Life can be hard. Every year, people are faced with new, unexpected challenges in their personal and professional lives—these trials sometimes alter the characters of individuals themselves. Whether losing a loved one, changing careers, or going through a divorce, these sort of life alterations leave people forever transformed. More often than not, exactly how people choose to cope with traumatic life changes dictates the sort of transformations they undergo as a result of said experiences.
For those regular cannabis consumers out there, it is important to be conscious of how this drug is being used in one’s personal life. While there are a number of credible studies showing that CBD rich cannabis products can help curb psychological abnormalities related to life change, abuse of marijuana can also inhibit one’s ability to cope with certain stressors.
Those individuals whom cannot properly cope with the stressful “ups and downs” that life brings can sometimes develop mental illnesses. For example, according to the website Psychology Today: “Adjustment disorder is an abnormal and excessive reaction to an identifiable life stressor. The reaction is more severe than would normally be expected and can result in significant impairment in social, occupational, or academic functioning”. If improperly addressed, adjustment disorder can lead to a number of psychological disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Young adulthood (ages 14-21 yrs.) is often the age demographic most prone to developing adjustment disorder and its subsequent manifestations in psychological illnesses. Perhaps this age group experiences adjustment disorder at a more significant rate than others due to the amount of transitioning occurring in these years—including experiencing puberty, experimenting with sexuality, and the leaving of the childhood homes.
A study featured in the Society for Addiction Study Journal by Professor David Fergusson draws some interesting correlations between cannabis use and adjustment disorder in young adults. This article shows that problems with adjustment disorders lead to a higher percentage of cases of cannabis abuse in youths. These findings are rather unfortunate, as turning to substance abuse as a coping mechanism at such young ages can lead to life-long afflictions. Moreover, the ages of 14-21 are very important years in the emotional and mental development of human beings—the overindulgence of any substance in these years can have negative effects.
It is also worth noting that substituting substances for healthy coping mechanisms in stressful, transitional periods of life can not only galvanize habitual patterns of anxiety and depression, it can wholly retard one’s ability to cope in the future.
On a more positive note, CBD has been shown to help lessen the intensity of mental disorders that arise as symptoms of adjustment disorder—namely that of anxiety. To illustrate, an article published by the United States Library of medicine features a study in which Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder, or SAD, is treated with CBD. In this test, the directors administered CBD to control subjects during trials of public speaking and found that those who had consumed the cannabinoid experienced far less anxiety than those that did not. While these findings are quite promising in relations to quelling symptoms of adjustment disorder with cannabis, they in no way embolden the notion that individuals should medicate with marijuana during transitional life periods.
In summary, adjustment disorder can lead to some extremely debilitating psychological afflictions—these can only worsen without proper coping mechanisms. With this in mind, people should be extremely conscious of choosing when, and why, they consume cannabis during life transitions.
Kent Gruetzmacher M.F.A. is a Colorado based freelance writer and the Director of Business Development at Mac & Fulton Talent Partners (www.mandfconsultants.com), a recruiting firm dedicated to the indoor gardening and cannabis space. He is interested in utilizing his M.A. in the Humanities to critically explore the many cultural and business facets of this youthful, emergent industry by way of his entrepreneurial projects.