26 People Shared How Cannabis Has Changed Their Lives For The Better
"The stigma with weed to this day is absolutely ridiculous. How could you feel that way about something that's making your daughter live a close to normal life? It's my medicine."
1. "Marijuana helps me relax in a world designed to make a queer BIPOC come apart at the seams. It helps me not take things as seriously and come back to the present moment, when otherwise I would be spiraling. It stimulates appetite and certain indica strains knock me out. I’ve noticed improved/lasting libido effects and in general, it makes me a more creative, happy, kinder person."
2. "I've been using cannabis every day for the past three years, and I use it to gain an appetite, to ease my anxiety, and for overall general pain management. It has helped wonders, way more than OTC and prescribed medications ever did!"
4. "I use cannabis so I can be a happy, functional person. I use it to alleviate anxiety, trauma flashbacks, and twitching. I use it to stimulate my appetite. I use it so I can sleep through the night. Without cannabis, I'm a miserable person that's hungry, in pain, and deep in my bones tired. I am a better person, daughter, sister, friend, and working professional BECAUSE I use cannabis."
5. "I use a cannabis oil to help me sleep (my home is next to a turnpike, it's loud). But I also use it as a creative outlet. I grew up being really talented in art, but the pressure for perfection caused me to completely stop painting for years. When I started smoking, it eased the pressure so I could see things another way. I decided to pick up the brush again and suddenly I was doing the best work of my life! I just needed to relax and remember why I loved to paint in the first place."
6. "I use cannabis to help manage menopause. It's the best thing for menopause. You sleep through all the nighttime bullshit. You see TV and movies make fun of the mood swings, but they are correct, you have no control of your emotions. Take a few hits and you don't want to kill someone talking too much, but you're not high as a kite either."
7. "I have fibromyalgia, connective tissue disorder, and multiple herniated discs in my back. At one point, I was on a fentanyl patch because my pain was so bad. But I’ve been able to get off all narcotics and still have some quality of life thanks to cannabis."
8. "It makes music and sex feel otherworldly. I'm not going to apologize for that either."
9. "I have ADHD, so smoking helps me calm my mind. The way I describe it is like this: normally, my brain is working at like 160%, just endless thoughts going on and on and on with no real break or moment of peace, so when I smoke, my brain function halves, which is still pretty high at 80%, but it’s working pretty much like how neurologically typical people’s brains work at now. Smoking weed just helps me feel normal, it’s the only time the thoughts in my head become more coherent and I can focus on something."
10. "I have suffered from menstrual migraines since I was 12. When they occur, you can see the muscles in my neck and back knotting up like golf balls, it feels like a vice grip on my temples. I can’t eat, I can’t manage to swallow with water or any liquids, if I do I vomit, I can’t lie down, I can’t stand up, I can’t sleep, sometimes I can’t even use the bathroom. Basically, I am unable to function as a human being for 24 to 72 hours. Every medication I have been prescribed either A) did nothing for the pain or B) needed to be taken with food, which was impossible and wasteful since I’d just throw it all up again. When I smoke cannabis, I get instant relief."
"I can do things again, make and eat a proper meal, get to sleep, and I don’t scream at anyone who touches me or turns the lights on. It has helped me more than any doctor, because where I live it is impossible to get medical marijuana unless you are completely terminal. But when the migraines hit me now, I no longer sob while my partner feels helpless to do anything, I don’t wish I was dying just to get rid of the pain, and I come out the other side a lot better than I did when being prescribed opioids."
11. "During the last presidential administration, it helped calm my anxiety while taking in all the news of the day and helped me sleep at night. Also, weed helps with my harm reduction practice so I do not use harder substances in a self-destructive way."
12. "I have severe Restless Leg Syndrome. When I try to relax or I’m required to sit for long periods of time, I get excruciating pain down my legs. It’s terrible at night, leaving me constantly sleep-deprived and riddled with anxiety at bedtime. It’s called RLS because the pain is slightly relieved when you move your legs. It is hard to fall asleep when you constantly have to move. The first time I tried an edible, the pain disappeared. I looked at my boyfriend and asked if this is how your legs were supposed to feel. I didn’t realize I was in constant pain. It allows me to let my body relax as well as fall asleep without the harmful side effects of the prescription drugs I used to take to treat it. I would passionately recommend."
13. "I played hockey throughout my childhood, and by my senior year of high school sustained five-plus concussions, so I could no longer play, on doctor's orders. It's been 10 years and I still have chronic daily pain and other debilitating symptoms. I've been through all of the doctors/specialists in multiple clinics who have always been dismissive and think I'm seeking drugs, never been taken seriously after the fact with no assistance to deal with the continuing physical symptoms and the smallest things are big triggers to make my symptoms worse. Eight years ago, I met my current boyfriend, who has always had a connection to marijuana (still illegal in my state). There are not words to describe how much it helps me. It has been the only thing that has ever given me a moment of relief."
"The stigma with weed to this day is absolutely ridiculous. How could you feel that way about something that's making your daughter/sister live a close to normal life? It's my medicine. I don't feel "f*cked up," I feel relief from my constant pain and the ability to think normally and live my life with less restriction." —Anonymous
14. "I suffer from endometriosis and I had gotten ulcers from how much ibuprofen I was taking. Weed helps so much in dealing with the pain without giving me any more ulcers!"
15. "I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease as a teenager. I had multiple flares that caused me to lose severe amounts of weight, and I suffered extreme malnutrition. A few years ago, I had to have an emergency blood transfusion because my iron was so low it scared my doctor. They put me on meds to treat my Crohn's, but that made me even sicker, and cost thousands of dollars a month. Soon after that I started using cannabis recreationally, and realized that it significantly helped with my Crohn's symptoms. I was able to eat normally, take supplements, and get my life back. I firmly believe I wouldn't be where I am (breadwinner, homeowner, mom of two amazing kids!) without cannabis."
16. "I have an undiagnosed nerve disorder. I had an awful infection in 2015, which has led to slow nerve degeneration. There are days where I cannot control my limbs and they shake uncontrollably. My knees hurt to the point where even sitting/lying down is painful and I cannot stop crying. After a lifetime of condemning weed (I’m a product of the DARE program 😂), I caved and tried some. It is literally the only thing to bring me relief. Sometimes the pain doesn’t go away completely, but I’m able to disassociate my consciousness from it. I don’t know where I’d be without it."
17. "I’ve been using cannabis medically for nearly three years now to help treat PTSD. Not only does it ease my mind and relax my body, it has also assisted in helping me to stop using all prescription pills I was using to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. I know it’s fun to get 'high', raid the fridge, and get a contagious case of the giggles, but using cannabis helps me to stay clearheaded and even-keeled on a daily basis and for that, I will be eternally grateful for this miraculous plant."
18. "Being born with spina bifida, I can honestly say chronic pain has been a daily occurrence for me, especially my neuropathy. Fast forward to age 16, when I smoked my first joint, I never actually KNEW what it was like to experience a moment without pain, to actually be able to get through a day without having to actively think about it. After that day, I made it a regular part of my life and I've never looked back. Doctors have tried so may different pain management techniques from electro stim to opioids, but nothing has ever come close to working for my pain as a big puff."
19. "I have tried EVERYTHING to help me sleep, short of being actually prescribed sleeping pills — though I've tried those in the past, too. I exercise regularly, at the times that are supposed to not keep you awake later. I read before bed and turn off devices. You name it, I've tried it! I have had days where I am so physically exhausted from multiple nights of no sleep that I've just broken down, then still not slept again that night! Then came along our friend marijuana. I am finally able to sleep. I still have good nights and bad nights. But marijuana has given me the ability to finally have a decent night's sleep."
"It's helped me relax, slow down my mind, ease my anxiety... And ahh, lovely beautiful sleep. My personal choice is edibles, I eat some weed chocolate a couple hours before bed." —Anonymous
20. "I use cannabis to manage my mental health (generalized anxiety disorder, persistent complex bereavement disorder, and PSTD). It allows me to remain present in my day to day life as a mom without being paralyzed by sadness, it gives me an appetite when I realize I haven’t eaten, and it helps keep nightmares under control. I’m so thankful to live in Canada and have mental health care as well as an array of cannabis."
21. "I was in a car accident two years ago which left me with a concussion and ongoing back and neck pain. I’m only 26. I have been using cannabis for three years now with my fiancé and it has helped us both tremendously. I don’t have to take heavy pain medications that make me sleepy, but smoke weed instead — which not only helps with the physical pain, but also my mental health. I wake up every morning feeling energized and productive instead of groggy like the pain medication would normally feel. I also use it to treat menstrual cramps from PCOS. I can’t thank cannabis enough for helping me through, it’s the real MVP."
22. "I use cannabis to help control muscle spasticity from my neuromuscular disease."
23. "Honestly, as a college student grappling with so much change during the pandemic, weed has helped me find the energy to actually take care of myself. Showering while high? Incredible. Doing my first skincare routine in weeks while high? Amazing. Eating a mango with my bare hands over the kitchen sink while high? Orgasmic. Even exercising while high is more bearable! And as someone with intense period cramps, getting instant pain relief without worrying about throwing up pills before they start working is a literal lifesaver. I have come to look at marijuana usage as the same as making a hot cup of tea or meditating — it’s a wonderful act of self-care."
24. "I have extremely bad IBS, weed is the only medicine that helps/settles my stomach. I have extreme nausea when I wake up and after meals I feel sick for a few hours, the only thing that helps me dig out of the pain is weed. I have tried many specialists and tried medicines, been tested lots of times, etc."
25. "I’m four months postpartum and I cannot imagine parenting without cannabis. It helps my mental well-being, as well as gut issues I have. I’ve had crazy mom guilt about it, but I know I’m a kinder parent to my baby when I’m gentle with myself. Plus, I honestly wish my parents had smoked weed."
26. "I have severe PTSD from my 26 years in the military. I’d been using antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and regular therapy for years while on active duty, but I was forced to contend with the side effects, because there were no other alternatives. When I retired I began using CBD for my anxiety, and quickly realized that there were little to no side effects. But I went on a trip to Denver and discovered that there are strains of marijuana cultivated to combat anxiety, and this totally changed my life."
"I still take an antidepressant, but it’s a much lower dose, and I no longer take anti-anxiety meds, because the marijuana provides the necessary relief. I don’t know why the military doesn’t consider giving this to their members, it’s not about getting high, it’s about improving the quality of life for those who serve." —Anonymous
The fight for cannabis justice reform is far from over. Head over to Last Prisoner Project to learn about how you can get involved.
Note: submissions may have been edited for length and/or clarity.