“In an anxiety-related disorder, your fear or worry does not go away and can get worse over time. It can influence your life to the extent that it can interfere with daily activities like school, work and/or relationships.” (Sanne van Rooij, PhD, Anaïs Stenson, PhD).
My project will focus on several different areas of cognitive disorders of the human mind and how they may benefit through the use of Medical Marijuana and CBD (cannabidiol). Anxiety is one of the biggest areas of focus and it is important to me personally due to my GAD, or, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. According to Anxiety.org, anxiety-based disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, with over 40 million American adults being affected by them.This roughly costs society over $42 billion per year. As with each area that I will study, I like to interview or share someone’s personal story who have the disorder I am currently looking into. For this however, I decided to share my own history, as it is the reason I became a Psychology major, and am looking to help anyone I can who may suffer.
I will never advocate the use of illegal products on my pages, but I will admit to cannabis use in high-school as my own personal medication. If you were to take a look at me, a male college athlete, you wouldn’t think I’d be an anxious person. What people do not realize is that anxiety can take multiple forms. For me, I would beat myself up over the smallest inconveniences. If I got a 79 on a paper, I would be stressing to the bone what I could have done differently to make it better. This applied to my real life as I would constantly second guess my choices, my relationships, and really anything that came my way. Anxiety also guided my anger for a bit, becoming increasingly agitated by almost anything in life. I would self-medicate with cannabis use for the next few years and it seemed to keep me in a level head-space. During my junior year of college I noticed I would have more anger filled episodes and constantly be in a negative state. Upon seeing my doctor, he told me I had inherited my mother’s anxiety issues and prescribed me Paroxetine, which I have been taking everyday since. This past summer I began to educate myself more on what exactly CBD is. One of CBD’s prime areas of relieve is with anxiety, so naturally I dove into it. I bought my first CBD vape, and within a couple weeks of using noticed my own difference. I became more productive, but at the same time I no longer would stress the simple mistakes that occurred throughout a day. My confidence slowly became stronger once I stopped beating myself up and instead learned from past mistakes.
“Cannabis has been described as biphasic and bidirectional meaning that it can cause relaxation in some cases, anxiety in others” (Backes, M., Weil, A., & McCue, J. D.) It is important to understand that cannabis use with anxiety may not be wise for just anyone. The variables include variety, its chemistry and dose, mind-set of user, and the environment in which it is used. I personally find cannabis to have always kept me grounded and not talk down on myself. Currently, I do not qualify for a medical marijuana card in my home state of Pennsylvania. As of March 2018, New Jersey added five new qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, Anxiety being one them. It really does not sit well with me that I am not allowed access to something I know will help me stay a happier and overall better person simply because where I was born and live is 20 miles outside what is deemed a deserving area of this medicine. I will be writing up more on anxiety through my college classes and more for my overall project. Medical cannabis is medicine. It has been given a negative stigma over the past four decades and made into the “devil’s lettuce”. This result has turned attention, funding, and legal procedures against research on the many medical benefits that cannabis can achieve. I want to open people’s eyes and help anyone who is suffering from any psychological disorder.