Consuming weed allows those who experience social anxiety to actually enjoy themselves, instead of allowing their anxieties to keep them on high-alert.
For those with social anxiety who prefer to be alone or in the company of a small group of close friends, social situations involving a large group of people can be quite stressful.
Whenever Cyn Marts, a cannabis writer and editor in Portland, has to spend more than a few minutes at a party, group activity, or public event, smoking beforehand allows her to actually experience and enjoy herself, instead of allowing her social anxieties and panic disorder to keep all her senses on high-alert. Cannabis can dull out the background noise her senses can pick up all around her.
While she likes flower for the immediate effects, as well as the ritual of rolling, lighting, and smoking a joint, when discretion is important, she’ll use a vape or 10-30mg of an edible. She looks for soothing strains that aren’t too heavy, like Strawberry Cough and Purple Hindu Kush. But if she needs to remain energized, she prefers Cinex, which she describes as “having a cinnamon like taste and feels like I’m having a cup of coffee.”
Like Cyn, some of Collen King’s introverted qualities stem from her over sensitivity where she can get overwhelmed by any stimulus. King, who does strategic sourcing for cannabis and specialty coffee, finds that taking cannabis before a social event can help reduce her anxiety and make it easier for her to connect with people. “With cannabis,” says King, “I’m more patient and less analytical. Some times it makes me feel like I have a superpower because I can do things that I honestly would never try without the help of cannabis.”
Her favorite strains are Peanut Butter Breath, Harletsu, and Kosher Kush. Except for family events, she will smoke a 1/2 gram joint throughout the evening. When she’s around family during the holidays, she’ll take a 10mg edible for a very chill evening though increase the dosage to 20mg if people are drinking.
Tyler Hurst, a 40-year-old copywriter for Item 9 Labs and a facilitator for Arizona Yagé Assembly, can easily become inundated by information to the point of sensory overload. He cannabis and ceremonial psychedelics to help him deal with C-PTSD made worse by pretending to be an extrovert for most of his life.
His typical method of choice is to have a low-dose edible before an event (1:1 is best), then a heady dab or two on the sativa side when he arrives. He may take a shared joint which allows him to focus on the smoking, as well as being a bit more social. He may do another dab after 30-45 minutes. Among his preferred strains are Durban Poison, Jack Herer, and Candyland. Also, he likes Delta 8 as a soothing option.
For him, cannabis works better than his previous options. “Unlike caffeine, it doesn’t give me hours of energy that I’ll have to deal with as a deficit later. It’s better than alcohol because it doesn’t change my personality, and immensely better than going sober because it allows me to tune in to what I want while tuning out to what I don’t, just like a good pair of noise cancellation headphones.”