the early 20th century, researchers have been funded by government organizations, who are vigorously anti-cannabis. And despite this, we’ve found that marijuana use, unlike tobacco, doesn’t cause lung or respiratory cancer; we’ve found that it doesn’t shorten the user’s lifespan and may even have important health benefits like reducing the user’s risk of developing type II diabetes, preventing brain damage, reducing stress and treating PTSD along with dozens of other diseases and ailments. The more we study cannabis, the more absurd Prohibition seems.

    @ Simon McCulloch

    “Everyone knows all drugs damage your brain. That’s not why people take them?”

    This is just false. Some drugs, like alcohol or stimulants(cocaine and amphetamines) are known to cause brain damage. Other drugs, like cannabis or caffeine, do not. “Drugs” are not all the same.

    1. Thoughtful says:

      Back @ Andrew

      Same old excuses from same old junkies. Drugs are a cop out for vulnerable, sad people and so-called “sophisticates,” the same type of sophisticates who thought it “cool” to use cigarettes as a social prop or even as a sign of “rebellion.” Various cancers and other illnesses proved otherwise, though it took almost three hundred years to prove it scientifically.

      Drugs are manufactured and peddled by organised crime and actually tolerated by governments who are happy to see it used anywhere so long as it doesn’t seriously interfere with their agendas and power. The whole stinking business could be crushed in a matter of months if the full weight of military power was used the way it is elsewhere.

      It’s no coincidence the main targets are the poorest areas of societies. There, it becomes a criminal substitute for decent society while it undermines the very fabric of communities. In a lot of cases it’s the only “career option” for kids with no other hope. Not that it stops at the poorest – just as with tobacco and alcohol there are people who think it “cool” to make themselves look and sound stupid by sticking powder up their nose or injecting directly into their body.

      The effects of drugs differ from person to person. They might not cause physical cancer but the two things we do know is that they unbalance the mind and destroy whole societies through the cancer of organised crime. Common sense and victim families know it too. Future research will inevitably prove it, just as it did with alcohol and tobacco.

      If anyone is asinine (sic) it is you for denying reality. But maybe that’s why you stick it up your nose in the first place.

      1. jonny j says:

        I think “Thoughtful” is probably the worst username you could have chosen. You are clearly anything but.

        How much personal experience do you have with drugs?
        I’m guessing very little, if any at all.

    2. vortex says:

      Not so fast! My chest specialist said in no uncertain terms that pot smoking (hash, Bush buds or skunk) all damage the lung more so than a regular cigarette, mainly because the smoke is hotter (unfiltered) and gets further into your lung. They can tell the difference on an xray between damage from a filtered cigarette and damage from inhaling really hot smoke from a joint or pipe/bong. Also, less scrupulous dealers can put little plastic beads in with yr deal to make it weigh more, so you end up smoking plastic, which ain’t great! Oh, as for “snow cones” , that just sets like cement in the little fibres in your lungs and will eventually kill you. So lots of good reasons to be fully aware of what you are actually doing to your lungs, before you decide to light up. Sorry to hear Jon pulled a whitey in the MRI. What’s next? Chrystal meth on the London eye?

  59. Mayur Sharma says:

    All I want to say marijuana is not a substance to use in daily life it’s only meant to be used in peaceful surroundings between trees,mountains and rivers …..marijuana is the psychedelic part of mother nature. ….Om namh Shiva

  60. geds says:

    lets put another way if you have 3 pints of beer you will feel merry if you have 10 pints you will feel sick has a pig,same here he took far to much to put a elephant on its butt.

  61. Sam says:

    Jon, for your next trick will you be getting an X-ray after downing a 700ml bottle of Grey Goose? That is essentially what you did here.

    Also, you don’t “take skunk”. Saying that makes you sound silly.

  62. roadin says:

    All i can say is that was a heroic effort from John, 2 large backs of skunk vapour for someone with no tolerance it is an insane stoner’s everywhere salute you i smoke every day and i wouldn’t do that much.

    Did they let you know before hand that you were about to do the weed equivalent of downing 2 bottles of absinthe?

  63. Lewis says:
  64. Paddy says:

    SET, SETTING AND APPROPRIATE DOSAGE!!!! What on earth did they expect to happen to someone naive to the drug of which they’ve been given a large dose of being put into a horribly uncomfortable situation? Skunk’s like the hard liquor of cannabis and it’s varieties should be enjoyed by connoisseurs or in conservative amounts by non-smokers. If this stuff were legal we wouldn’t have to partake in the ridiculous cricus of Channel 4 Drugs on Trial sensationalist televsion and people who don’t like skunk but like a mild Morrocan hash could get their draw rather than having to put up with being stoned off their block because in a prohibited market the most cost effective product will prevail.

  65. Void says:

    Woah, hold your horses there, buddy! Having two full Volcano bags to yourself is enough to floor even experienced smokers – vapour inhalation is around 3 times more efficient than smoke inhalation at delivering cannabinoids. The dose you were given is, in the psychological sense at least, the equivalent to giving a non-drinker a whole bottle of vodka, or feeding a diabetic 4 king size mars bars with no insulin to cover it.

    My point is, you were thrown in at the deep end, most likely so the doctors could get a distinct image of the full effect on your brain.To add further to your bad experience,you were put into quite an intimidating machine as you were approaching the peak of your high. I’m sure if you were to take a smaller dose in a more appropriate setting, you would enjoy a far more pleasant experience. :)

  66. Ian says:

    Tut, tut first thing you should do with drugs is “respect” them. No go daft !!

    Cannabis will be legal, eventually. This political class will dead off.

    What Jon just needed to do was lie down and listen to “Dark side of the moon”!

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

  67. Rich says:

    From what is described in the article, this was not a scientifically based experiment, or the objectives of the study were not suitable for the programme. Mr Snow was given a massive dose of “skunk”, which as previous comments have stated is akin to giving a teetotaller a large quantity of alcohol. What do you expect? One might suspect that the “study” was organised in a way that it’s results supported the view that “drugs” are bad, full stop. This is simply propaganda, from what I can tell.
    “Skunk” is simply a particular group of strains of cannabis, created by selective breeding. It contains a high proportion of thc to cbd. Cannabis is cannabis and “skunk” is, as said in a previous comment, a name of a strain jumped upon by the Daily Mail set to aid their scaremongering and propaganda drive.
    I don’t doubt that there are people out there for whom using cannabis is not a good idea, due to their mental health status and propensity towards psychosis. Just as there are people out there who get violent after a drink and who react badly to caffeine or a prescription medicine. However for the vast vast majority of people moderated use of cannabis is certainly not a bad thing.
    I look forwards to the day when we can have parliament and the press take an objective view on the use of cannabis.

  68. Mary says:

    They don’t need to do this experiment. Just go to a few mental health wards, talk to mental health professionals who have to try to help their patients suffering with psychosis, day in, day out! Skunk is not a mild recreational drug! It’s a nasty substance that has steals your sanity and destroys families. Tobacco and alcohol cause health problems too, I know, but it doesn’t diminish what devastating effects skunk can have on a persons life. It just infuriates me when people say it’s okay to smoke this crap when I know first hand how it has destroyed my life.

  69. ollie laroux says:

    prohibition for another 40 years now all because the bbc sent poor little johnnie to the moon just so they could justify david camerons cowardness on the subject and all the propaganda and scare mongering they have been doing since illegalisation. well done bbc give yourselves a pat on the back

    1. BigPL says:

      are you too stoned to know it’s Channel 4…..?

  70. Cheech says:

    I’m not surprise Jon, I can’t think of a worse location and situation to chose to do weed, especially such an irresponsible dose.

    Have you considered that if perhaps, your first time might have been a few sensibly loaded spiffs at home shared with the loved ones you felt so bereft of and a nice glass of scotch and a little bit of Bach on the stereo your experience may have been a positive one?

    Perhaps then you would not have abused the vast reach that your voice has on the back of a very irresponsible decision.

  71. carlos santiago says:

    Jon,
    please do the same test with D.M.T and report,

    jon PLEASE..

  72. Byron Delaney says:

    But you remember it and your brain wasn’t damaged. It’s like habanero hot sauce. It feels like it’s fire but it’s just a healthy plant. I’d also say that you of course have no tolerance, and that properly ripened skunk cannabis is much more pleasant.

  73. dukesheba says:

    Jon, you’ve been set-up mate. You were given two balloons of skunk cannabis, told to hold your breath for 5 seconds after each inhalation. Such a thing would have sent Bob Marley on a bad trip. What is unforgiveable is that you’ve fallen for this “Reefer Madness” nonsense. You should have approached this with your investigative head firmly screwed on. Had you done so you would have asked, for example, what strain of cannabis is this? Is it an indica or sativa? The latter gives very strong cerebral highs that can be uncomfortable. What’s the THC to CBD ratio? Even 1% CBD tends to counteract the “ganja psychosis” events anti-cannabis crusaders hype up. You should have educated yourself about the cannabis backlash that is underway.

    Sadly Jon you didn’t do your homework and the doctors have turned you into a laughing stock. Skunk cannabis isn’t one thing at all. There are a multitude of strains. Moreover there are now a multitude of medical scenarios where the dreaded skunk cannabis is treating illness, including cancer.

    Educate yourself before your next stone, and there must be a next stone for you. You’ve fallen off a horse, now get back on it. Take yourself off to Amsterdam, select a mellow skunk with a decent CBD content. Share a balloon with a friend. A stone in a hospital lab next to an MRI is not a good idea!! Take one or two inhalations and stop! Enjoy your stone. That feeling of well being you exprienced at the end of your terrible trip is actually what cannabis is about. The only reason you had a bad trip is because you got hella stoned, too quickly, all set up by doctors and you gave them the headlines they wanted: Skunk is worse than Gaza (Dear God, get a grip).

    You’re a decent man. Hate to see you used by the medical establishment like this. Get stoned again on your own terms with friends…the real story here isn’t that skunk is evil, it’s that it may just be wonderful.

    Truly scary stuff!!!

  74. Alan says:

    I used to respect your words Jon Snow, but the above piece of journalism by you is so flawed, so skewed that respect will be hard to reclaim.

  75. Richard Smith says:

    Can we have Jon Snow on two big bags of MDMA next?

  76. Ian B says:

    Jon, you are in an extremely privileged position having both the opportunity and the forum to voice your opinions to the world, I am, however, hugely disappointed that you have chosen to voice your opinions rather than your experience.

    I would be very interested to understand as to why you and Channel 4 chose to use a picture of you with a nicely rolled joint, clearly not made by you, as a headline to this article? Come now Jon you don’t sit posing with an AK47 when reporting on your day job because you would not be perceived as credible. What message is this trying to convey and to whom?

    If this was an ethically conducted clinical trial why was a minimum tolerated dose not the starting point? Cannabis is not exactly a new chemical entity where the maximum and minimum tolerated dose and effect is unknown. Did you not think to ask? Taking two paracetamol is known to relieve a headache, taking 20 is likely to kill you! Would you have been so quick to sign up and report you opinions on that trial? I think not.

    Giving drug naive volunteers huge doses of a drug that is known to cause the effects that you experienced is not research and not ethical, and if it was, why are you reporting your opinions on public forums before the outcomes are published? Could you imagine the damage this would do if this was a trial of a life changing medicine? Clinical research is based on ethically approved, peer reviewed trials, not the opinion of the volunteers.
    Opinion and expectation induce bias and your position as credible journalist sadly gives you authority to convey this fundamentally flawed, so called research, to anyone who is ignorant enough to believe it.
    I look forward to hearing both yours and Channel 4’s response on this matter.

  77. Richard says:

    Have a legal and regulated system so people know the thc and cbd content. This experiment is pointless, he had way too much way too quickly.

  78. Kris says:

    Now try it in a relaxed atmosphere with good friends, some nice music and good food and tell me if you go to a dark place.

    This kind of reporting is VERY misleading and WRONG. If an experienced smoker had a joint at 7am and then went into an MRI scanner surrounded by medical types, they would also go to a dark place.

    I’m sure JS feels wonderful after a few glasses of socially acceptable alcohol. Now try that at 7am and go for a scan. Ridiculous.

    I’m tempted to created a counter report with the truth about weed.

  79. H Statton says:

    From an experimental standpoint, it would not have been something I would have designed. It sounds as if you went from being a pedestrian to jumping into and crashing a Ferrari – it was simply unsafe.

    If you wanted to highlight the frightening, adverse potential of a drug, this would be the way science would go about it. I wonder how this sort of investigation gets past an ethics committee or a health and safety review. Far lesser things are no longer considered fit for medical exploration.

    There is a big difference between having a large dose of Skunk for breakfast and say dropping into an Amsterdam “Coffeeshop”; having a smoke with friends at home. Your surroundings, social comfort, and trust are everything. From an experimental standpoint they are important variables to be factored in.

    With regards psychosis, I know of a 19 year old that was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was a regular cannabis user with no family history of mental illness. Would he have suffered from schizophrenia (a truly debilitating disease) as a result if he had not smoked? Who really knows?

    His psychotic episodes were so bad at one point he thought he was a human-donkey and would not eat unless you placed food (on a plate) on the floor for him. You can imagine the distress this caused friends and family witnessing it all. He had become unrecognisable.

    The above is an extreme case and highlights the darker side of ‘recreational’ drugs, but it has to be kept in perspective. I have never heard of a case as bad before or since which is not to say of course that it hasn’t happened. It almost certainly has.

    The grave unknowns are the substances that accompany cannabis and the people who deal in it.

    Cannabinoids have potential in relieving pain in multiple sclerosis (MS). This will of course depend on what literature you read, who sponsors it etc. Some patients with progressive MS regularly have a small spliff; it is not to get high but a desperate attempt at dampening the effects of chronic disease.

    There are no outright winners in all of this but plenty of room for education and support and with no bucket-science. Trust and common sense are extremely important, not to mention honesty; sensible investment in care and advice. Cannabis should not be promoted but cannot be ignored.

  80. John Cornish says:

    Having an MRI scan is a horrible experience at the best of times, I have been tempted to press the panic button every time I’ve had one, the only thing that has stopped me is knowing I’d have to start again.
    Crazy idea to have a scan when overdosed on skunk!

    1. H Statton says:

      Having an MRI scan can be a very claustrophobic experience for your average person undergoing a straightforward scan, not to mention someone that has taken psychoactive drugs prior to being scanned.

      I imagined some patients felt they were being entombed and panicked as a result. It is not a rare occurrence for anyone to be apprehensive and stressed before being cocooned in such a small space and wanting to get out shortly afterwards as they can’t cope with the paranoia.

      And all those raging stressors, increases the difficulty of identifying new and as yet unrecognisable problems. You whittle down as many independent variables to ensure reproducibly in the hope you can exploit the variable of interest. It’s never that simple but it’s a start.

      We cannot measure something that we cannot yet define; it’s all just relative.

  81. Moderator says:

    Stupid flawed experiments like this make young people distrust modern journalism more than ever. Wholly irresponsible sensationalism. Grow up.

  82. Amazing grace says:

    This sounds like the equivalent of giving someone who has never drunk alcohol 12 shots of tequlia and then drawing a comparison between that and having a couple of glasses of wine over dinner. Seriously. I actually think it was cruel to have to take that much!!!

  83. NickDavisGB says:

    John,
    I’m guessing that the reason the researchers are giving test subjects a massive dose of the strongest possible strain is to prove the conclusions of the study that were decided upon before the study started.
    Namely to continue the anti-cannabis hysteria.
    I would be interest to see the declaration of interests for this study.
    To see if it is as tainted as studies in the US, that found the same “conclusions”, which were paid for by the alcohol manufacturers where the sole intention was to protect their hegemony on legal mid altering substances.
    I would happily take the same test in the same conditions to see if the outcome is different – which C4 would be more than welcome to film and broadcast.
    Nick.

  84. Michael stinging says:

    Weeds not going away people. The government may as well gain an income off of the stuff. If they legalised it and regulated it they would instantly have more control over cannabis.
    To all the neigh Sayers try some and chill out.
    Peace

  85. Richard says:

    “Have you considered that if perhaps, your first time might have been a few sensibly loaded spiffs at home shared with the loved ones you felt so bereft of and a nice glass of scotch and a little bit of Bach on the stereo your experience may have been a positive one?”

  86. nosuchi says:

    This is more akin to Propaganda, instead of Journalism.

  87. Kyle says:

    The experiment you took part in is not a fair test, that’s basic science. You learn that results are inaccurate from unfair testing in year 7 science classes. Try a low dose as an old (no offence) non smoker. Rather than conducting the experiment in a way you know is going to give the results THEY want to get. It isnt legal in several american states for no reason… Come on.

  88. John Watson says:

    Jon.

    What you did was the equivalent of downing a couple of bottles of vodka in 10 minutes!
    Perhaps as a follow up you should try doing just that and see how much worse/better you feel.

    In fact you could do a whole series on how to make yourself feel terrible, I propose:

    1: Drink a litre of strong espresso coffee

    2: Drink a litre of strong Vodka

    3: Chain smoke 20 strong cigars (make sure you inhale the smoke)

    I’m sorry you had such a negative experience but not at all surprised. The medical staff involved should be ashamed of themselves if they didn’t make it clear that you were being given a ridiculously large dose.

    I’m disappointed that you would involve yourself with such blatant sensationalism.

  89. The 30 year smoker says:

    Poor John, who on earth was in charge of this experiment, because they should be taken to task. My guess is that no-one on the production team had ever smoked, or imbibed, modern-day ‘weed’, and if anyone with experience had been on-set, they would have stopped Jon in his tracks. He should never have been permitted to inhale as much as he did. Why not give a non-drinker a bottle of Scotch and tell him to drink all of it…? THAT is the comparison I would draw with this ill-conceived and down-right stupid experiment that left Jon in a dreadful state, which horrified me. Something I do not see ANY evidence of is the measurement of THC in reference to the CBD and CBN content when the subject of ‘skunk’ is raised. THIS is the significant difference between the hash (or resin) that Jon might have smoked in his youth. Finally, I would like to make the observation that Skunk weed is NOT genetically modified, it is simply a selection process of existing plants (indica and/or sativa strands) from across the globe, and in turn the careful refinement – not the genetic modification on a molecular level – of a strain or strains……..

  90. rebecca says:

    agree with all the above comments. surely it would have been better to test the waters with one balloon? two balloons would knock anyone for six!!

    how to make an experiment completely redundant. why bother!! this does more damage than good. Terrible journalism

  91. Bob says:

    Unbelievable! I must add my voice the MANY.

    This test was extremely irresponsible!

    Jon – as a fair test of whether alcohol is a nice thing or nasty thing please drink an entire litre of vodka in one chug and let us know how you feel 30 mins later, because that is the equivalent to what you just did!

    Two balloons of that kind of vaporizer is an INSANE dose for anyone, let alone someone with no tolerance.

    You have really let yourself down, you have allowed yourself to be used, you were stiched up! and you have made a fool of yourself, and this is from a lifelong fan of yours…

  92. Samuel says:

    One or two small puffs of vapour is more than enough for an experienced user with a developed tolerance but two whole lung sized bags?!?! Absolute insanity.

    Seriously irresponsible of the team in charge of this experiment. Like drinking 4 litres of absinthe to study the effects of alcohol.

    The Doctors must be aware of the active dose of THC in mg and how far in excess just one bag is. This is a study of the effects of an overdose.

    Very fortunate that there is no lethal dose of cannabis, if this experiment was repeated with the equivalent active quantity of alcohol Jon would be dead. Which I think this is worth mentioning.

    I think it’s also worth mentioning Skunk is actually one of thousands of strains and varieties of Cannabis with a broad range of psychoactive effects and medical benefits.

    Skunk seems to be incorrectly used in the UK as a blanket term for all strains and varieties of cannabis that happen to be in the form of the dried flowers from the plant. I highly doubt it was even ‘Skunk’ he was consuming.

    It’s very sad that such a botched and badly handled experiment will influence and misinform the opinions of millions of people in the UK.

    Very poor sensationalist journalism from Jon Snow and Channel 4. Tabloid television.

  93. Paul O says:

    Jon
    I am amazed you missed out some basic points on doing a test like this. If someone was a teetotaler and was asked to be a guinea pig for what alcohol did to the brain.
    Would you follow this method?

    A) Put them in a medical lab under bright lights and camera crews
    B) Make them drink 2 pints of Special brew
    c) Them shove them in a machine that covered their head

    The answer is No so why do it with cannabis?

  94. Sion B says:

    first of all Jon, if you’re looking to provide an informed opinion on cannabis and its effects, you shouldnt be consuming such a large quantity. I’m sure if you did asked regular cannabis users they would all say they’ve had bad experiences on cannabis, many with much smaller doses. So why you yourself have decided to get stoned and report on it I have no idea. You must expect to experience these effects in such a strong form when, quite frankly you have experienced a dose which most regular users would find ridiculous. My main problem though is that you yourself in the article say that it’s it is a dangerous substance. Im not sure if you know but for a substance to be dangerous It has to put the user in genuine danger. There has never been a reported death where cannabis has killed the user ever and there are countless instances of cannabis improving and saving lives such as relieving kids of fits and seizures. No one can say that cannabis is the perfect drug and that it poses no risk because it does, mainly on your personality rather than your immediate health. But none of these actual potential problems were hilighted because evidently you would rather promote scare-mongering and misinformation.

  95. nicholas michael says:

    Jon,

    I have respect for you as a journalist but this story is pretty much nonsense. To take someone who has never smoked weed before and give them a strong dose of a purified form of it and expect anything other than what you report, is not news. It’s common sense. Many people’s first experience with relatively normal doses of alcohol, involves them spending hours talking on the porcelain telephone, so you got off pretty lightly.

    The very fact that many, many people regularly use the drug shows that your experience was atypical. I’m not quite sure what the point of the report is. A look at possible medicinal attributes would be far more newsworthy. Again, many medicinal drugs would make you feel far worse than what you went through, but if they do more good than harm, they are prescribed.

  96. Andrew says:

    @ Thoughtful

    “Drugs are manufactured and peddled by organised crime”

    Drugs are manufactured and peddled by organized crime because of Prohibition. Where it is legal, they are made and sold by law-abiding businesses. If you make alcohol illegal, it will be peddled by organized crime. If you make coffee illegal, it will be peddled by organized crime. That’s not an argument for making pot or booze or coffee illegal; it’s an argument against Prohibition.

    “…actually tolerated by governments who are happy to see it used anywhere so long as it doesn’t seriously interfere with their agendas and power. The whole stinking business could be crushed in a matter of months if the full weight of military power was used the way it is elsewhere.”

    Our governments have spent billions upon billions of dollars/pounds and locked up millions of people in the name of combating the war on drugs. This is nothing more than an insane conspiracy theory alongside the 9/11 truthers or the moon landing denialists.

    “It’s no coincidence the main targets are the poorest areas of societies. There, it becomes a criminal substitute for decent society while it undermines the very fabric of communities. ”

    I think you’re talking about alcohol. Pot is actually quite popular among the educated and the well-to-do as well as those who prefer a healthier and safer alternative to booze.

    “Not that it stops at the poorest – just as with tobacco and alcohol there are people who think it “cool” to make themselves look and sound stupid by sticking powder up their nose or injecting directly into their body.”

    We’re talking about cannabis, the safest recreational drug known to man. If you know someone who snorts or injects marijuana, I’d be quite surprised.

    “but the two things we do know is that they unbalance the mind and destroy whole societies through the cancer of organised crime”

    This is just nonsense. You treat all drugs, be they cannabis or heroin, as though they were the same. That’s moralistic hooey. Would you also argue that caffeine and methamphetamine are the same and should be treated as such? The only reason the cannabis market is controlled by crime in the UK is because cannabis is illegal there and anyone who tries to produce it openly and ethically and pay their taxes is sent to prison. And it doesn’t “unbalance the mind”(whatever that means.) For the overwhelming majority of users, it provides relaxation, relief(from pain, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, etc.) and an improved mood just like a pint of beer with friends or a cup of coffee.

    “If anyone is asinine (sic) it is you for denying reality.”

    1) I spelled “asinine” correctly.
    2) I don’t deny reality. If you think that’s what pot is about, you clearly know nothing. Cannabis heightens sensations; it doesn’t dull them like alcohol. I enjoy cannabis for the same reason I enjoy sex or music or literature: it makes life better.
    3) Someone who supports Prohibition, despite its uninterrupted track record of utter failure, and apparently believes that “Reefer Madness” is a documentary has no right to lecture others about reality.

    1. Thoughtful says:

      Back again @ Andrew

      What a load of utter, utter self-deceptive drivel.

      If you think governments play no role in the toleration, manufacture and distribution of this muck via organised crime then you are either stupid, ignorant or lying or any mix of all three. See below. There are plenty of other links.

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/the-cia-and-drug-trafficking-affidavit-by-peter-dale-scott/

      http://www.voltairenet.org/article178787.html

      http://www.peterdalescott.net/B-IV.html

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-spoils-of-war-afghanistan-s-multibillion-dollar-heroin-trade/91

      http://americanfreepress.net/?p=16169

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/10/02/cont-o02.html

      http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk/cia_drug_trafficking.htm

      http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/07/2012721152715628181.html

      http://www.mediaroots.org/opium-what-afghanistan-is-really-about/

      Small wonder then that somebody like you who reads Jon Snow’s account and will not see what it did to the man in a controlled experiment – unbalanced his mind – talks of “moralistic hooey.” Ask victim societies, families and addicts for their opinion and see how far you get with that self-serving line.

      We’ve heard the same I-smoked-40-a-day-and-it-never-did-me-any-harm stuff from nicotine addicts too, but look what it did for everybody else.

      Everything you say is the same kind of garbage we hear from whining drug dealers. And I am glad to say I played a part in identifying two of them who got locked up for years, where I hope they rot. I hope to do the same very shortly for two more. And I’ll keep doing it for as long as it takes

      The tobacco and alcohol companies came out with the same muck as you for many years. You can find the tragic end result in many hospital wards and weekend A & E departments and in our health budget. Drugs make it even worse. “Relaxation” my arse.

      Remember that next time you inhale that filth or stick it up your nose or inject it into yourself.

  97. Rancho Control says:

    I’m not a massive advocate of cannabis, certainly it should be legal but it’s not a drug everyone needs to take. However, giving someone a cold, clinical environment and having them an absurd amount of the drug seems pretty ludicrous. This sounds like a torture you’d expect to receive in a CIA operated prison.

  98. Nelson says:
  99. Peter says:

    Ok so a government NHS approved study advises new users of pot to smoke the probable equivalent of a gram of high potency marijuana, please everyone stop calling it skunk, that is a specific strain(s) not just the term for higher grade weed, and they expected the user to not feel all the worst effects of the dreaded whitey? No scientific relevance at all, any person especially one who has never smoked pot before or does not regularly is going to whitey at the levels he has inhaled for this study.
    Where is the follow up, after he came down was he still having psychotic episodes? Doubtful! There is no link being proved here that cannabis causes people to go schizophrenic even the MRI scan would be proved worthless as this dosage is extremely uncommon. To be a proper scientific study the user should be allowed to inhale at their own pace, plus the strain of marijuana should be documented to prove consistent psychoactive content (THC, CBD etc) there is also a clear difference between the effects of Sativa and Indica strains that needs to taken into account. The effects on the person should then be measured. If the government is paying people to undertake this study they should ask for our money back, the results should never be published and a programme made about it? DO ONE!

    Every time channel 4 are involved in something like this they lose all credibility, much like with the UKIP programme recently. Scaremongering at its worst!

    I have smoked cannabis daily for more than 10 years and apart from the amount of money it has cost me I have not suffered any ill effects, in fact it makes me more focused and productive when slightly high as can be proved by my work performance, I work in sales and am above quota every month on all KPIs.

  100. Derek says:

    I’m afraid I must make the same comment others have made, which is really so obvious. You, as a person with no recent experience of cannabis before this, took a huge dose very quickly.

    Can you imaging what would have happened had you, say, downed a couple of double whiskeys in sort order, having never drunk more than a few beers some years before?

    I’m all for well known people taking part in public experiments, but it is a important to do so in an intelligent way.

    BTW I’ve had an MRI scan – totally sober and it is a frightening experience.

  101. karl says:

    I have never read such sillyness, lost the world and only just knew who i was? Then you were fully aware of all the MRI equipment, enough to remember it and describe it with a degree of accuracy, i hearby put it to you that you are lying, and this is not a view, either that, or your mind is so weak and feeble, that you for some reason .have those symptoms

    When a person has consumed too much skunk, they go white, and are sick, yet you do not mention this at all once in your description, cascaded into a very dark place, scared, i am sorry but this was not your experience

    Please stop lying thank you

  102. Kam says:

    I WAS IN aM mRI SCANNER AFTER A BRAIN INJURY; aRE YOU SURE ITS NOT THE CONCSATNT BUZZING THAT ANNOYED YOU;

  103. Paul Pot says:

    So now we know how the “scientists” come up with the results we never understood.
    Give a huge dose of high quality cannabis to someone with little to no experience of it and then confine them in a tiny dark space. And when they freak out, announce to the world that cannabis is worse than a war zone.
    What these mad scientists did was basically criminal assault and they should be charged.
    So blatant is this manipulation of the effects of cannabis that they don’t even try to hide the fact that Jon Snow was forced to swallow a forest fire’s worth of cannabis vapor.
    This episode represents all that is reprehensible in the media’s sensational reporting of drug science.
    Smoking like this is more like the indulgent behaviour of boisterous teenagers having a binge party.
    This is not the behaviour of responsible, experienced cannabis consumers.
    We know what we are doing and we consume according to our needs.
    The context of this experiment is also highly inappropriate.
    When most people get stoned they generally choose to do so in comfortable circumstances and in the good company of friends. This is especially true for people who are using cannabis for the first time. They are offered it by a friend, someone they trust and their friends offer them advice on how to consume and what will happen. Only at those boys party’s will the boys be thumping the table and chanting “toke, toke, toke” at the hapless young guy holding his first bong.
    All round this episode is a lesson in manipulative and highly questionable “science” and media sensationalization.

  104. Paul Pot says:

    Here’s how it’s done Jon.
    Old lady’s get stoned for the first time.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRBAZJ4lF0U

  105. Paul Pot says:

    Beer in a pint.
    Whiskey in a shot glass.

  106. Sunnennus says:

    So sorry you were persuaded to do this, sir. I’m thinking this “skunk” must be what I have smelled at “concerts” – it was completely offensive, not something I wanted to breathe in. Saw a poor woman have a coughing fit from it while her male “friend” (drug supplier) sat and snickered, rolling his eyes at her, barely able to contain his laughter. She was quite sick and his actions show what kind of people pass this harmful drug to others. There is a sinister, very evil, mentality behind it all – one that does not care – one that wishes harm to others.

    Hoping you are better. Don’t worry – there are caring people who are very much against this drug! Consequences of marijuana use is brain damage that just enhances carelessness, violence, and aggression (you can see it every day in pot-smokers). I’m sure you’ll be fine.

  107. Lee says:

    Dear John… balloons are for nitrous oxide. Hope this helps.

    Is this a new thing? I’ve never, ever seen a toker use a balloon for it. I think this is what’s called, INFLATING, or rather, sensationalising, distorting the truth, etc etc etc.

    Did John attempt to fly out of a window? Did John’s flesh fall off his bones? Then this is not the most dangerous drug.

    Media proves to us once again how they like to lie. How do they get away with calling the sky black when you can clearly see the sun shining?

    BTW, I wouldn’t touch it myself, I don’t even smoke. The ONLY thing I object to about it is the god awful smell. They don’t call it Sh**t for no reason!

  108. SillySnowman says:

    2 baloons of vapour!!!! That’s an insane dose! I’ve seen one of those baloons shared between 10 people at a party and achieved the desired effect!!

    So an old man does a heroic dose of the highest potency marijuana, gets in an MRI machine and freaks out. What a suprise

    That’s just like walking into a bar and grabbing a swift pint of gin, then saying how dangerous a ‘pint’ is.

    Bunch of idiots misinforming the nation.

    Problem is the internet is waking people up to this utter idiocy. Eventually the criminalization of people who chose to use this over alcohol will be looked at as lunacy. Looking at the comments, it already is.

    Start educating people on strains and thc/cbd so they can make informed choices. Most people don’t want high THC ‘skunk’ but it’s a it hard to choose a safe strain when it’s sold by criminal gangs….

  109. Jerry says:

    Mr Snow,

    I have not tried Skunk and this post is about MRI scans and my reaction to them.

    I have had to experience MRI scans for multiple medical reasons.

    After the first one ( on my neck) I hoped I would never have to go through it again.

    It was the most claustrophobic experience ever plus you are required to remain still for upto 20 minutes. I was allowed to listen to my own music but it cannot drown out the noises from the equipment which is manipulating in the background. All this happens whilst in a tube where your face is only several inches from the inner surface. If you happen to twitch then they may have to re do it ……..and all ask you can you remain in situ whereby it all starts up again.

    I am not a coward nor fretful nor claustrophobic….but it was awful and I wanted to get out after about 3 mins. I was in for an hour and could have sreanmed with delight on exit.

    Apparently …you may be offered a sedative if you wish.

    Apparently …..you reaction …ie asking to be removed is fairly normal.

    Was your reaction exacerbated by skunk……this trial was not professionally scientific enough to conclude on that hypothesis.

    Trying to form a socratic question about your experience I would ask you ” Does that mean that the fairly common experience of people asking for MRI’s to be aborted mean that a lot patients smoke skunk before the MRI ” ?

    I do not debate that you experienced hell on your skunk OD but you might well have not like the MRI scan had you been stone cold sober.

  110. Marion says:

    Sounds like too much at once. I’d take lots of daily vitamin C and get some Valium and relax for a while.

  111. Andrew says:

    @ Thoughtful

    You clearly have something wrong with you. You’re a paranoid, unbalanced loon. You cite absurd conspiracy theory websites(Deepblacklies? Lou Rockwell? The WSWS? Good lord. Why not just cite the Weekly World News while you’re at it?) to justify the ridiculous claim that governments, which lock up drug users and sellers and spend billions of dollars to quixotically fight against the drug trade, are all part of some cabal to spread drugs. Yes, governments have teamed up with drug dealers in certain instances, but not to get their citizens stoned; they do it because illegal drug trafficking is a great way to get untraceable money for projects they don’t want to be caught involved with(like funding the Contras.) I post facts and logic; you respond with paranoid conspiracy theories and hatred. You are ignorant and proud of it.

    “Ask victim societies, families and addicts for their opinion and see how far you get with that self-serving line.”

    I would if I could find a “victim” of cannabis. I’ve known thousands of pot smokers over the years and the worst thing that’s ever happened to any of them is getting arrested for enjoying a drug that’s hundreds of times safer than alcohol or tobacco.

    @Sunennus

    “consequences of marijuana use is brain damage that just enhances carelessness, violence, and aggression (you can see it every day in pot-smokers).”

    Where do you people get this stuff? You do realize Reefer Madness wasn’t a documentary, right? Marijuana doesn’t cause brain damage nor does it cause violent behavior, unlike alcohol. Whereas alcohol is a significant factor in domestic violence, studies show that marijuana smokers are 50 percent less likely than non-smokers to hit their girlfriend/wife/significant other. The only crime associated with marijuana is possession of marijuana. Stop libeling people you know nothing about.

    @Lee

    “Is this a new thing? I’ve never, ever seen a toker use a balloon for it.”

    It’s not a ballon; it’s a bag. Certain vaporizers, like the Volcano, will put the vapor into a plastic bag that fills up. You then detach the bag from the vaporizer and inhale as you please.

    1. Thoughtful says:

      Back yet again @ Andrew.

      Anybody who thinks Peter Dale Scott is not a respected international expert on this subject is an idiot. That means dupes like YOU, who plainly have taken too much of the idiot powder you try to promote. Try reading the man’s contributions instead of disappearing off into a haze of self-inflicted stupefaction that fools like you call “enjoyment.” As Dale Scott shows, if governments were globally serious about eliminating this muck they could do it in a matter of months. They know where the sources are, they know who is producing it and they do next to nothing to stop it. The money they spend on “stopping” it is a drop in the ocean, their “efforts” a sham.

      So-called “recreational” drugs are a social evil that could and should be wiped out overnight with an organised approach. Cannabis is merely one of them. And all the dealers should be locked up for life in the same prison where they could be fed nothing more than the drugs and propaganda they feed each other.

      As it did with tobacco and alcohol, it will probably take a few generations to scientifically prove just how harmful this muck is. The experiment on Jon Snow was a deliberate acceleration to attempt to show the cumulative effect over many years. All “moderation” does is slow down that effect.

      But in your case it looks like the effects have taken hold a whole lot sooner and produced someone in a permanent state of deluded self-deception. And you’re welcome to it. Just keep it away from decent people and decent communities. Keep it between you and the criminals you deal with – you obviously deserve each other. At least until you get your collar felt.

  112. H Statton says:

    On a playful note: Does anyone remember Gary Gibbon’s comment whilst reporting alongside Krishnan Guru-Murthy prior to the #Indyref election?

    Something about leaving “no turn unstoned”….was it supposed to have been ‘leaving no stone unturned’? Only Mr Gibbon knows. :-)

  113. Lee says:

    Cars do have there practicalities, first they can transport someone to a place quicker than someone walking to transport themselves. Secondly they provide a nice environment sheltered from the harsh weather we british get. Not to mention you can lock yourself in them and no-one can harm you plus you can lock people in them with you and have a world of fun!
    So cars are in all, a great invention!
    #hotbox

  114. jonny j says:

    Jon, I wonder, after reading these comments, if you feel you were “set up” by the team conducting this experiment?
    I’m sure they are all very nice, sincere people but given that the “experiment” is funded(?) and approved by a government desperate to retain prohibition in the face of the evidence, do you not feel there may have been a hidden agenda at work here?

    Were you warned about the possible effects?
    Were you told you were taking massively more than would normally be consumed?

    I’d sincerely like to know your thoughts on this.

    Jon

  115. Sal says:

    I love the comments here, they’re so ill informed.

    1) For all those moaning about there being no reference to their wonder drug canabis for medicinal use. This wasn’t canabis, it was skunk, several times the strength of the canabis you say soothes your symptoms.

    2) For all those saying “you’re not meant to do it like that!” What Jon experienced was, in effect, the same thing that heavy users experience over a long period of time, the effects are cumulative. Don’t believe me, just ask parents & family members who have had to section their kids because of psychosis induced by skunk.

    It’s quite clear Jon’s conclusion is spot on, including his point about criminalisation, so few of the comments here demonstrate any real understanding of the effects & there’s an awful lot of denial in evidence.

    1. jonny j says:

      I’m afraid it’s you who are badly informed.
      Neither of your “facts” is correct.

      Having been a regular smoker for over 40 years (of “skunk” and many other varieties), I can tell you from my own experience that:

      1: the drug is the same now as it’s always been, it just tends to be a little better grown, and the average potency is a little higher.

      2: its effects are not cumulative.

  116. sam says:

    In the US state of Colorado where strong Cannabis has been completely legalized for over a year, a “whitey” has been renamed “Dowding out” after Maureen Dowd, a naive journalist who traveled to Colorado to experiment for the NYTimes. She also took to high of a dose and suffered an unpleasant reaction. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/04/opinion/dowd-dont-harsh-our-mellow-dude.html?_r=1

    In her case she was rightly ridiculed for being so irresponsible to have eaten 20 doses in one go and trying to use her status and subjective experience to shape policy. If she had asked her retailer they would have informed her that each squared area is a 5mg dose. 5mg is a low optimal dose for a first time user. It is a benefit of legalization that dosing is clear on the packaging and the consistency of the product is reliable.

    I feel awful for you that this was your first experience with strong cannabis. It was highly irresponsible of this research cohort not to limit you to a 5mg dose. I can only speak from experience that it has been a very beneficial treatment for me and many people I know. It has also been a pass time for me even before I used it for medical purposes. If you can persevere through the initial discomfort, further empirical research can positively reveal aspects of your innate self, which is knowledge that can be used to insulate one’s self from anxiety disorder, PTSD and a number of other psychological conditions.

    I just wish you had undertaken this experiment here in Colorado where our knowledge on this subject is more evolved. This substance is very powerful and has been used by shaman and mystics for thousands of years. With the right set and setting it can allow one to hold court mentally and emotionally with ones self. Lets not banish the psychological realm because of fear. Remember R.D. Laing, “to break down is to break through”. I hope you can frame your experience as a breakthrough in some way. Hopefully you will persevere in your research and reporting on this subject and return with a more objective lens. Many thanks Jon.

  117. Sal says:

    @ Jerry

    While your point may have some truth to it let me offer you the other side of the coin. I too have had MRIs & despite being somewhat claustrophobic & having experienced panic at finding myself in a confined space I was certain I couldn’t extricate myself from, & very apprehensive of the procedure I found my experience to be not so unpleasant and have no fear of doing it again beyond what they might find wrong with me. I’m quite certain, even with a fear, had Mr Snow been in possession of all his faculties entering the MRI he would have been fine.

  118. Sal says:

    @Paul Pot

    “Smoking like this is more like the indulgent behaviour of boisterous teenagers having a binge party.
    This is not the behaviour of responsible, experienced cannabis consumers.”

    & you, my friend are clearly missing the point. Just like binge drinking in teenagers will put them in A&E, binge smoking of skunk in teenagers – not a bit of weed or pot that your mate grew but high strength, intensively farmed skunk – will put them in a psychiatric unit.

    As I say, so much denial going on here. We all know the side effects of smoking (regular cigarettes), no one argues it, so why when the side effects of smoking a far stronger strain of something than has previously been available are now coming to light and being studied do you get all defensive about your habit? Accept that not all strains are going to have the same effect and not all strains are beneficial & move on.

  119. Timothy Leary says:

    Hey dude! M’man! Cool cat! Bro!

    Turn on, tune in, drop out, so

    Float with me

    In eternity

    Never touch hard reality

    Never feel another thing

    Till you hear the cell phone ring

    Nothin, nobody, reach you here

    Cept maybe cold Bud beer

    Down there, too much ask

    No point doin’ task

    Turn on, tune in an drop out

    It’s what it’s all about

    Hey dude…M’man…Cool cat…Bro…

    All hazy now, an so…………

    Gotta go, I reap, I sow.

  120. Andy says:

    What was scientific about this test ?

    The question I would raise is the medical ethics of giving high potency “skunk” to someone with no tolerance and is a senior citizen. If they are convinced that “skunk” has a serious chance of giving someone with an undetected metal illness.

    What were they expecting to happen. Second since both my partner and myself have MS we are familiar with the MRI Scanner particularly head scans. Your head is an a restraint and the impression you get is that you are in a coffin with the lid two or three inches from your head. Then there is the noise. Imagine for 30-45 mins trying to be still while someone bashes a metal hammer against a tin drum. These aren’t CT Scanners.

    Even non claustrophobes find the experiencing daunting without having a “white out”

    Finally, We have had all the major networks making a big thing this week why ? A report was published stating that psychiatric challenged individuals were more likely to have a psychotic episode taking drugs. Is that news ? What other drugs nicotine/alcohol/e’s. ?

  121. Eoghain says:

    I have a question for Jon Snow, Did you have any inkling that they were giving you a dose which was many times higher than anyone who actively smokes for hours every day would receive in a week and if so do you believe that the protocol for this “study” is in any way scientifically valid?

  122. Margaret Brandreth-J says:

    Jon, this is something you would do in your rebel , do something in a different way style and simply demonstrates that you are still that Liverpool University student believing in the purism of rebellion . God bless you for your introspective honesty.

  123. george says:

    u guys r stupid, dont smoke so much weed

  124. zendaya says:

    that feeling is exactly what I felt. a year later I still feel it and get frequent flash backs. I’m currently getting paranoia real bad at the moment but my personality is handling it well. it has driven me somewhat mad but I’m not going into detail. the worst would probably be feeling like nothing is real life and then u think too much to the extent you can’t be left alone by yourself. I wish I could have weed without this happening lol

  125. whatever says:

    After 28 of being into all this kind of stuff i can assure you it is more than
    likely that it is the fact that cannabis is illegal that it causes psychosis
    and effects the results of MRI scan.
    I have been in that state John snow has been in many times and the only way to make
    it any different than the way it turned out for you is to accept you will do it again
    preferable at the same level .What is really stopping you doing it again is the fact
    that it is illegal.And this in turn influences the MRI scan.you have to realize it is your
    thoughts (of course the cannabis brings your core thoughts to the surface in the first place)
    and what you
    belief in that influences how you have a experience on cannabis if your thoughts arent right
    then you will suffer more
    .and the reason your thoughts and beliefs arent right is not because of the cannabis it is
    because it is illegal .This makes people psychotic.Because they cant express themselves properly.
    they create a secret reality of jumbled up thoughts which eventually they cant deal with
    then you get experts questioning them and coming to the conclusion its the cannabis backed
    up by the MRI scans.I agree it would seem that way at first glance but with thought altering substances
    the mental world has to be looked into deeply very deeply if you want to understand whats going on.When i
    walk along the road in the state
    John snow was in(of course i have accepted it) every car that passes me causes me to think as the first thought
    that comes into my head .
    Is it the police.
    this is what causes it all the law.the law influences the way you think and the way you think influnces the
    experence you have on cannabis the cannabis just brings your thought to the surface.in simple terms your
    thoughts/beliefs makes it good or bad.

  126. Andrew says:

    @Thoughtful

    Never has a username been less accurate.

    “Anybody who thinks Peter Dale Scott is not a respected international expert on this subject is an idiot. That means dupes like YOU, who plainly have taken too much of the idiot powder you try to promote.”

    Peter Dale Scott is a conspiracy theorist whose only area of expertise is literature. If I have a question about rhyme or meter, I’ll defer to him. But for questions of drug policy, I’ll listen to actual policy experts, the vast majority of whom agree that Prohibition is destructive and futile.

    Also, why would anyone listen to somebody who thinks that cannabis is a powder?

    “…disappearing off into a haze of self-inflicted stupefaction that fools like you call ‘enjoyment.'”

    What a surprise that you know nothing about marijuana.

    “As Dale Scott shows, if governments were globally serious about eliminating this muck they could do it in a matter of months. They know where the sources are, they know who is producing it and they do next to nothing to stop it. The money they spend on “stopping” it is a drop in the ocean, their “efforts” a sham.”

    There’s no way to overcome the immensely lucrative drug market short of genocide or a full-on police state(with a bug in every apartment and a spy in every household with no presumption of innocence or legal rights, like in the USSR or the GDR.) Yes, police forces focus more on low-level arrests than higher-level ones. Why? Because high-level arrests are extremely difficult(large-scale drug trafficking organizations are designed to insulate leaders from criminal liability; the head honchos are never in the same room as the drugs. They use sophisticated money-laundering techniques and delegate through many layers, each of which knows that turning informant will mean death for him and his family. A serious high-level drug investigation takes years to make, if they’re lucky, and it only takes a month or two for another organization to supplant the dismantled one. It’s like the hydra; you chop off one head and two grow back.) whereas street-level arrests are easy and make for good press. Drug-enforcement agencies long ago realized that wiping out drug use or traffik was impossible; that doesn’t mean they’re actively encouraging people to use cannabis by silencing anti-drug researchers and corrupting medical research centers, which is what you claimed.

    “As it did with tobacco and alcohol, it will probably take a few generations to scientifically prove just how harmful this muck is. ”

    Marijuana is the oldest drug known to man. It’s also one of the best studied substances in the world. And the more we study it, the more we realize that it has important medical benefits(including protecting against brain damage and reducing the user’s risk of developing type II diabetes) and doesn’t pose anywhere near the harm caused by alcohol or tobacco. But rather than listen to what the scientific evidence says, you’d rather indulge in paranoid conspiracy theories(you can’t trust Johns Hopkins Medical school//UCLA medical school/any other prestigious medical research facility because they’re all part of the grand pro-cannabis conspiracy!)

    Perhaps you’d like to explain to me how 9/11 was all an inside job or how the moon landing was faked while we’re at it.

    “The experiment on Jon Snow was a deliberate acceleration to attempt to show the cumulative effect over many years. ”

    Vaporizing too much pot and having an unpleasant experience proves nothing except that senior citizens who haven’t smoked weed in decades shouldn’t start by inhaling 5 doses of cannabis in one sitting. If I were to take 50 doses of Vitamin A at once, I would die. That doesn’t mean that taking Vitamin A at the suggested dose on a regular basis is lethal. Anyone who understands anything about science would realize that.

    “But in your case it looks like the effects have taken hold a whole lot sooner and produced someone in a permanent state of deluded self-deception. And you’re welcome to it. Just keep it away from decent people and decent communities. Keep it between you and the criminals you deal with – you obviously deserve each other. At least until you get your collar felt.”

    Wow, you’re certainly a ball of rage, insecurity and paranoia, aren’t ya? I would suggest you get laid, but I wouldn’t want to inflict that on some poor woman(or man.) So instead, I’ll suggest you smoke a joint, put on some good music and relax and watch all that hatred and spite wash off like dirt with soap.

    @ Sal:

    ” This wasn’t canabis, it was skunk, several times the strength of the canabis you say soothes your symptoms.”

    Skunk is just a strain of cannabis and not a particularly strong one at that. The term became used by the Daily Mail set to scare the ill-informed. Pot is pot. Stronger pot is more expensive and you smoke less of it.

    “What Jon experienced was, in effect, the same thing that heavy users experience over a long period of time, the effects are cumulative. Don’t believe me, just ask parents & family members who have had to section their kids because of psychosis induced by skunk.”

    There’s no evidence that marijuana causes schizophrenia. Marijuana use rates have never correlated to schizophrenia rates(which have remained more or less stable for several decades even though marijuana use rates have risen and fallen dramatically during that time.) I could also say “If you don’t believe that vaccines cause autism, just ask parents & family members who’ve watched their kids develop autism after getting a vaccine.” and it would be just as valid. Yes, schizophrenics are more likely to consume cannabis, but they are also much more likely to drink heavily, chain smoke cigarettes, consume excessive quantities of caffeine and be addicted to opiates or benzos. That doesn’t mean that cigarettes or caffeine or booze or painkillers or sleeping pills or pot cause schizophrenia.

  127. DanO says:

    Firstly I’m not saying Skunk is ok. I personally do not like it and I do believe it is not the type of cannabis to be used frequently.

    However I do not agree with this ‘study’ aired on TV to the less informed public as it just seems to be another obvious form of ‘Reefer madness’ propaganda to prevent the legalisation movement that is happening in many countries around the World right now by installing Fear into the minds of the people as opposed to real knowledge.

    A big part of the ‘real knowledge’ I’m referring to is this, is how two of the main chemical compounds produced by Cannabis ,THC and CBD, interact with each other and how they affect the user.

    THC is the psychoactive compound and CBD is the AntiPsychotic compound.

    Skunk is a cannabis that has been selectively bred mainly from the Sativa strain of Cannabis. Skunk has a very high amount of THC with very little CBD, this results in a very ‘trippy’ high which many, find not at all relaxing. If you are an anxious person for example this will only make those feelings far worse…And as many have pointed out Mr. Snow the amount you took was a ridiculous amount for someone who is not at all familiar with being ‘stoned’, akin to a first time ‘drinker’ having a litre of Vodka….the results were obvious.

    However a Cannabis plant that has relatively equal amounts of THC and CBD, which can still be in high amounts, will give the user a very relaxed and euphoric ‘high’…just to make this clear, a completely different high to Skunk….Maybe Mr.Snow should try this? And why was this side of the ‘story’ not shown? Did it not suit the agenda?

    One of the biggest scientific studies about the relationships of these two chemical compounds was conducted here in the UK over a decade ago….and the results back what I have just stated.

    So why are people not being giving this vital information? Instead of the usual ‘weed is bad’ mantra…and make no mistake, from this TV show, vast swathes of uninformed people will class cannabis as being bad for you because they have not been given the honest information to understand the difference between ‘Skunk’ and ‘Cannabis’.

    Finally if this PLANT, yes a plant, was made legal people would be able to make an informed choice of what type of Cannabis to use, there would be a vast choice other than ‘Skunk weed’…Tax revenues would be huge as is being seen in Colorado for example, and Crime would significantly drop as is being seen in Colorado…and that’s just the recreational usage, its medicinal properties are VAST with plenty of real scietific studies to back them.

  128. Jasper says:

    That’s like a non drinker necking 2 liters of vodka and then complaining about it.

    What did you think would happen?

  129. Adam says:

    This is going to be the most misinforming documentary I have ever seen to start with the information given is completely false. “Skunk” stronger than hash? What a load of rubbish hash is extract of flowers good hash is 30-50% THC the strongest strains flowers on earth barely reach 25% I had a Nepalese hash last month tested by test lab Holland at over 50% THC. As for calling all buds “skunk” thats rubbish too as skunk is a relatively old strain developing around 16% THC and how do they believe we made this “super” weed? People in countries such as Nepal, morroco and Afghanistan have been selective breeding for hundreds if not thousands of years to increase the THC levels in their plants and no one has ever seen these so callled problems.

  130. Andrew says:

    @ vortex:

    “Not so fast! My chest specialist said in no uncertain terms that pot smoking (hash, Bush buds or skunk) all damage the lung more so than a regular cigarette, mainly because the smoke is hotter (unfiltered) and gets further into your lung. ”

    Your chest specialist either lied to you or hasn’t bothered to look into the subject. Smoking marijuana has been shown to not cause lung cancer, nor is there good evidence that it causes emphysema. And marijuana smokers have the same mortality rate as non-smokers, which is not something that tobacco users can claim. It can exacerbate bronchitis and irritate the lungs(ie, make you cough) but it is nowhere near comparable to the proven mortal effects of tobacco. Here are some links:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html
    http://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20120103/marijuana-smoking-not-linked_to-chronic-breathing-problems
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.29036/abstract
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1380837/

    “Also, less scrupulous dealers can put little plastic beads in with yr deal to make it weigh more, so you end up smoking plastic, which ain’t great! ”

    This, on the other hand, is a serious concern. It’s also a great argument for legalization; this would never happen in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska or anywhere that cannabis is legalized and regulated.

  131. Dave Gaffney says:

    Has the same effect on me. I tried it a couple of times in my uni days and it just game me terrible panic attacks. I knew then I would never take it again.
    Cannabis users who get an enjoyable high seem to assume that everyone gets the same experience. I think my (and John’s) experience is more common than people realise.

  132. whatever says:

    How many people watching this program know what the results of a mri SCAN mean.
    Unless experts tell them.Hardly anyone will question it the mri scan results not openly
    anyway
    In my experience i have a debate in my mind a debate on a hard hitting level.One side must
    prove that it is worth taking.the side that tells not to take it always wins in a devastating
    way.The answer is nearly perfection in its timing and the way it hits home why i shouldnt take it.
    The other side is stunned and shattered.
    Then i start waving my arms around talking to myself.it has begun.
    This happens every time.When it has begun its answer now to the dont do it side “o well i,m
    on it now and lets just enjoy the devastation of my body and mind that is so twisted and
    mangled. It has to laugh in absolute joy.Now i am high i,ve passed the logical monster.
    (just think for a minute what other answer could it have if your frightened you wouldnt want to
    do it again would you.You have to think you,ve passed it or some emotional variation of this .as
    i said in a early post in the beginning this requires one to accept they will do it again).
    now you are nearly in enough-er world (this is in my opinion moving beyond human knowledge
    it can not be explained and the other person your telling can somehow understand it. You have
    to experience it and make up your own mind. Even this
    statement can not be appreciated its not that easyie) that is moving you
    move with it and this is what i need to think that i am high now.
    If i have a mri scan can they tell me its good? if they tell me its bad am i going change
    my mind?
    You need to have a agreement that if people are ill due to cannabis they can not use NHS.This
    will stop all this worrying.about safety let people take risks (concerning themselves) they
    wont blame you in the end.No one is that important.
    John snow say,s its dangerous i say grow up (sorry this is just too baby,ish for me) of course feel
    frightened but saying its dangerous is know one else allowed to feel frightened are you now the sole
    owner of this feeling.Trying to frighten us away from it.
    I will go to say there may well be something positive about being frightened.We do not all want to be
    treated like baby’s.
    Im sorry but i have to belief you want to do it again eventually and that it is illegal is all
    that stops you.Know one is that baby,ish there is a reason.

    People usually try to stop others when they want to do it themselves but are blocking this feeling.
    Just the way the politicians did when they made the law.
    in other wordS someone was frightened about cannabis so they made a law.

  133. dorothy says:

    I am a smoker and i would never reckomend this ammount of skunk in one hit sounds like They overdosed you on the drug if they did the same experiment on alchol or cigarettes i guaranteed the effects wouldnt be pleasant either anyone who overdosed on any substance would feel terrible and have damaging effects. I believe if the Experiment was done in moderation as a normal user of the substance the results would be somewhat different.

  134. Graham says:

    John, John, John after loosing belife in BBC news, Then Al jazeera English, i only had CH4 left and a great deale of respect for you and the team. But now i am totaly deflated with your experiment on cannabis, i cannot drink alcohol it makes me a bad person, i will get into some kind of altercation, some one will get hurt me or them or proberbly both. Police,NHS,social services, and others all just because alcohol is legal, and if i did what you did in comparison and down 1lt of cheap vodker, well all of the above and not to mention i would loose my self respect.

    Have a smoke pain managment, saveing NHS money in drugs, feel better save NHS in antidepressants, more money saved,the list goes on and on.
    Police dont get a call out wasting time and resorces. Again the list is as long as your arm John Snow.

    So now you fall from my grace John Snow YOU KNOW NOTHING.

    a SAD DAY INDEED

  135. Vadim says:

    Wonder if skunk affects libido positively or negatively; This challenges the lines of ethics and watershed decency to test on live tv. though with some of the stuff shown on cumbers and banana one never knows where the lines are defined , drawn nor crossed now.

    Anyone can have a healthy drive if they can form clear cut schemas of stimuli; or have gone for a long period of self induced deprivation.

    Skunk MAY reduce this or help one focus even more.

  136. vadim postscript says:

    Especially interesting in the context of an older mans perspective, given that libido intensiisty and drive supposedly inevitably declines with age; Perhaps skunk can be prescribed as an aphrodisiac?.

    How can this be tested and
    assessed with relative decency?.

  137. timmy says:

    Channel 4 drugs trail on cannabis is going to make cannabis look even worse than what it already has been made out to be they pick people who has no experience in a real world a guy who has proberly never even been in contact with weed skunk loolskunk is just a name cannabis indica is what they mean. Skunk is used becouse it smells pungent like a skunk is pungent please stop the slander and open your eyes cannabis is a thousand times less harmfull than perscription meds and alcohol nobody has ever died becouse of cannabis use and all this shit aboit it leaves u with mental disorders lol legalise weed make alcahol illegal And ull all see how the world will change in a good way .get some real people not some dick ive never even herd of just becouse he upper class u think we care what his oppoinion is ive been smoking scince I was 15 he has never ever ever even seen how it comes or what is realy like u lots are just gona make everything seem like its bad for u but it realy aint please channel 4 dont make it look evil the only evil thing is alcahol legalise weed ban alcahol

  138. timmy says:

    Cannabis zero deaths everything else thousands how much did u lot get paid to slander cannabis

  139. soren says:

    If skunk affetcs behaviour linked ot impulses; what would the effect be on libido; and iss there a marked idffercne between men and womean.

  140. DKD says:

    Completely the wrong environment and the wrong circumstances in which to smoke weed. That was also way too much for a first time smoker. Full credit to Snow, however, for not having a “whitey” and keeling over; he must be pretty hardcore.

  141. whatever says:

    Yes he took to much but the only reason we think like that is because its illegal.If
    someone says they want to do take something and you give a large amount and it frightens the person
    does everyone else need to worry.
    Unless of course its a sinister plot because the makers want the person to be frightened
    to show that skunk is bad.i can understand if thats the accusation.But some are mistaking
    concern for annoyance because thESE people, who take cannibis, have been told not to take it.
    They have carried on then expect the tax payer to bail them out.
    We need to have a agreement that if people are ill due to cannabis
    they can not use NHS.This will stop all this worrying.About safety(which is all annoyance}
    and let people take
    the risk.
    How many people watching this programme know what the results of a mri SCAN mean.(my
    point here is in regard only to cannabis and it is, “does anyone including the experts”}
    Hardly anyone will question it the mri scan results not openly
    anyway.they will listen to the experts tell them as though it is a absolute truth.

  142. H Statton says:

    Just to remind people (assuming you don’t already know…), don’t forget to watch:
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/drugs-live/articles/all/background-to-the-cannabis-trials

    Professor Val Curran: “The results of the trial will also be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.”

    It would be nice C4News, if you can write a follow-up blog that outlines methodology, results and conclusions from the scientific papers (I am assuming publication is preordained). If it is published in Cell, Science, or Nature, then it will be interesting to see…

  143. Josh says:

    The reason u lot are getting waved is because you lot don’t smoke it get some famouse people that smoke weed and hear them out

  144. Philip Tomlins says:

    Oh my god why did they give him so much like he said he would only normally get a few puffs of one spliff

    ” I have been passed the odd spliff of cannabis in the distant past perhaps a dozen times. But this of course in a social context, in which you probably only get two or three puffs of the thing. I never experienced anything beyond a slight sense of mellowness.”

    He should of only had a few puffs like in the real world

    It would be like drinking 1L of vodka if you have never had a drink of alcohol

  145. loot says:

    it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant peope can be, has anybody noticed that this programme has been aired at the same time as the new drug driving laws. cannabis is harmful if abused,some of the myths,it makes you lazy, complete rubbish, it relaxes you. loss of concentration, rubbish, i havent had any for nearly 24 hrs, and am struggling to find the words to type this because i cannot focus (concentrate) my mind in the same way as when i smoke, i get up at 4-5am by7am i have smoked probably 10- 15 (only single papers ),and in that time i have everything done, breakfasts made, packed lunches for the kids kitchen tidied, chickens let out, cat fed etc., then wake the kids and missus and of to school, get home and then i work and will work until i cook dinner for everyone and then work again until about 7-8 pm, today i cannot function, new driving laws mean that i cannot partake now until the evenings, i can go without no problem, but my brain cannot focus on what i need to do, i am undiagnosed bi polar and it helps me to function as a normal person, why do people feel the need to impose their fears and life styles on other people. i feel that this programme has done nothing but make our society take a step back wards, we are less tolerant these days to everything, the drug companys do not want this legalised, it can help people, all that this programme has shown is that the people of england are complete sheeple and that the propaganda train is going at full speed and the stupid ill informed are boarding at every station, skunk, haha, havent had it in years, wasnt strong enough for me, not sure of whether i am the first to sound like an idiot but i could have taken what jon snow had alday long and it not affect me, without exagerating, i can go through about an oz a day sometimes.
    poor programme cant call it a study as it has to many flaws in it, it just left me feeling depressed, it seems this day and age that if someone punched me in the face without a reason they would blame me because i have it in my system, kind of sad really

  146. euan george says:

    Does John realise that he experienced a cannabis OVERDOSE? The effects he encountered were in fact THE STRONGEST REACTION to cannabis that ANYONE can experience, he was given far too much skunk, as any cannabis smoker watching would have told you, he experienced a white out or greenie, would you give a non drinker a bottle of scotch for their first try? as is with any drug everyone’s tolerance greatly differs.

    Now go and overdose on alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine, and see if you survive any one of those.

    It was a grievous mistake and incredibly unethical not to mention that every compound known to man that has an effect on our bodies can be considered a poison if a high enough dose is administered.
    A dose at which cannabis can be considered lethal is yet to be discovered and as such CANNABIS IS BELIEVED TO BE A VERY RARE, UNIQUE COMPOUND THAT IS NOT A POISON IN ANY DOSAGE. this claim cannot be made about any other compound on earth that effects the human body as far as I’m aware.

    And why were key facts left out or completely ignored, such as we have cannabinoid receptors in our brain that are activated only by cannabinoids – the obvious deduction from this is that if Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is to be believed, then to grow/develop these cannabinoid receptors we would have had to have spent many thousands of years if not millions consuming cannabis at some point in the evolution of man.

  147. Noah says:

    Jon. Are u still on it? but then who is? the person responsible for putting the catch up service onto your website I think. Its appalling – the service used to be up 1 hour after broadcast – its gone downhill – earlier this evening I was watching Wednesday’s but the header said Thursday – now thats all be removed and just Tuesday is showing… surely somethings up. Same on Monday – Mondays didnt appear until Tuesday… come on C4…before we empty chair you!

  148. Someone says:

    Speaking as someone who after 4 years of smoking skunk (alongside less strong strains such as hash) developed bad anxiety, skunk definitely stood out as giving me some of the features of the experience Jon outlined, particularly the paranoia. But Jon you can’t generalize a drug’s affects on society based on your experience. Some of us really suffer, others seem to get along with it just fine and we can’t demonize them for that. I personally would advocate less skunk as myself and several other friends, a family member, friends of friends etc. have really suffered from long-term use. But many people would disagree, and I respect that!

  149. Elflan says:

    Jon Snow, I had, until recently, looked upon you as a very fair man and a good journalist.

    However, even you, a self confessed inexperienced cannabis user must surely have known that pulling two lungs from a vaporiser would get you absolutely ripped? I know people who have smoked for a very long time who wouldn’t do that much weed.

    Did you not research anything about the process before you signed up for this blatant propaganda?

    It’s sad Jon, but when the UK finally comes to terms with legalising a plant that grows in the dirt you will forever be remembered as an enemy to that cause. And I take no pleasure in saying that.

    Next time take one or two tokes and listen to Dark Side of the Moon. Much one enjoyable, but of course, much less sensational.

  150. Amir says:

    Give the man some respect. Regardless of how you feel about the subject. It’s abundantly clear the experiment was flawed in terms of dosage and he obviously had a bad trip.

    However he took a big risk and is making a contribution to remove the stigma associated with choosing how you alter your consciousness. Surely this entitles him to his point of view which is born purely of his experience and not a societal or “moral” norms.

    Let’s not act like every person will have the same reaction to these compounds. Sure maybe an imbecile can sit and chortle when confronted with the necessary illusions of our every day lives in such a profound way. But for an intelligent elderly man, it must be quite distressing to suddenly have such an adjustment of ego.

    There is a huge need to further study and try to eliminate the psychological and dependency risks that many reckless or otherwise unlucky individuals may face.

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