The Cannxiety Chronicles
By Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan
When I mention that I teach weed, the common reply I hear is, “What’s there to teach? You get high”. As an advocate, this is frustrating. Treating cannabis like a weekend party drug ignores thousands of years of history and millions of personal testimonials. Instead of sparking conversations on the medicinal benefits of cannabis, today’s conversations tend to still focus on its so-called “recreational” use. You know your favorite Uncle here enjoys a good recreational joint on a daily basis. And I have absolutely nothing against a Rick and Morty marathon smoking sesh.
But I also know that there is a large percent of the cannabis community that relies on cannabis to just get through their day. Some people use cannabis to address physical challenges like sleep or pain management. Others use it for symptoms related to the mind like anxiety or depression.
I use it for both, myself. When I am feeling the effects of anxiety, before a speaking engagement for example, I will consume some cannabis. When I am having trouble falling to sleep, I will consume some cannabis. And when I am in the mood for hours of Pickle Rick and a large cheese pizza, I will consume cannabis.
The Cannxiety Chronicles is a 6 part series dedicated to the use of cannabis as therapy for alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. We will cover some of the specific reasons why cannabis helps bring relief to so many battling these very real mental health challenges.
One important note first. While we will be focusing on anxiety and depression specifically, those are also symptoms of PTSD. So if you have been diagnosed with PTSD but not anxiety or depression, you still may benefit from these articles.
We will start off with the inspiration for Cannxiety 2022, anxiety. People can experience Anxiety (and Depression) for a number of reasons. Trauma, stress, environment, personality and certain health factors can all contribute to someone’s chances of developing anxiety and/or depression.
There are many symptoms of anxiety as well. Trembling, increased heart rate, muscle tension, nervousness and even agoraphobia can be things experienced by those with anxiety. These can also be lessened and controlled with cannabis use.
For example, cannabis can lessen the effects of panic tremors by calming the body. It does this via the GABA neurotransmitter. GABA levels are common targets for anti-depression drugs. Remember from cannabis class, a neurotransmitter is a signaling molecule that has been released by a neuron for the sole purpose of carrying the signal to a receiving neuron, muscle, or gland.
Next time we meet, we will discuss other symptoms of anxiety and how cannabis helps alleviate them in Part 2. In keeping with my belief that sharing is caring, Part 3 will discuss my personal experiences with anxiety and cannabis. Parts 4 and 5 will cover depression, with Part 6 dedicated to a select group of stories I have selected from my readers and been given permission to share. The freedom and ability to be heard is a very important part of my advocacy work. I believe in it so much, I have dedicated over half my life to the advocacy and education of cannabis to the public.
I have decided to focus a large part of Uncle Chuck’s Cannabis Camp (theuccc.com) on educating the heart and not just the mind when it comes to cannabis education. The ADaPT Program will highlight cannabis use for those facing PTSD-driven and NON-PTSD driven anxiety or depression.