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The Super Bowl Ad for Medical Marijuana (That Nobody Saw)

The Super Bowl Ad for Medical Marijuana

Unless future generations become absolutely enamored with the defensive game, Super Bowl LIII will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the least exciting NFL championships of all time. Not only did it end up becoming the lowest scoring Super Bowl to-date, Patriot victory feels like a rerun we’ve seen too many times, meanwhile the halftime show was memorable for all the wrong reasons. What’s more, what could have been the most talked about advertisement aired during the Super Bowl ended up being sidelined by CBS, the network broadcasting the game.

The minute-long advertisement in question was to be produced on behalf of Acreage Holdings, a company involved in cannabis cultivation. Though never filmed, it would have featured several people explaining how their health was greatly improved thanks to medical marijuana. The Columbia Broadcasting System network, which has a policy against cannabis-related advertising, denied the pitch forwarded to them by the advertising agency working for Acreage.

While it wouldn’t have featured any celebrity cameos, zany humor, or ironic twists, the commercial would have certainly gotten millions of households talking about medical marijuana and other cannabis-based medicinal products such as CBD tincture and edibles. As more and more states opt to legalize marijuana consumption for medicinal purposes, these conversations are acting as the kindling igniting community-based legalization efforts in states which have yet to do so.

It’s worth noting that those watching the Super Bowl action live at the stadium were privy to cannabis advertising not seen by those watching the game from home. A company selling CBD-infused coffee managed to work out a deal where their ads were seen on the event app used by attendees.

This exception reveals the way in which CBD – short for cannabidiol – is a far less controversial cannabinoid compared to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. While governments, law enforcement agencies, corporations, and members of the general public continue to have mixed feelings in regards to the marketing, possession, and distribution of products containing THC, there is a less restrictive approach to products infused with CBD oil.

As previously mentioned, the reason is simple: CBD doesn’t get you stoned the way THC does. Instead, CBD – which is most commonly sold in oil form but is also sold infused in candy and other food items – is linked to reducing pain and helping manage anxiety. What’s more, while someone can theoretically die from an overdose on THC (which would require consuming the equivalent of 20,000-40,000 marijuana cigarettes at once and has never been documented) the same cannot be said for CBD, which does not have a lethal dosage. These factors make cannabidiol less threatening than its more notorious fellow cannabinoid.

In closing, let’s stop and think about the fact one of the higher rated commercials aired during Super Bowl LIII was the Bud Light-Game of Thrones crossover. Ads for alcoholic beverages combined airing during the big game are so common we don’t even think twice, yet an ad for medical marijuana is too controversial to be aired?

As they say, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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