Multiple young adults living in Florida have decided to take medical marijuana following their mental illness diagnosis.
The lingering effects of the pandemic have created a rise in multiple mental health conditions, among them, depression and anxiety. For some young Floridians, this has resulted in an investment in medical marijuana, which can help treat multiple health conditions while minimizing the negative side effects of prescribed medications. It seems rising depression and anxiety have to led to more marijuana sales in this state.
Considering the fact that marijuana sales have risen to $30 billion, around 40% more than in 2020, this phenomenon might be affecting the entire country.
WUSF spoke with multiple Floridians, who shared that medical marijuana was becoming a better option when treating their mental health. “I believe that cannabis has been more effective in fighting my anxiety and depression,” said Tatiana Tipton, a student from the University of Florida. “I am diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder,” she said. “After the pandemic hit, I discussed getting my medical card with my psychiatrist.”
Tipton started college in the year 2020, when the pandemic started, creating a spike in her mental health conditions, with marijuana becoming a viable option that didn’t come with many significant side effects. She isn’t the only young adult who’s turned to cannabis for some relief.
Floridians shared that while cannabis helped them manage their mental health, it also eliminated some of the concerns associated with prescription medications. “I just don’t like my anxiety and depression medication because they make me feel like a zombie,” said Tipton.
Joseph Orallo, a physician from Jacksonville, shared that a mix of medications treating different conditions often results in negative side effects for patients. “SSRIs take four to six weeks to absorb within the body,” he said, which can create this period of unease.
“Weed is the alternative,” he added. “The long-term use of weed is still pointing toward dementia, but I have patients who suffer from dementia who still use cannabis because it calms them down.”