I have used marihuana for approximately seven years to treat a variety of symptoms which have been recurrent and not effectively treatable with other medications. The most common symptom for which I use marihuana is lower back pain. My physicians have been unable to determine why I experience lower back pain. I dont have a guess either, but it is a frustrating burden to bear since I am in my 20s and frequently cannot endure more than an hour of exercise due to the pain. I also use marihuana to treat my recurrent headaches which, if left untreated or improperly treated (i.e. with over-the-counter drugs), will rapidly progress to the level of a migraine. This leaves me in agony and able to function only sub-standard in school, at work, or in my social life. Stress and its related problems, such as muscle tension, inability to focus, and irritability have also been assuaged with the use of marihuana.
I would like to point out that I do not use copious amounts of marihuana to treat these problems. Normally I use the same small amount every time (approximately ¼ of one gram). I find that almost immediately virtually every aspect of my daily routine is improved. I am more social, not because of the marihuana directly, I think, but because I no longer experience the physical pains. I am free to think clearly about what I am doing and what I will be doing, and I am less cynical about life in general.
I thought at one point that perhaps I was using marihuana as an antidepressant or social lubricant. As it turns out, I amjust not the way I thought I might be. I wanted to be sure that I wasnt using it only to make life more bearable because I was too mentally weak to handle reality without the use of a mind-altering drug. After increasing my self-awareness and relying on the opinions of my friends and relatives (many of whom were not aware of my test), I came to the conclusion that when I am not in agony with back pain, migraines, or stress, I am more social, friendlier, more positive, and able to think more clearly. This is without the influence of marihuana. I consider this to be my normal state of being. However, when the pains come, these qualities dissolve and I become irritable, self-conscious, unfocused, and generally negative. This is either with over-the-counter medications or with nothing at all. I consider this an abnormal state of being for me. Finally, when the pains come and I use my standard amount of marihuana, I return to my normal state of being.
I realize that there may be quite a few confounding factors and that my experiment was very rudimentary, but I still support my conclusion that marihuana returns me to my normal state of being.