Is Weed Vegan?


On the surface, the question “is weed vegan?” might seem like a relatively straightforward one. Cannabis is a plant, after all, so it must be vegan, right? Not quite. If you ask that question around your stoner group, you’ll probably get varying answers: “Yes”. “No”. “It depends”. The true answer to the question is that it actually depends – but on what? What is Veganism? Although difficult to accurately track, recent figures suggest somewhere between 1-3% of the world’s population identify as vegan[i]. Still viewed by some as a mere derivative of vegetarianism, veganism is more than a set of restrictive rules governing dietary intake. Indeed, like vegetarians, vegans don’t eat meat and have a diet that is definitely plant-based, but there’s decidedly more to it. Vegetarians abstain from eating meat but will typically consume eggs and dairy products. Vegans, however, will not consume anything directly or indirectly obtained from animals and refrain from such products as a matter of principle. In fact, The Vegan Society’s website defines veganism as “…a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”[ii] It’s this distinction that may ultimately define some cannabis as non-vegan. “Any other purpose” covers everything from growing to extraction methods, packaging, and beyond. As I was writing this, a vegan family member quipped, “If the weed was carried to town on a heavily-laden donkey, a vegan wouldn’t want it”. Why Cannabis is Not Necessarily Strictly Vegan Breaking down The Vegan Society’s definition leads us to leads us to look beyond the plant itself and instead look specifically at how the plant is grown in order to classify cannabis as vegan-friendly or not. To do that, we need only…

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