A Few Canadians Searched for Weed Porn and Fake News Ensued

The other day Leafly pushed a blog post about our neighbors to the North that included the following racy headline, Canadian Searches for Cannabis Porn Hit New High. I love Leafly for what they do, and I was at the Geekwire Awards when they stole the App of the Year trophy from a crowded field of contenders. I don’t pay much attention to its blog, but this headline was so juicy and had such sharing potential that I immediately followed the link. However, I’m a digger and so I clicked on the link in the blog post to the actual press release that Leafly was sourcing, which had been issued by Pornhub Insights.

Slap me. What world are we living in right now? Pornhub Insights? Who knew that purveyors of flesh and spyware were operating like legit companies, complete with PR and AR departments? Don’t be fooled though. After a quick read-through it was too obvious that both the press release and its insights were pure fluff. None of the stats offer true context because none of them have qualifiers, such as the sample size. Even worse the press release used a clickbait headline to generate online mentions like the one from Leafly and drive traffic to its website. Not cool.

Let me break down the actual data for you, because the reality is that Canadians are not the world leaders in searching for ways to have kinky sex by introducing weed into the mix. In fact, as the Pornhub data plainly shows, Canada ranks 4th, right ahead of the United States and behind the odd, but sexy triumvirate of Kenya, Switzerland and South Africa, as you can see in the graphic below.

pornhub-insights-canada-cannabis-search-vs-world.png

The chart also features a stat that states that, compared with the rest of the world Canadians are 224% more likely to search for cannabis related terms on Pornhub’s search engine. This one of the least qualified statistics ever. This data simply cancels itself out because there are no actual numbers behind the huge percentage presented. It is a non-sequitur if there ever was one.

Finally, let’s examine the data that Leafly hinged its blog post upon. Yes, Canadian searches on Pornhub for weed-related pornography increased, but only for a single day - the day Canada went legal. According to Porhub Insights this event represented a 206% increase compared with every other day of the year. That’s neat, but where is the raw data that shows exactly how many searches were performed? Are we talking thousands of searches, hundreds of searches or less than 100? The way I read it, see the chart below, is that the average cannabis search is one per day, but then the chart and its data don’t really spell it out clearly. A 206% increase in daily searches could either be huge, or tiny, but we will never know because Porhub is keeping the actual numbers tucked in its pants.

pornhub-insights-canada-cannabis-search-popularity-timeline-updated.png

There’s nothing all that crazy about incorporating cannabis into your sex life. In fact, West Seattle’s best neighborhood pot shop published a blog post about that very topic months ago. What’s crazy is the production and promotion of fake news targeted towards an emerging industry in cannabis that is searching hard for credibility. This kind of thing hurts everyone. Get it together Pornhub!