Self-medication with cannabidiol (CBD) and associated treatments in the self-care of anxiety in women from Mexico City: A qualitative study

Rafael Gutiérrez, Leticia Vega

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2021.038

Abstract


Introduction. The popular use of marijuana and its components (THC and CBD) for medicinal purposes is often regarded as irresponsible and ignorant. However, in this paper, it is conceptualized and studied as medical knowledge of self-care, in which it is linked to different therapeutic knowledge from conventional and alternative medicine to treat anxiety.

Objective. This article reports on a qualitative research project designed to analyze the practices and risks of self-medication with CBD, and its links with medical treatments and self-care measures for dealing with anxiety in adult women in Mexico City.

Method. Eleven adult women, mostly professionals, diagnosed with anxiety, participated in the study. In-depth interviews were conducted to learn how women use therapeutic resources to cope with anxiety in their everyday lives. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using ATLAS ti 7 software.

Results. Self-medication is part of a self-care process with several facets: the experience of symptoms, self-diagnosis, the use of various remedies (dosage and administration), and their evaluation. During this process, women use a range of medication, psychological therapies, herbalism, acupuncture, yoga, and sleep hygiene measures, including CBD, either as an alternative or an adjunct to biomedical pharmacology, with or without medical supervision. Certain risks were identified, such as the use of CBD that may be incorrectly labeled or interact dangerously with other self-prescribed substances.

Discussion and conclusion. These results coincide with those of various authors who equate self-care with a first level of care, which has risks that could be reduced by controlling misleading marketing and developing professional medical services, which are trained and accessible to users, who could inform them about the medicinal use, scope and risks of CBD or THC for health.

Keywords


Self-care; self-medication; anxiety; CBD

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