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Drugs live. 3/3, Cannabis on trial.

  • Videos

About this work


This live broadcast conducts a scientific trial in association with Professor Val Curran, who researches the effects of Cannabis on the brain. Throughout the programme, results are shown of a double-blind trial consisting of 22 volunteers, and Dr Chris van Tulleken undergoes live testing. The aim of the trial is to investigate and compare the direct effects of Skunk and Hash on the brain. Dr Matt Wall administers a trial dose to van Tulleken using a breathing balloon. Curran and Snow justify the dosages of Skunk, Hash and placebo given to each volunteer during the trial. Presenter Dr Christian Jessen interviews previous participants of the trial, including Broadcaster Jennie Bond and Columnist and Former MP Matthew Parris. Jessen gives a brief history of the social use of Cannabis in the 20th century and introduces the studio’s simulated Skunk farm. Addiction Psychiatrist Dr Adam Winstock explains the chemicals THC and CBD in association with Cannabis. Jessen and Winstock discuss the imbalance of chemicals that make up most Skunk sold illegally in the UK. Presenter Jon Snow interviews Professor David Nutt, who explains where Cannabis situates on the Harm Index. The role of Cannabis use in producing and listening to music is discussed by Jessen, Sir Richard Branson, Music Producer MYLO, and musicians The Posse and Alex Banks. To explore this link between Cannabis and the brain’s response to music, several volunteers are tested using MRI imaging. To explore the drug’s effect on the hippocampus, the volunteers undergo a memory recall test whilst under the influence of Cannabis. The audience are put through a live white noise test. Snow and ex-Undercover Drugs Detective Neil Woods discuss their personal experiences taking Cannabis during the trial. The link between Cannabis and psychosis is explored with Dr Amir Englund from the Institute of Psychiatry and Addiction Therapist Sarah Graham. Nutt explains the effects of Skunk and Hash on the salience network. An illegal Cannabis grower and dealer are interviewed. Finally, the panel and audience debate the decriminalisation of Cannabis in the UK. Audience participants include: Former Chief Superintendent Dal Babu, Sir Richard Branson, Deirdre Boyd from Addiction Recovery Foundation, and Judge Tahir Khan QC.



Physical description

1 DVD (60 min.) : sound, colour, PAL; 12 cm.


Originally broadcast on 3 March 2015 on Channel 4.

Creator/production credits

Produced by Zara Akester.
Presented by Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen.

Copyright note

Renegade Pictures (UK) Ltd.



  • English

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