even though we have done significant progress, it’s safe to say that 2023 is still a difficult time for wise people and their basic human right to exist, let alone thrive. And so, coping mechanisms are needed, whether they’re family support systems, talk therapy, or, well, weed.
This is a little recent but enlightening study found that people who identify as bisexual use cannabis more often than their counterparts from other sexual orientations. The study, titled “The Pot at the End of the Rainbow”, drew on survey data from 10 universities and analyzed responses from 4,700 college students aged 18-30. According to the report, dealing was one of the main reasons for cannabis use among this group of participants. The data also showed higher rates of anxiety, depression, cannabis use disorder, and suicide risk within this demographic. Before we dive into the analysis, it is important to note that all data collected was self-reported by the participants.
Still, the report shed light on two important issues for young people right now. First off, for many people weed isn’t just a hobby – it’s a way to relieve themselves. However, researchers were concerned that their bisexual participants reported using not only flowers and edibles, but also concentrates, which are more potent. Many health professionals would argue that high THC takes away a coping mechanism from self-sedation to self-medication.
Second, the study highlights the unique mental health challenges faced by those who identify as bisexual. There are bisexual people in a complex space where they are stigmatized for being queer but often feel excluded from LGBTQ spaces and issues. This pressure and isolation leads to higher adverse mental health outcomes.
Diphobia real, and so are the mental health conditions that lead to the internalization of stereotypes and invalidation of identity by members of the straight and LGBTQ+ community. And because there isn’t much conversation or support for those who don’t identify as gay or straight, life can be isolating and scary. The hope is that this research – which is about weed, but really about mental health – could be the start of a deeper dive.
On a lighter note, the data also found that the second main reason for cannabis use among those attracted to multiple genders was significantly less depression and more joy. They refer to this as “enhancement.”
“Improving is about increasing one’s awareness, being more open to experience and more creative, so maybe it comes back to openness,” said Carrie Cuttler, assistant professor of psychology and senior author of the study.
At the end of the day, if this study teaches us anything, it’s that we need to support each other, continue to fight for people’s rights, and destroy weed use so that adults can safely indulge. Puff, puff, preach, researchers!