Today I want to talk to you about pot.
But lest you think that I’m some closet stoner that wants to promote marijuana use. Trust me , this isn’t coming out of the blue. Paul Dooley just isn’t that spontaneous.
The whole marijuana thing is a pretty big issue right now in my home state of California. In recent mid-term elections a ballot measure called Proposition 19 (The marijuana legalization initiative) was defeated.
But Prop 19 wasn’t hammered into defeat like you might imagine. Something like 46% of Californians voted in favor of legalizing marijuana. So, I thought, damn that means that pot will likely become legal in California, someday.
If that happens what’s the implication for the anxious person? The law abiding citizen who stayed clean all those years and could suddenly go to the corner store and pick up some bud? Should that person, should you, go to the store when it’s available as a way to deal with anxiety?
It’s an interesting question. Not only that, it’s really the fact that it even came up for a vote that was somewhat surprising. And add to that all the media hoopla surrounding this issue and that’s how this marijuana question came back into my field of view.
So, the real question is: Is Marijuana Good for Anxiety, whatever its legal status?
I had a contributor named Andy tackle this issue a while back and it stirred the pot (pun intended) for sure. There was a lot of back and forth then about whether it was a good idea for anxious people to smoke pot or not and I’m sure that’s still the case. It is by it’s very nature a polarizing question.
I did produce a podcast to answer this question in detail so I won’t rehash everything here. I do however want to point out some highlights of what I think is true about marijuana and whether or not it’s good for anxiety.
Some strands of marijuana, specifically indica, have been known to relieve stress and anxiety.
Marijuana has also been known to be an effective pain reliever.
Marijuana can cause hallucinations and make you paranoid.
And using any substance to help you cope with anxiety always has its drawbacks because essentially you’re using a crutch and not dealing with the issues that are keeping you anxious.
Plus, why add more problems to your life? There is the expense, possible legal issues, and you having to deal with shady characters from time to time.
If you know you’re prone to anxiety then I think smoking pot is a bad choice. Instead, try to learn as much as you can about anxiety, the fight or flight response, relaxation techniques, and CBT.
Personally I haven’t smoked pot for more than a decade. I was really just out of adolescence the last time I sparked up and I’m glad. I have no use for drugs, of any kind, to help me handle my anxiety.
But I will concede that some people are helped by pot and many other drugs, like antidepressants for example. So I think you should do whatever works for you as long as it’s safe and effective.
So, what do you think about all this? Is marijuana good for anxiety? If it became legal would that make you a more likely user? Give us your brilliant opinion below.