How Cannabis Calmed her Anxiety and Became a Passion

Written by Haleigh Hoff February 16, 2021
The People

#weedthepeople is a series highlighting folx in the cannabis community, celebrating each unique and special relationship we all have with the cannabis plant. Today on #weedthepeople we talk with medical cannabis patient Adrea Sustarsic from Pittsburgh, PA.

What's your relationship with weed?

Weed has had such a positive impact on my overall wellness. Most importantly, my mental health. Years ago, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, and as a result, I spent years on medications. From mood stabilizers (Prozac) to scary, more heavy-duty drugs (Valium) for depression, anxiety, etc. To be honest, my initial impression of weed was that it increased my anxiety, but after tons of research and feedback from friends and cannabis users raving about how it helped them, I decided to start experimenting myself.

Eventually, I became a daily cannabis smoker, but it wasn't until I finally got my medical card that I was really able to start honing in on what works for me. Today, I smoke weed daily.

I've got my daytime strains, my nighttime strains, my weekend strains, and everything in between. It helps me manage social anxiety and panic attacks, and is a great alternative to alcohol for me.

In April of 2019, I started my Instagram account as a way to document my weed use and to de-stigmatize cannabis. Over time, my account grew, and has helped me develop relationships with people across the US and beyond who are just like me: healthy, productive people who just love to smoke weed. It's also helped people close to me see that weed isn't "bad". I've seen the Reefer Madness-esque stereotype surrounding the plant start to melt away from people close to me who know about my weed consumption.

I'm a weed smoker AND I'm a productive member of society... who knew?

What have you been enjoying lately and why?

Flower: I've really been enjoying gLeaf flower, especially Zookies (indica), a cross between the strains Animal Cookies and Original Glue. I smoke it after my workday ends and really enjoy it for cooking dinner and cozying up on the couch.

The flower buds are small, so I was a little skeptical at first, but the high is amazing. Full disclosure: the smell is potent, so make sure you've got a good storage situation.

Vape: I'm a huge fan of Standard Farms products. I was drawn to them because of their packaging (I'm a sucker for good branding), and they've got the quality to match. I'm currently loving their Locktite vape cartridge (hybrid). I love it because it relaxes me without the sinking-in-the-couch feeling; making it great for daytime use when I'm feeling extra stressed or anxious.

Fav way to consume?

It truly depends on the situation for me. I'd say overall my favorite way to consume cannabis is smoking a bong. My Session Bong is my absolute favorite, but I usually reserve that for evening use. There is absolutely nothing better than relaxing after a long, productive day in my pajamas on the couch with a nice big bong rip... or three!

During the daytime, I generally stick to vape cartridges since they're so convenient and discrete. I also love edibles, but I try to reserve that for days when I know I don't have much to do and can consume it early in the day.

Anything else you wanna tell us about your relationship with weed?

I understand firsthand how scary and intimidating it can be to come out publicly as a weed smoker, but I have to say it was the most liberating thing I've ever done. It has led to so much personal and professional growth for me. What I'd like to say to other weed smokers who are scared to share publicly: speak out. Be a part of the revolution. It's worth it, and I promise your mother-in-law won't judge you as much as you think she will!

Follow Adrea on Instagram