Marijuana: The Introvert’s Drug Of Choice?


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"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.


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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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  1. Robyn says

    I started using heroin at the age of 16. For about 5 years I batteled with a very serious addiction, constantly being in and out of rehab. In all that time I never tried weed. About 10 months ago I smoked weed for the first time at a bike rally after being clean for 2 years from most substances except the anti-depresseants and anti-psychotic I was on at the time. I found it to be a very soothing experience, as if for the first time in my life my mind was completely mine. Since then I smoke at the most once a week, and I completely stopped taking my meds as I no longer have a need for them. All my friends and family say that I seem far more stable, happier and calmer. All in all, cannabis has helped me more than anything else ever has.

    • says

      Hola Robyn,

      It’s terrific to hear marijuana has had such a positive effect in your life.

      These substances have been used for centuries across all kinds of cultures for these purposes and yet it is only when they present a threat to industrial consumerism (the forceful farming of cotton) that they become prohibited.

      I do encourage you also look into non-substance methods of relaxing (tantra, meditation, ‘witnessing’ exercises) as they provide a great balance to the use of marijuana sometimes removing they need all together. Also I suggest looking into vaporizers as they are essential to maintain healthier lungs.

      Warmly,

      Sol

  2. andrew says

    i used to smoke weed to help with my anxiety when i was in high school. i quit to get a job and everything changed. now when i smoke the anxiety rises to the point where it feels like people can hear my thoughts. I don’t know what happened but i cant stand smoking anymore.

    • says

      Hola Andrew,

      The moment in our lives where we choose to consume these sacred plants plays an immense role in the effects we experience.

      In youth our brains are much more open and flexible to the chemical re-balancing these plants produce, as we get older, or during certain periods of our life, it is often the case we develop a certain ‘rigidity’ that is disharmonious with any chemistry changes.

  3. Gaia says

    Wow. Landed here because i’ve found out lately that i’m a HSP with a complicated childhood and wondered what smoking grass could have to do with it. I grew up in The Netherlands in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The hippies were the first “group” of people where i ever felt at home. I turned on in 1975 at 14, tuned in and dropped out 1977. From school, that is. Started working though, and have been at work ever since. Even finished a bachelor study later on. Worked through my childhood traumas and developed myself spiritually. All this, while smoking hash or marijuana daily, ever since 1975, until i emigrated to a more restrictive country a few years ago. But now i’m living in nature. Sometimes i imagine how wonderful the colours would be under influence. But it is, in fact, an even greater feeling to be able, here where i live now, to fully open and hone my pure senses and have all this beauty flowing through. I’m blessed.
    Still, i consider it one of the biggest crimes of mankind that lies, greed and propaganda have turned the holy Tree of Life (= hemp) into something bad and forbidden. On top of the prohibition on expanding your own consciousness, anything made from fossil oil could also be made from hemp oil… all the while nourishing the earth and plant – and animal life. But that’s another topic… ;-)
    Thank you very much for your work. I think i’ll order a copy of Deckmans study.

    • says

      Hola Gaia,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Marijuana provides spiritual nutrients to those who are in need of it during certain periods of their life.

      I agree with you that it’s often easy to feel how much more wonderful the moment would be if we were high but through spiritual work comes a new appreciation for your normal way of experiencing life, and how simple and beautiful it is in its subtleties.

      Hemp is perhaps the biggest injustice of it all, but one cannot expect any less from a materialistic society which demonizes a plant that cannot be ‘copyrighted’.

      I hope you enjoy Deckmans work.

  4. Nobody U know says

    I have discovered that it is the intolerable loneliness which becomes easier to bear if I can smoke. But it also gives me “the stupids” and I have actually renamed a special blend of Girl Scout Cookies…”Unemployment Haze”. But the way life is today for too many of us, I’d rather be unemployed….and high. So sue me.

    • says

      Hola Nobody,

      Why would anyone sue you? We’re all free to do with our lives whatever we find satisfying.

      If you ever are interested in not having to depend on marijuana to numb the feeling of loneliness; you’re more than welcome to read some of our articles on the topic of transforming loneliness into rich aloneness through our Involution work.

      Warmly,

      Sol

  5. Bruce Wayne says

    Great Article, I feel exactly the same way as you described in your article..

    It definitely screws up your Self-esteem, Confidence, Social behaviour, but it return you get Crazy Creative, thoughtful, rapid thinking brain. Also, its a better idea to stay in closed doors & explore your infinitely brilliant brain, then to go out & tolerate other mindless Humans.

    • says

      Hola Batman,

      Marijuana when used responsibly doesn’t have to create those side effects. It can awaken you to your more authentic self, and when using it along side methods of self-growth it has infinite potentials.

      It’s only through misuse or abuse that it can create serious health problems (memory, capacity to concentrate etc..).

      Exploring your inner self is a brilliant idea, there’s an infinite potential within our unconscious to be explored just by closing our eyes under the influence of many psychedelic substances and the right guide present.

  6. Scarlet says

    As an introvert, I feel that smoking weed really helps with making me think even more abstractly just from taking in the external environment and I just keep thinking more and more. It’s like an endless road in my mind with a carnival near the pathway. Seriously! Those thoughts are so easy to come out when I’m writing or talking to a friend or even a stranger, at first, but then it slowly stops and I go back to being a quiet perfectionist when I lose my high (When I’m not high, I tend to feel like my writing needs constant editing and to include more and/or the correct thoughts).

    Unfortunately, I don’t use it as much as before because my only way was through my brother, but he’s been quitting for some job he really wants to get. It doesn’t bother me, but I sure do miss the feeling of it and how easy it was for me to let me express my creativeness while attaining even more creativity, and making friends randomly.

    • says

      Hola Scarlet,

      It is truly amazing the way a few chemicals can completely alter our psychological perception of reality. I’ve known from my own experiences that these substances can awaken you to the possibility of what else there must be out there. What else is it possible to achieve, naturally, without any substances. But for many people thinking about reaching a state of inner peace and psychologically unbiased perception of the world isn’t enough of a incentive, they must experience it to know what’s possible.

      Marijuana is not a physically addictive drug, but I can understand why you’d miss it if you’ve experienced so many benefits from it in your life. I think now thanks to the legalization in some states and countries we’ll be seeing a huge shift in the way we treat and misjudge many of these substances.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with marijuana :)