While we have made notable progress, it’s safe to say that 2023 is still a delicate time for queer people and their basic human right to exist, let alone thrive. And so, coping mechanisms are needed, whether it’s family support systems, talking therapy, or, well, weeds.
This recent small but enlightening to study found that people who identify as bisexual used cannabis more frequently than their counterparts of other sexual orientations. The study, humorously titled “The pot at the end of the rainbow”, extracted survey data from 10 universities and analyzed responses from 4,700 students aged 18 to 30. According to the report, coping was one of the main motives for cannabis use among this group of participants. The data also reflected higher rates of anxiety, depression, cannabis use disorder and suicide risk among this demographic. Before diving into the analysis, it is important to note that all the data collected was self-reported by the participants.
Yet the report highlighted two important topics for young people right now. First of all, weed isn’t just a hobby for many people – it’s a way to self-soothe. Researchers were concerned, however, that their bisexual participants reported using not only flowers and edibles, but also concentrates, which are more potent. Many medical professionals would say that high THC requires a coping mechanism ranging from self-soothing to self-medicating.
Second, the study highlights the unique mental health issues faced by those who identify as bisexual. Bisexual individuals exist in a complicated space where they are stigmatized for being gay, but often feel excluded from LGBTQ spaces and issues. This pressure and isolation combined leads to higher negative mental health outcomes.
Biphobia is real, as are the mental health issues caused by the internalization of stereotypes and the invalidation of the identity of members of the heterosexual and LGBTQ+ communities. And because there isn’t enough conversation or support for those who don’t identify as outright gay or straight, life can feel isolating and scary. Hopefully this research ― which is about weed, but is actually about mental health ― might be the introduction to a deeper dive.
On a lighter note, the data also revealed that the second main reason for using cannabis among people with multiple genders was significantly less depressing and more joyful. They call it “improvement”.
“Enhancement is about expanding your consciousness, being more open to experience and being more creative, so maybe it all comes down to openness,” said Carrie Cuttler, assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study.
Ultimately, if this study tells us anything, it’s that we need to support each other, keep fighting for gay rights, and de-stigmatize weed smoking so adults can indulge in safety. security. Puff, puff, preach, seekers!
The Huffington Gt