Cannabis and Social Media

Liz Filmer
06 Nov 2022

Due to strict regulations, social media has long been challenging for anyone interested in cannabis, whether from a business or personal point of view. The dreaded"Community Guidelines" have a stranglehold on cannabis content, limiting reach and marketing capabilities.

Everyone hopes to avoid the dreaded "shadowban" on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok that restricts followers from seeing your posts and hides them from occurring on hashtags. Shadowbanning significantly decreases your page's likelihood of being discovered by new followers. 

Once shadowbanned, you would likely notice reduced reach and content interaction. However, you won't receive any formal notification as your content is being "secretly" restricted. The algorithm is punishing you. The worst-case scenario is getting a post deleted for going against Community Guidelines. You risk getting your entire account permanently deleted if it happens enough times. 

All the big social media platforms are different. Twitter is more welcoming to cannabis than Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, which all have strict guidelines against cannabis. It doesn't matter if you are entirely legal, operating within a legal state, and 100% compliant— they have AI designed to home in cannabis content.

Here are some top tips to help avoid seeking to avoid shadowbans and grow organically on social media.


The Obvious hashtags—#cannabis, #cannabiscommunity, #weed—have become how watchful admins see and shadowban your account. Be careful with phrasing. On TikTok, posters cannot mention "cannabis" or "weed." Your post will likely be removed immediately. Instead, try pseudonyms of words like "ouid", "w33d", and "st0ner".


Instagram and Facebook favour educational content. Accredited publications that report on cannabis are typically left untouched due to their educational stance. Design your content to educate the masses, whether it is about the plant itself or the politics, and you might have more chance of avoiding restrictions. 


Photos of the cannabis plant itself are the most likely to be flagged, triggering deletion or shadowban. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are stringent on images of the plant. Any bud image is the most significant risk and is more likely to get removed than other posts. Many people say, anecdotally, that cannabis images are safer to feature on Instagram Stories than on the Grid. This may be true to an extent, but the stories are also monitored, so it is best to be overly cautious. 


Liz Filmer