Health & Wellness

Getting Paid $1,500 To Consume Weed? Yes, Please!

Applications for "Cannabis Effects Specialist" close October 1, 2021.
Applications for "Cannabis Effects Specialist" close October 1, 2021. / Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels has opened applications for the job of “Cannabis Effects Specialist.”

The chosen applicants will form a team of 3-5 people, who will be paid $1,500 to participate in a month-long survey.

The application reads: “Our team of ‘Cannabis Effects Specialists’ will be putting some of our theories to the test on how cannabis can affect someone’s mood, sleep, appetite, motivation, and more!”

Spearheading the projects is Flower and Freedom’s David Rhodes, who initially started using cannabis to help manage his battle with Crohn’s Disease.

“My main goal with starting this was really to attempt to put some physical, measurable data towards the idea that cannabis can be helpful in both medicinal and recreational circumstances,” Rhodes told The Bluntness.

When Rhodes began to integrate cannabis with other medications he’d been taking for Crohn’s disease, he was thankful for the health benefits and yet weary of the stigma.

“I have family members that still see cannabis as an evil substance, and this is just a small step in hopefully helping to turn away from the idea that cannabis is evil,” Rhodes said.

Putting Cannabis Theories to the Test

For Rhodes and his team, a big part of the focus here is to shed further light on the nuances around cannabis consumption, moving beyond harmful biases, misinformation, and stereotypes.

“My favorite theory is that most people believe that your appetite after consuming cannabis is only towards traditional ‘munchy’ foods which aren't very healthy,” Rhodes said.

“I've always been interested in testing the theory that you could actually use the increased appetite for healthier food rather than consuming junk food.

“I know there have been medicinal users that have spoken about not having an appetite and losing weight because of it, and then using cannabis to ensure that they actually have an appetite to get the nutrition they need. I just want to break the narrative that cannabis just makes you lazy and eat junk food.”

Cannabis and appetite is one of many areas of focus on which the Cannabis Effects Specialists will be reporting during the month-long survey.

Finding the Right Applicants

When Flower and Freedom’s job posting recently made Newsweek, the team saw a huge influx of applications. And while it will take some time to sort through everything, Rhodes clarified that a diversity of cannabis experience is key among the chosen applicants.

“I want them to be relatively diverse in terms of cannabis experience. I don't want all of them to be daily users, I'd like a nice mix. Obviously I'd love for the team to be bigger, but funding at the moment won't allow that,” he said.

The final team of Cannabis Effects Specialists must follow specific testing procedures and have strong English writing and communication skills. Participants can be from any country as long as they live in an area where adult-use cannabis is legal.

“At the very least I'd like to just have some genuine feedback on their experiences with cannabis and how it affects their lives, either positively or negatively,” Rhodes explained.

“I think there will probably be a pro-cannabis bias based on those who’ve applied, but I do want to make this as unbiased as possible.”

The Big Vision

Ultimately, Rhodes hopes to organize multiple surveys and larger teams over the long term, as well as adding a few professional data scientists to the equation. Getting there will require some patience and a larger budget.

Currently, everything is funded by Flower and Freedom, and the first round of testing will naturally have its share of learning moments.

“This first round is definitely going to be a learning curve, and I think in the future we'd like to team up with data scientists to help us conduct legitimate studies which will have a bit more credibility,” Rhodes said.

“At this point we have a million different things we would like to test, so it's really going to rely on us focusing on a few of these theories.”

In a perfect world, Rhodes continued, this would be a well-funded, year-round endeavor with hundreds of participants. And maybe at some point down the road, larger companies would like to partner with, bolstering resources and making this a reality.

“At the very least I'd like to have some physical and measurable data to back up that cannabis can be beneficial from both a medicinal standpoint and a recreational standpoint,” Rhodes noted.

“If I can just convince a handful of people that cannabis shouldn't be demonized, then I think it will be a success.”

If you’re interested in learning more, Freedom and Flower’s “Cannabis Effects Specialist,” application page will be open until October 1, 2021.

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