There has been a lot of talk over the years about the negative effects of marijuana (cannabis) use. Chief among these, always, is laziness. Cannabis use is often associated with a lack of motivation, unemployment , and general slothery. While it may be true that the right/wrong bud can make you one with the couch, that is certainly not the general case. Used right, marijuana helps people get things done. I’d love to share a few of the things Mary Jane has helped me get done over the years. Some of them may surprise you, they certainly fly in the face of the stereotype. Of course that’s no surprise to me, stereotypes are made for breaking.
The 1st and perhaps least surprising way marijuana has helped me over the years is pain management. I can’t really remember a time before chronic pain. By my teens ibuprofen had become part of my daily diet. I can’t tell you about the magical day I realized marijuana was my answer to pain management. It didn’t happen like that. I started smoking recreationally. It made my body and brain happy, so I used it more. Eventually it became a daily habit and I found I only needed ibuprofen on days when I didn’t think being “high” was a good option, mostly workdays. At this point, disabled and decades into chronic pain land, cannabis is my primary method of pain management, with the help of a few great herbal and topical remedies now and then. While the strains that completely eliminate my pain are few, and all definite couch potato strains, I have found most strains help keep my pain at a tolerable level, better than prescription medications ever have.
Marijuana is also the only thing I use to manage anxiety. That too I figured out accidentally. Remember that recreational use? Those stoned times with friends helped me find my way past the social anxiety that caused me to clam up in social situations. It quieted the panic when someone asked me a direct question. I found I could talk, think and actually enjoy myself while high. A very different experience from my normal fear-filled people interactions.
With marijuana muting the anxious side of me, I could maintain control, think, articulate. It pulled things into focus and made me feel good in my own skin. Years later, it is how I know I can navigate social situations that would otherwise leave me either pukey and stressed, or absent, because I’m probably not going without a puff.
With Mary Jane pitching in on two very constant fronts in my life, I have been able to step out of my comfort zone and reached for jobs, relationships and dreams. Marijuana was one of the keys to earning my bachelors degree. I am not at all ashamed to admit that I attended classes, took exams and studied under the influence of marijuana. It kept my pain in check and, probably more important in college, kept me socially engaged and focused. Since finishing college Mary Jane has helped me reach out and take chances anxiety would have easily talked me out of, again and again. Helping me find that quiet space inside, marijuana gave me the peace and perspective needed to heal trauma and emotional baggage. Since diagnosis with chronic illness, it has allowed me to keep my prescription counts around two, three if you count the marijuana (I certainly do.) It has given me the courage to write and share my story. Settling me when anxiety is at the helm, cannabis allows me to be in control and be my best self. It helps me have the resilience to face this life. It allows me to take pain dulled walks and produces rest when I am weary. I often think of where I’d be without it. The picture is sad and lonely, and probably littered with alcohol bottles dripping with depression, which you guessed it I also manage with marijuana.
Disclaimer- I am not a medical professional. If you are considering using marijuana for symptom management I highly recommend you make an appointment with a doctor who understands your conditions and can advise you concerning use of medical marijuana. If there are medicinal dispensaries in your area, they are a wonderful source of information concerning the medical properties of different strains. Use them!