Newly published research suggests that Marijuana use can relieve the intense discomfort of social exclusion.
Marijuana has been used to treat physical pain, and the current findings suggest it may also reduce emotional pain. – Research team led by University of Kentucky psychologist Timothy Deckman
Deckman and his colleagues are building on two lines of recent research: One that shows the pain of social exclusion is more intense than previously believed, and another revealing that physical pain and emotional pain travel similar pathways in the brain.
The first incorporated data on 5,631 Americans, who reported their level of loneliness, described their marijuana usage (if any), and assessed their mental health and feelings of self-worth. Not surprisingly, the researchers found a relationship between loneliness and feelings of self-worth, but it was significantly weaker for regular pot smokers.
Another experiment, featuring 537 people, found those who were experiencing social pain were less likely to have suffered a major depression in the past year if they smoked pot relatively frequently.
Those who smoked marijuana relatively frequently felt less threatened than those who smoked it less frequently, or not at all.
Together, these studies show that “marijuana use consistently buffered people from the negative consequences associated with loneliness and social exclusion,” Deckman and his colleagues conclude. But buffers are of limited usefulness.
In that sense, avoiding social pain by smoking pot does not necessarily address its root cause. It does work, at least for a while, but it’s also a way to avoid dealing with the underlying issue.
If you are dealing with social exclusion, I recommend consistent meditation and an open, honest inner dialogue. This has helped me find the true cause of underlying issues I was unaware of consciously. A psychedelic trip under the right conditions and with a positive inquisitive mind-set was also very helpful.
In the end remember to do whatever feels right for you, and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
> Pot Relieves Loneliness | PS Mag