Is marijuana a coping mechanism for bisexual people?

Is marijuana a coping mechanism for bisexual people?

Time we have done With remarkable strides, it’s safe to say that 2023 remains a difficult time for queer people and their basic human right to exist, let alone thrive. So coping mechanisms are necessary, whether it be family support systems, talk therapy, or, well, weed.

This recent small but illuminating study found that people who identify as bisexual used cannabis more frequently than their counterparts of other sexual orientations. Cleverly titled “The Pot at the End of the Rainbow,” the study drew survey data from 10 universities and analyzed responses from 4,700 college students ages 18 to 30. According to the report, coping was one of the main reasons for cannabis use among this group of participants. The data also reflected 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 of the data collected was self-reported by the participants.

Still, the report shed light on two important issues for young people right now. First, marijuana isn’t just a hobby for many people, it’s a way to calm yourself down. However, the 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 a THC high requires a coping mechanism ranging from self-soothing to self-medication.

Second, the study highlights the unique mental health challenges faced by those who identify as bisexual. Bisexual individuals exist in a complicated space where they face stigma for being queer but also often feel left out of LGBTQ spaces and issues. This combined pressure and isolation results in more adverse mental health outcomes.

Illustration: Benjamin Currie/HuffPost

biphobia it is real, as are mental health conditions caused by internalizing stereotypes and invalidating 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 gay or straight, life can feel isolating and scary. Hopefully this research, which is about marijuana but is really about mental health, could be the introduction to a deeper dive.

On a lighter note, the data also found that the second leading reason for cannabis use among those attracted to multiple genders is much less depressing and more joyful. They refer to this as “enhancement.”

“Enhancement is about expanding one’s awareness, being more open to experience and being more creative, so maybe it all comes back to openness,” said Carrie Cuttler, assistant professor of psychology and lead 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, keep fighting for queer rights, and destigmatize marijuana use so adults can enjoy it safely. Puff, puff, preach, investigators!

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