Marijuana: The Introvert’s Drug Of Choice?

Marijuana: The Introverts Drug Of Choice?

The best thing about telepathy is…I know, right!?” he said to me with bloodshot eyes and a dazed expression.

With the legalization of Marijuana in many countries and some states, a lot of new research has emerged studying its benefits and side-effects. One study about marijuana and social exclusion recently caught my eye by University of Kentucky psychologist’s Timothy Deckman and C. Nathan DeWall.

DeWall previously published a 2010 paper suggesting that Acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) reduces the pain of social rejection. A follow-up to his work found that the same painkiller can reduce existential anxiety.

Since Acetaminophen and Marijuana work via similar brain receptors, both researchers wondered whether Weed could also soften the pain of exclusion. They describe four experiments confirming their theory.

Weed Out The Loneliness

Not everyone was born to be a complete Loner. Some Introverts for lack of having close relationships, develop great feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

One of the experiments outlined by Dewall and Deckman, focused on 5,631 Americans who reported their levels of loneliness, their use of cannabis or not, and their feelings of self-worth. The report found a correlation between loneliness and feelings of self-worth, highlighting how these feelings of loneliness and low self esteem were substantially weaker for regular cannabis smokers. They write: “Marijuana use buffered the lonely from both negative self-worth and poor mental health.

Another experiment of 537 participants discovered that out of those who experienced social pain, the ones who were regular Marijuana smokers were less likely to have suffered a major depression in the past year.

Intro-Amplification

We know that half (if not slightly more) of the population is predominantly Introverted. So, as you will find out below, it comes as no surprise why Marijuana has such a widespread appeal.

Some appreciate the smoother edges marijuana provides on our harsh, fast paced reality:

Smoking really helps me center myself when I’m feeling overly anxious or socially warn out. It helps me sit down and think about what’s really important, and focus on the outside reality instead of what’s going on in my head. ~ Faemonsta (LonerWolf reader)

Others who suffer from some type of social or general anxiety claim it exacerbates their inner feelings further:

Weed makes me think things through more and not be very sociable. Anxiety around other people, for me, comes from this because I start getting paranoid of what other people are thinking about me and how I look. I guess I get very self-conscious when I’m high. ~ Mukant666 (LonerWolf reader)

In many cases Weed, like many drugs, amplifies your present inner emotional state of being.

Mary-Jane’s Allure

By now, it seems apparent why Marijuana can be such an attractive drug for some Introverts.

While alcohol is a social lubricant that boosts your energy and frees you from your inhibitions in social settings to be more loud or chatty, Marijuana quiets and slows everything down, enhancing your inner emotions, senses and creative thoughts, allowing you to appreciate the world calmly and alone from the safety of your home.

Marijuana (like alcohol) can also be used as a social crutch. I’ve observed and read of many who use it to slow their anxiety-induced thoughts, to change their personality into one less likely to receive negative evaluation, or to escape from their present reality.

The self-handicapping theory of substance use can also be applied, where marijuana can be used socially so others will attribute negative (i.e. socially awkward) behaviours to the effects of marijuana, not to a flaw in your personality – essentially taking away your responsibility.

So I’m interested to know, what is your opinion? Do you, or have you used Marijuana or any other substance before? Feel free to anonymously vote in our poll below if you don’t want to leave a comment.

 

Photo by: Park Ranger

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  • William

    I rarely get to use marijuana. I live in a lock your @ss up, ruin your life state if you get caught. When I visit family in a decriminalized area, I’m not so afraid to explore.

    I have a rather narrow, newbie experience with it, aside from just getting completely stoned back in the day a few times.

    Taken in more moderation in the right setting, I find it shuts off the negative voice in a social setting and it makes me feel more normal. With proper dosages and usage, I believe it is very useful. I should also state, I was hanging around people I actually WANTED to be with. I’m slowly learning that my social interaction will always be limited and I’m okay with that, but even when I want to be social, a little bud helps smooths things alone. I can’t wait for it to be legal in all 50 states.

    • http://lonerwolf.com/sol Mateo Sol

      Hello William!

      It is quite a difficult and risky choice to explore these drugs, I can understand the frustration many people must experience in feeling that the exploration of their consciousness has been limited by the government.

      When we experienced altered states of consciousness, it’s always important to be in comfortable environments otherwise you can have a nightmare of an experience, I’m thankful you mentioned that as it’s helpful for anyone thinking of exploring these substances.

      I’ve found that with time, how social you are, can very immensely if you allow yourself to remain open to any changes that might occur within you. I’ve seen many people grow attached to their label of ‘loner’ and reject or refuse to situations that they’d actually secretly enjoy if they hadn’t thought of themselves as the type of person who doesn’t risk socializing. As long as you accept who you are now, but remain open to any changes that may happen with your own self growth, you’ll never regret anything.

      Thank you for sharing and commenting your own story :)

  • Jeremy

    After being a goody two-shoe, introverted youth for the majority of my life, weed opened me up to more social interaction and decreased the likelyhood of me retreating back home when being introduced to a large amount of new people. It calms an over-stimulated brain and lets you take things slow and easy, one thing at a time. It also allows me to better self-reflect at the end of the day as well do to it slowing down my brain.

    Over all it definitely opened me up more as an individual and improved my social life.

    • http://lonerwolf.com/sol Matthew Sol

      Hi Jeremy,

      You’re not the only one I’ve heard share this experience, it’s great that you’ve had such positive effects from your exploring with marijuana.

      For some people, substances like marijuana and mushrooms have completely changed their perception of the world entirely, even if it was only tried once. They claim that their minds feel much more open, less rigid, and more awe struck by what they see.

      To some people, it can bring the same positive effects that meditation, mindfulness and other techniques of quieting/slowing down of the mind do.

      I’m happy to read how it has enriched your life!

  • Brenda

    I don’t really feel that weed makes me more or less social. I did meet a lot of people because of weed, though. I smoke weed almost every day, sometimes I don’t even smoke enough to get me high, just enough to relax and chill. And I absolutely love going out by myself to smoke weed. I listen to music, read or draw. It’s pretty great. I like going ou with people, too, but I absolutely NEED time to be by myself. If I’m going out with friends on saturday at 10pm, I’ll go out alone around 8:30pm, just to enjoy being by myself before I can be with people. There’s nothing to ruin the high, no one to bother, it’s just me and my thoughts.

    • http://lonerwolf.com/sol Matthew Sol

      Hey Brenda!

      Marijuana has a different effect on everyone, you seem to have pulled of quite a practical use for it.

      In my experience, as long as the substance isn’t abused for the wrong reasons (as a crutch for your unhappiness), isn’t harmful and doesn’t inflict any problems on anyone else, I don’t see anything wrong with it. As you’ve pointed out, it works for you, it relaxes you and helps you enjoy time with yourself , and inspires you in different ways.

      Thank you for sharing this positive experience with marijuana :)

  • Silja

    There was a period in my life I wanted to kill myself. i thought that I’m so unlucky that only drugs could help me out. i would have become addicted if I’d knew where to get some weed.
    i don´t want to offend people who take drugs. but i experienced that surviving bad times in your life without any help makes you stronger and more self-confident.

    • http://lonerwolf.com/sol Sol

      I completely agree Silja. Drugs should never be used as crutches for our unhappiness, the only way to cultivate self knowledge and self understanding, leading to self acceptance is through having the will power and courage to continue through our hardships.

      I do however think that not all substances can be generalized under the same negative term of “drugs”, each has a different composition and effects on a person. Under certain conditions (the mental maturity, physical health, level of happiness and acceptance at that moment and stage of spiritual growth), some substances can be beneficial for a person as a self exploration device or enhancement of ones already current positive disposition.

      Thank you for sharing your observations and insight of the matter :)

    • William

      It’s a very healthy attitude to not want to take drugs to cover an emotion or problem. Despite being a schedule 1 drug, marijuana doesn’t have a crash or instant chemical addiction. I have read that long term chronic smokers can have trouble stopping. Its possible to get addicted to the feeling, or life style, but not really the drug itself. Its one of the very few drugs that wears off and doesn’t have bad side effects or a crash. People can get addicted to things for sure, like gambling, and no drug is involved at all.

      I’m not trying to talk you in to trying anything, but don’t think marijuana will turn you in to a drug addict. It isn’t a gateway drug, but the drug dealer might be dangerous, or try and push something else on you.

      If you want to talk about addiction and withdraw… I missed having coffee one day. Later that night, I had massive migraine from withdraw that made me feel like I was dying. Quitting soda was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in life. I still slip up sometimes, but caffeine and sugar are so widely available and the most addictive. I can use marijuana a few times a year and not do it without any problem at all.

      Everyone IS different though, so if you have addictive tendencies, then you know yourself better then anyone.

  • Bianca

    I recently moved out on my own for the first time, moved to a whole new state and everything to get away . This article really made me aware of how much I tend to use pot as a crutch. I spent the holidays all alone for the first time and it really bothered me that I had nothing to do on Christmas so I just got really drunk and high to mask the lonliness. I’m having trouble meeting true friends or any sort of relationship because of internal self hate. The only way I cope with being alone all the time is smoking weed. It has been my crutch for 4 years now and I really don’t ever plan on quitting. I seem to be waiting for that dream guy to come and save me from myself but apparently I’m not good enough to have a boyfriend so weed has become my BFF

    • http://facebook.com/matthew.kindle.92 Sol

      Hey Bianca!

      Its good that youve realized marijuana can become a crutch when used in the wrong circumstances. Marijuana, like any substance, is a tool, it can be used to escape the world and your unhappiness, or if your life is generally happy as it is, then it can be used to enjoy a greater appreciation for your already content state. In some cases its used in shamanic therapies to broaden your understanding of yourself, but that requires the guidance of someone else.

      So the way your using it is obviously harmful, like any tool, its only as beneficial as the intentions of the beholder. A good idea would be to reduce the quantity you smoke, select a certain day to try and develop meaningful connections with others that will draw you away from your crutch and give you a sense of purpose. The biggest reason behind many of these addictions is that theres nothing else that really motivations or gives you a sense of meaning, which is why when I work with clients in similar circumstances, I encourage them to take on some of our Involution techniques, cultivating self awareness, self understanding and self acceptance are the first few steps to quit. Without learning to accept and love yourself youll find it hard to find a meaningful relationship as youll never feel youre good enough for someone else to love you.

      While your cultivate self awareness and self-love, Id suggest embarking on some hobbie, interest, or passion that might distract you till you learn self-acceptance. Once that happens youll find it easy to find a romantic parter.

      Feel free to let ask or keep me updated of how things go, or your opinion on these matters.

      Thank you for sharing your experience,

      Sol

    • William

      Bianca, its good that you know you have a problem. Like anything, something good can be used in a bad way. I fully believe that mixing drinking with marijuana is nothing but bad news. Instead of feeling bad that you use marijuana, you might first want to considerate on the alcohol use. I too used to drink just too much and it is easy to become independent. It can be a double punch because you are probably drinking to cover an emotional feeling and you likely have a physical dependency on drinking. I don’t know how much you drink, but if its a lot, then you need to seek medical and professional help as it can be dangerous to just stop, even if you have the will power to do so. Each person is different, but I don’t like the attitude that anyone who has drank too much in the past must never drink again in the future. The whole once an alcoholic, always a alcoholic. I still drink, but I never touch spirits, and I’m no longer bloated, unhealthy and I don’t wake up with hangovers or get the shakes from drinking too much, but I will always drink a few beers when I want too. You might need to quit forever, each person is different, but I don’t think everyone should be put in the camp of, you can just never drink ever again, as I think its possible to drink sometimes in a much more healthy way and attitude.

      As far as the marijuana goes, its not nearly as harmful as drinking and its lest harmful drugs that you can use. Research marijuana and meditation. Like any drug (man made or natural) it can be used in a bad way or a good way. I’m not so sure that you need to quite marijuana so much as you need to learn to use it the right way. It isn’t a party drug, or numb your feelings drug. It can be a spiritual enhancer, medication tool, or used for headache and pain.

  • Raven

    I smoked weed back in my youth and had bad experiences each time from it. It worked as a stimulant on me, making me extremely hyper. It also increased my heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels. I occasionally encounter others who have experienced the same thing from it. More than likely, we’re in a minority, but, we do exist. I’m highly sensitive, introverted, empathic…my body doesn’t react (in the usual ways) like most people’s to many drugs, or even to some foods, and drinks. I have no doubt its all related to my super sensitive nervous system.
    I’ve spent all my life having to listen closely to my body because of its “unusual” sensitivities.
    I think many people dont realize that some of us cannot use weed…even if we wanted to. :-)

    • http://facebook.com/LonerWolf Sol

      Hello Raven!

      Im so happy you left a comment, we need experiences from all sides to make it aware to everyone that everything doesnt work for everyone.

      Just like some food diets work for some people and dont for others, the same applies to anything in life, especially substances that alter your consciousness.

      While learning about shamanic therapies this factor become ever so present in treatments of different people. Everyone reacts differently to different substances, for some, its an amazing life changing experience that guides people towards a more spiritual path, and for others its a traumatizing or at the very least, very uncomfortable experience that biases toward the substance.

      Im glad through your self understanding your realized marijuana affects you that way because of your physical nature, and havent like many people who tried it one, accused marijuana of all kinds of negative attributes and become an advocate against it.

      Thank you for sharing your experience, and most important, your self discovery and understanding of yourself in relation to that experience ! :D

      Sol

      • Raven

        Thank you, Sol, for the nice reply. I enjoy yours, and Luna’s writings. I admire what you both are doing with this site. :-)
        Yeah, my body’s “strange” nature was a key element in my realizing my natural shamanic tendencies.
        Just when you think you may understand something…. nature comes along with its love of diversity and changes the scene completely. :-)
        Peace….
        Raven

    • William

      Raven, some of my first experiences were the same. The fact is, you/me took way too much the first time or the 2nd and 3rd. When you go any time without using, the effect is going to be equally as strong. Marijuana is not a toy drug and it shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. Using too much marijuana without knowing the effects can turn in to a very bad trip. You don’t know how your going to feel, the effect can be very overwhelming and just down right scary. Like any drug, the more you take, the stronger the effect will be and some kinds of marijuana can be extremely strong, to the point of causing hallucinations.

      I’m not trying to talk you in to trying it again, but if you do, only take 1 or 2 light hits, and then stop. I would also recommend using it in a setting you would be very comfortable and safe feeling, so not a loud party with too many people or strangers. Try it in a quiet place with a single close friend and maybe some soft music. Or even by yourself in the quiet.

      The first effects of marijuana does raise the heart rate, but if yours got really high, then you took too much and then likely had a panic attack after. As always, everyone is different and you just might not be able to tolerate marijuana, but their are so many different kinds, it can be hard finding the right one unless you live in a state that is legal and you can find what works for you and with your body.

      I now sometimes use with a very close family member and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences when I learned to take it slow, learn the reaction, and to use the effects of the drug properly.

      I think like the attitude of drinking in the US and probably most of the western world is we are taught through movies, peer pressure, that if your going to drink or get high, you should get really messed up. That is so wrong. Like drinking, you can stop at one or two and not have a bad time, if you use too much marijuana, the effects will be equally stronger and depending on your body and mind, turn in to a really bad night.

  • kitten

    I’m definitely an introvert and smoke on a regular basis. It levels me out, I can think properly and deeply (which is a massive rarity when you’re a mum). It also motivates me in my daily life I’ll think of a new experience my daughter and I could share together and then it’s all I will think about for days until I can get it done :) it’s made me a creative mother through the similar thought and motivate process.

    • SolW0lf

      What a cool mum! :), I’m happy to know not all parents are alike, there’s those willing to encounter their roles in a different way. I think it some cases it can make you a better parent, I’ve met quite a few people that lead otherwise normal lives yet the fact they do smoke cannabis enhances their patience as parents, makes them enjoy doing more “child-like” activities with their children and they don’t feel the well-intentioned desire of ‘controlling’ their children or disciplining them to fit well into society, the whole “children must be seen but not heard” mentality.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • NotMeSir

    I tried medicinal cannabis in the form of chocolate since no way would I smoke anything. Being HSP I think I should have started with a smaller dose. The beginning sensations were funny but I then had a bad time of it. Would have another go though, small dose, stay home…

    • SolW0lf

      I’ve heard similar experiences. I’d personally never jump into the waters deep end in such matters, probably start small and build upon that. I’ve heard some people use some medical marijuana by melting it with a lump of butter in the microwave and using it on some toast. If you ever do, let me know how it goes :)

    • Tessa Coker

      I am HSP and I had exactly the same experience with chocolate. I got a battery operated vaporisor-inhaler thing with measured dosage and use to help me relax at home mainly and alone. My psychiatrist says it is a MUCH better choice than even an occasional small dose of Valium. But expensive and not covered by health insurance. Let’s hope it gets legalised soon.

      • SolW0lf

        My grandad was prescribed some for his glaucoma, he users the volcano vaporizer as well. If anyone is going to use it regularly, I really would advise getting one.

        • Tessa Coker

          I have glaucoma too but my eye doc would not prescribe it. I use eyedrops to control it. Win some, lose some!

          • SolW0lf

            His eye doc didn’t either…but alas, the beauty of home gardening :P

  • malsprower

    I don’t need drugs to be happy, I just need fresh air and sunshine! :)

    • malsprower

      It’s called meditation :)

      • SolW0lf

        Meditation is the best high,and hypnotism is pretty cool also as well as Lucid Dreaming :). This article delves more into the preferred substances of those who choose to take drugs for recreation :). Thanks for the comment!

        • Tessa Coker

          Tried that lucid dreaming and it is really difficult to get there but the process was pleasant!

          • SolW0lf

            With practice you will perfect the lucid dreaming art, it just takes a lot of commitment and disciple….and lack of deep sleep haha. Each activity has value onto it’s own, I can’t deny that certain drugs have immense self discovery value.

            Old Shamans thought of each substance almost as if they had a personality, some were soft and gentle, others would make them sick and throw them into an existential abyss head on. It just depends what appeals to you most at that moment :)

  • Toni

    I completely agree. The level of introspection and clarity I achieve is amazing. And for that time it is okay for me to be thinking as intensely as I am..even when I smoke with extroverts in that time it isn’t weird to be so lost in your thoughts…wish it could be legalized!

    • SolW0lf

      I’ve heard that from quite a few people. Some find immense interest in the clarity and creativity of their thoughts when they smoke. Others seem to just be fascinated and at awe with the amplified colours and senses in their bodies. Either way, both attract more introverted people. Funny enough, as you say, it’s also an introvert activity to try socially :)