So I guess you’re here because you (or a friend) smoke weed or have done so in the past.
And you’re wondering whether you should disclose this on your application form.
Am I right?
If the life insurance application form asks about cannabis use then you should disclose cannabis use.
Yes, they all ask something like:
Have you ever taken cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin or any other non-prescribed drugs?
So you can’t avoid the question by choosing one particular insurer.
Generally, if you’ve smoked pot in the past, or even if you’re a current light user, you won’t pay more for that pleasure but you will be classed as a smoker.
However, if you’re a frequent stoner (every 2 to 3 days) you’re likely to get a loading (price increase) of around +50%.
Bad buzz man.
The insurers will class you as a smoker even if you take your cannabis straight up (no tobacco) because cannabis contains carcinogens and evidence suggests that heavy cannabis use may be associated with oral cavity, pharynx, oesophageal and lung cancers.
Other research shows cannabis is much less dangerous than tobacco but insurers are conservative so take the stricter view.
A blood test can detect cannabis anywhere between 3 and 14 days after use, depending on how frequently the user partakes. Whereas a urine test can show up cannabis use for up to a month!
But you won’t need to do a medical for life insurance.
Usually, the insurer is satisfied with a drugs questionnaire noting cannabis use, at worst they will write to your GP for a medical report.
In general, when it comes to life insurance and any type of recreational drugs, the insurers are concerned with:
Whether you still enjoy getting baked or did so just a few times at college, the best way to shop for insurance is through a broker who deals with all 5 insurance companies.
The issue around therapeutic use will come up more in future, but the underwriters generally look at the underlying condition that the person is using cannabis to treat.
But because this type of cannabis use is taken to be regular and ongoing, a price increase of +50% is normal, in line with moderate use.
As you can see from the above, the answer is yes – 100% yes.
CBD (Cannabidiol) products are derived from cannabis plants and have been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and seizures.
They don’t produce the high associated with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD was recently in the news when a shop in Kilkenny was raided and shut down due to the presence of THC in some of the products they were selling
The owner argued:
Cannabis could be 0.01% THC or 1,000%, and it’s the same product to them.
The products he was selling contained trace amounts of the psychoactive THC, under 0.2%.
The European Court of Justice ruled last year this level of THC does not appear to have any negative health impact stating CBD products that contain THC of under 0.2% should not be treated as narcotics.
However, in Ireland, if CBD products contain THC in any quantities, they are considered controlled drugs, meaning they are effectively banned.
In a recent statement, An Garda Síochána said: “Whilst there is no legal exemption for CBD products containing any amount of THC, it is envisaged legislation will be amended in the future to exempt CBD-based products containing trace amounts of THC at levels not greater than 0.3%.”
The underwriters generally look at the underlying condition that the person is using CBD products to treat (e.g. mental health, joint pain etc)
But because this type of use is taken to be regular and ongoing, a price increase of +50% is normal, in line with moderate use.
If you smoked cannabis in the past or are even still an occasional user, don’t worry.
Just make sure you go through a broker who knows which insurer is best to apply to.
Some insurers will increase your premium due to any cannabis use.
Please don’t go through your bank or direct – they rarely have a clue so you’ll end up paying a lot more than you need to.
If you’d like some help, call me on 05793 20836 or complete this questionnaire.
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