Is weed/cannabis safe? Depersonalization and derealization

  • I am not a doctor, this is not health advice. This is my experience.
  • Weed for the most part is physically safe
  • The real risks comes from its psychological effects
  • Weed is not for everyone. That is the bottom line.

I was introduced to weed when I was at university and what started off as a good experience soon became a nightmare. I remember my first experience smoking that marked the turn. I blazed a joint, was chilling in my room and then it hit me. My heart was racing HARD and fast. All I could picture in my head was my own heart. Almost every experience after that one was bad.

Fast forward a few bad experiences, this was what I was suffering with:

  • Depersonalisation/derealisation
  • Panic attacks
  • Heart felt like it had something wrong with it. Felt like I had mould clogging it. It’s hard to explain.

The derealisation was brutal. After my bad experiences, reality didn’t feel real. I’ll try and explain this the best I can to those that haven’t experienced it. To those that are experiencing it, it goes away after 1-2 years.

So my experience with derealisation was that reality didn’t make sense. My senses just weren’t lining up. I could hear and see something, but it just felt OFF. I remember taking a sip of a water bottle, and hearing the noise would freak me out because even that felt strange. The noise just entered my brain and felt foreign. Whenever I was cooking something, I would look down at the pan, and whenever I stirred, I felt like my stirring was out of sync with what I was seeing. The best way I can describe it is that nothing makes sense any more.

This continued for a year. One time I remember I was out in the garden, and just sitting next to a tree felt so foreign to me. It felt like I was there but wasn’t there. Looking up at the sky felt weird too, that didn’t feel real either. My mind started to ponder and I genuinely felt like the world wasn’t real at this point. I started to believe whacky ideas about aliens. At this point, I had nothing to believe in, so aliens it was.

It really was a terrifying ordeal. I had panic attacks every day, and the only thing that got me through them was putting my headphones in and listening to calming music. No lyrics though. Any lyrics would scare me, so it had to be classical or some angelic stuff. I googled derealisation to learn that people also suffered from this, and they too had a hard time explaining it, but they said it lasted a year or 2 before they returned to normal. It was imperative however that one must stop taking any drugs and try to be as active as possible to overcome it.

What have I learned from my experience?

  • Not everything is for everyone
  • Weed caused or exacerbated a problem in me
  • I have lost nothing by quitting weed

Getting high was a good experience when it lasted, but some of my best life experiences and happiest moments was prior to me ever smoking weed.

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