Day 10: anxiety
“My attraction to drugs is based on an immense desire to annihilate awareness.”
– Anaïs Nin
Anxiety is the worst. Cannabis seems to help. In fact, research is starting to tell us more about how. Unfortunately, research also seems to show that when people consistently use cannabis before their brain is done developing (around age 27), it seems to worsen anxiety and depression in the long run.
When anyone starts using cannabis regularly they become more sensitive to feeling anxiety when they are not high. The same amount of anxiety that they once tolerated now feels overwhelming. They are then more likely to get high again to deal with it. This is totally understandable. It just tends to make things worse in the long run.
It can be hard to sort out the extent to which cannabis helps with anxiety, and the extent to which cannabis worsens it. This is further complicated by withdrawal. For example, say someone sets out to take a one-week tolerance break. Say they get really anxious around day three, start smoking again and feel better. They might view that as proof that cannabis helps with anxiety: “when I stopped, I felt really anxious; but when I started again, I felt better. Cannabis cured my anxiety.” But anxiety itself is a withdrawal symptom from cannabis. What they demonstrated was dependency.
It is worth considering all this for yourself. It may be that cannabis is totally helping; it is possible that it is hurting. Most likely, however, it is a bit of both. Figuring out this mix in your life will help you find and maintain balance.