5 Months Clean -THC - Panic Attacks -Withdrawals PAWS?

Postby CaliGrown » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:36 pm

I can't believe that I am just finding this forum....Ive been told that I am crazy and that it was not the Marijuana that did this to me. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist for panic/anxiety disorder in 2 weeks....

My story, forgive the length.

Ima California girl, home of the homegrown. I smoked since I was 16 years old until I was 19 (2006) moved out of state and stopped. Never remembered any withdrawals but this was before the high levels of THC in the market today. I only smoked when visiting home and such.

Fast forward to January 2019. I was diagnosed with endometriosis, in other words bad cramps (sorry boys, TMI). We currently live in Colorado where it is legal and decided to give it a go to help with the pain. I did for 3 months, smoked 2-3 times a day (just a couple of puffs to get me good) of course turned into an every day thing. No one else around me smoked so of course the smell began to make me paranoid being around everyone else who did not smoke. It was always so much funner with buddies!

Whelp, this was my introduction to cartridges. I started in March 2019 60%-70% THC. I did not know at this time that flower only contained 10%-20% THC, and I was already considered to be a lightweight as it was. As convenient as the pen was of course I began hitting it more often 3-5 times a day.

I had my first mini panic attack on a plane in April. Didn't know what it was and sure didn't correspond it with my vape pen, just thought it was a weird event and was scared to fly (ive never been scared to fly)....kept smoking. Second one happened one month later in the movie theatre. I had to walk out. Arms, hands went numb, heart palpitations, dizziness, couldn't catch my breath, thought I was going crazy. Still did not connect it to the pen.

Fast forward to August 2019. I was going back to Cali to visit my mom, had just ran out of my cartridge and went to get another before flying out. They had a deal on CLEAR brand cartridge, 91% THC....Still ignorant of the statistical comparison of percentage of regular flower, hell yeah! The more the Better! I also believe it to have been a sativa.

Every time I hit this thing I had an attack. Only off one hit. Yet still, I continued to do it believing there would be a different outcome, NO. Heart palpitations, brain fog, dizzy, hands/arms numb, crazy thoughts. I just thought I had a bad batch.

Still I took it with me to Cali, still hit it (just baby puffs so it wouldn't be too bad). I don't know why I kept doing this to myself. Yet i ended up having a terrible attack eventually. Wound up in the ER swearing I was dying. All tests came back normal. EKG, Thyroid, Hormones, Vitamins, Bloodwork, Urinalysis, Kidney function, you name it they tested it. All normal.

I threw the pen away, half full. I didn't care and never looked back (Aug 2019) ... Total amount of time that I had been smoking was 7 months, although 3 of the months was flower.

This was only the beginning. I had random panic attacks everyday almost for many weeks (6-8), I couldn't even get on the plane home. I missed so much work. Every attack led to worry, swearing I was dying with all of the other physical symptoms. Knowing that weed could not be responsible for this....withdrawals aren't like this from weed.

I got home and immediately made an appointment with my doc. Blood pressure was high 150s/90s. He diagnosed me with high BP and put me on meds. Vitamin D was also low, was given meds.

By week 8 attacks were maybe once-twice a week, still had palpitations. It took like 2 days to physically recover from an attack and a few more days to mentally recover, so by the time i fully recovered from the attack (because i would be so tired/fatigued/body drained) it was time for another attack. My doc put me on a 48 heart monitor for the palpitations, I had a resting heart rate of 104 all the time. Heart monitor reported nothing. I pushed for the doc to do more, did an ultrasound of the heart and nothing but minor Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation, apparently very common and nothing to worry about. Still kept pushing. He made me do the heart monitor for a week this time, still nothing.

This is mid Nov 2019. He says it's anxiety. Ive never had anxiety/panic attacks in my life. Ive always been happy, outgoing, awesome, never worried about much of anything. Since all this I became depressed because of my health, swearing I was dying and there was an underlying health issue and no one could help me. Im sure I had other withdrawal symptoms at this time but the panic was the worst for me and all i focused on. I do know at one point, around month 2-3 I was having nightmares and trouble sleeping. But the anxiety/panic was and is the worst for me.

Switched my meds to 25mg Metoprolol in Nov 2019, a BP med that helps control BP and pulse. BP remains in around 110-120/80-90 and pulse is now 60-85. Also put me on 10mg Buspar for anxiety. Was feeling great. Thought I was through the woods with no attack since mid Nov 2019. NO.

Last Tuesday, I had another panic attack. Completely random, although to be completely honest i took a half of a Percocet because my mom gave them to me for my cramps since I stopped the weed. I just hadn't taken them at all because anything that I would take that altered my state of mind (made me calm/drowsy) - even wine. I'd freak out thinking something was wrong with me. But this headache was terrible and I was out and about and didn't have anything else so I thought, just one half, I should be fine? (I used to take Percs before the weed for my cramps so it's not like Im not familiar with it - plus I had been doing so well and thought i was through the thick of this sh**) - I should be ok I thought. About an hour later was when it happened. I immediately knew what it was and all of those symptoms returned as If they had never stopped. I was shaking, BP 175/118 (I bought a BP machine since my BP issues began) pulse was still low though 89 but still felt like my heart was pounding. I was about to go to the ER when my significant other told me to try and calm down. I was able to, eventually...Its been a week since and I'm still having anxiety issues surrounding my attack last week. Its been 5 months since I quit, I can't believe its' still happening.

Ive been on other forums like this, they say weed doesn't do this and that it just made me develop a panic disorder or that i already had an underlying disorder and the weed just "woke it up" I'm so glad that I have found others like me. I almost at the 5 month mark and cant believe it is still happening. I heard about PAWS and considered it but with not too much research or finding others like me, I quickly dismissed it swearing something is still wrong with me. Especially since i don't think that I was smoking enough for this to take this long. But clearly it did something to me and the fact that it happened every-time I hit it, I should know it was the weed. But when you're in your mind during or after a panic attack your mind can really f*ck with you. I really hope that this ends soon....

Female, 31 year old, 175 lbs, 5'7, I don't do other drugs or drink, no tobacco, no caffeine/energy drinks, I could work out more (i'm pretty sedimentary due to when my heart rate increases i freak out) If anyone else whose withdrawals were more on the panic side than other symptoms, please any tips or help would be greatly appreciated. I don't care how long it took for you, any hope that this will end I will take it, gladly and patiently. I just need to know there is hope. I know it has gotten much better but I want this GONE.

Thanks for everyones testimonies, your stories truly inspire and encourage others, I hope you know this.
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#1

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:26 am

Had a similar problem. I only did it once (see my threads) and it gave me panic and I've gotten better but I'm still recovering. It sucks and its not fair at all. I hope it goes away, I want it gone too so I can have my life back, but I dont think I'll ever be quite the same again unfortunately
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#2

Postby SparkleFly12 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:24 am

Hey @CaliGrown,

I only got moderate anxiety from paws; no panic attacks. But I will say that the vape pens messed me up too. When I was smoking flower, Id quit and the side effects would be tolerable and only last a few weeks. But when I started using the 70-90% vape pens, thats when I started having really bad problems. Its been almost 11 months now and just starting to feel normal again.

Cheers, all the best.
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#3

Postby CaliGrown » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:37 pm

Damn! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Yeah, I know for a fact it was the vape pen that got me. Every time I would hit it, it was the same symptoms. I hate myself for not stopping as soon as I experienced them....but I was chasing that high, hoping to get it.

I feel the same, flower was never like this. It’s all the dabbing (I’ve never done it) and vaping with the amount of THC in it and on the market + the additives they add to it that has us screwed up. It’s sad because there isn’t enough research but watch how many cases will come out of the woodworks that confirm it.

I literally thought I was going crazy and something was seriously wrong with me because I couldn’t find any information on it but I knew it was the pen. Thought it was going to be my life forever. I’m so glad I found this forum.

My doctor swears it wasn’t thc and that it couldn’t do this to me and I need psychiatric help. Even some other MJ forums were saying I was crazy and that I must have had an underlying issue that was brought out by it...crazy...I’m just glad to know that it may take some time but this is only temporary. I just want my BP to go back to normal and not have these panic attacks. I can deal with a little anxiety if I have to but not this severe....
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#4

Postby Bthizzleinapickle » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:41 am

I vaped for 8 months quit cuz I had panic attack and a wierd vibrating sensation down my spine when I quit it slowly went away but then after 2 weeks I had extreme panic attacks heart palpitations and pure terror dizzy in public afraid that I did permanent damage , it’s been 8 months now I’ve been clean I’ve been on an anti axiomatic drug called busier one and my panic attacks got less severe over time , today I still have anxiety and dizzy in public but I started working out to relieve stress and anxiety when I’m ready for sleep although working out has helped greatly I still get smaller heart palpitation that seem to bother the sh** out of me , it does get better it takes forever though from what I learned , but the thc vape definitely did this to me becouse I was completely normal before
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#5

Postby CaliGrown » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:15 pm

Hey bthizzle...
Thank you so much for your response. The more that come on here and confirm my story the more validated and relaxed I feel. I went to a marijuanas anonymous meeting yesterday. Not that I have an urge cause I absolutely am done with that sh** but to see if I could find someone like me. I didn’t but it was still nice to talk about it out loud and not be judged. I hate the fact that I was doing so good for about a month and a half and then boom this attack and anxiety are back like a bi***. I was at church on Sunday and had to walk out twice from the social anxiety. So I can totally understand how you feel. It’s hard but I can deal with that as apposed to the panic attacks. That sh** is no joke and the brain is so powerful. Even though I know it’s PAWS it will still convince me otherwise to the point that I believe I’m going to die soon and leave my spouse and kids behind. It’s so crazy. I can wait for this to end because I’m so happy to know that nothing is seriously wrong with me....but I also can’t wait for this sh** to be over!!!congrats on your commitment as well. And thank you for sharing..

Also, with your name are you from the Bay Area (Cali) it’s just reminds me of Mac Dre lol
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#6

Postby SparkleFly12 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:03 pm

Doctors dont know anything about weed related PAWS. its a waste of time going to the doctor and theyll just put you on some powerful drug that'll cause its own problems. Of course, its not cause doctors are dumb; they study science and things that have been researched and weed isnt one of them.

Research into these sort of things is just starting, look up UCLA Health Cannabis Research Initiative, one video thats good is the first 20mins of their "Addiction and Cannabis" lecture on youtube by Dr. Timothy Fong. He lays the research out in that video, currently they are just now realizing that some people suffer from protracted withdrawal (PAWS), but have no idea why some people suffer from it and why others dont.

I think its a really small percentage of people that get a bad PAWS from weed; thats why its not common knowledge; but there are enough people on this forum to show that it is real. I never went to a MA meeting bc I dont feel like I was addicted - quitting and staying off was really easy; but dealing with the withdrawal is hell.

yaddaddamean?
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#7

Postby CaliGrown » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:46 pm

Interesting! Yes, I wondered exactly that. I didn’t smoke that long (7 months) I smoked for like 6 years when I was younger but old school premarket tree, ya know that granddaddy, purple, from my local entrepreneurial business mogul (with no withdrawal symptoms) but not all this craziness today. Crazy how my momma would say not to get it from anybody on the streets because it could be laced/don’t know how it was grown, etc (which is true) but I feel like since it’s become legal this stuff is way more potent/dangerous. I didn’t think that I smoked enough (this time around) to have PAWS, but I know it was the cartridge and amount of THC that was in it. I see others who smoked 10-20 years or have been dabbing and that makes sense (PAWS is still a b**** either way)....but I’m like dayummmm why me???? Probably cause I was a lightweight. Every time I smoked I was the first to tap out. 2-3 passes and I was good. Smoked all day though but never the type to take a blunt to the face. I had no business with 91% nothin!!! But it is what it is....

And yeah I felt hella out of place at that meeting with everyone else trying to quit or only had quit for like 1-10 days and are having a hard time staying on the wagon and I’m like “Yeah, my name is Star and I’m an addict....it’s been five months since I hit my last blunt/pen and I have absolutely no desire to touch the sh** again, but I remember what it’s like to miss/want it if that helps lol” **silence**

And I want off these drugs, the BP meds (metoprolol) and the buspar for anxiety. I want to be completely natural and healthy. But I’m scared if I stop the palpitations and high Bp will come back. So I think I’m going to try and stay on them until I hit the year mark (aug 2020) and in the meantime lose some more weight/get healthy so my chances of low Bp and good pulse are good. I’m not heavy, I’m average/thick. I don’t eat crazy, drink, no caffeine but I don’t work out much. I could do better in the regard.

When I see this psychiatrist in a couple of weeks I’m going to refuse any more meds but hopefully talking to someone will naturally assist with my anxiety issues/panic issues.

And ayyyyyyeeee for the Bay lingo!!! I’m from Sacramento. I don’t know why I thought this site was like a uk site or some sh**
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#8

Postby Bthizzleinapickle » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:41 pm

Close lol I’m from Texas lol lives in SOCal for a year though lol and yea I thought I was going crazy panic attacks were present after quitting heart palps night terrors not eating then not being able to sleep and constantly feeling like i was in a dream where it’s hard to be in the moment got heart tests done by a cardiologist blood tests and 24 hour monitoring everything was normal and if I come off the Buspirone my panic comes back though a little less severe still frightening the medication didn’t work at first I had a shaking feeling in my head headaches fast pounding heartbeat and a choking feeling in my throat after about a month of taking the pills it helped immensely but didn’t cure me now the main problem I have now is mild anxiety and heart palpitations all the time I’m on BUspirone 15 mg so it took away the panic attacks and most of the anxiety but I’m left with heart palpitations all day every day some days worse than others but they are not as severe as they were when I take the Buspirone they help calm them I’m 9 months clean and way better mentally but physically it the godforsakken palps that bring me 10 steps back
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#9

Postby Bthizzleinapickle » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:48 am

Caligrown you said that the BP meds and busspar took away your palpitations??, I’m trying to get rid of mine with now luck they are destroying my recovery ..
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#10

Postby CaliGrown » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:08 pm

Yes! I’m on metoprolol. It manages my BP and steadies the heart. After quitting I was having heart palpitations and a resting heart rate of like 100-105. This didn’t help my anxiety and panic. My first Bp meds (I forgot the name) managed my Bp but I was still having heart palpitations. When they switched me to metoprolol about 2 weeks after taking it my pulse went down to 60s to 80s I was on 25mg a day. Recently I cut down to half of that (I split the pill) because eventually I want to be on no meds. I was also on 10mg of Buspirone but recently took it down to 5mg a day. I’ve been feeling good. Hopefully, I’m through the woods but we know how paws works lol. I still need to start working out though. Are you still in Texas?
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#11

Postby Bombadil » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:01 pm

Thanks for sharing CaliGrown. I know your usage doesn't seem like that long to cause PAWS, but I am convinced that the extremely high THC concentrates will wreak havoc on your system much quicker than flower. When my usage got out of hand, the switch to concentrates played a large role and that's one of the reasons I believe my anxiety and insomnia have been such large issues.

Definitely get on the exercise train if you can. It sounds like you are making progress but don't get upset if it's slower than you would like. Keep us posted on the recovery!

God Bless
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#12

Postby SparkleFly12 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:00 am

Concentrates are terrible for paws...

I used to smoke a lot; a couple grams a day of quality weed; did that for a year. When Id quit, I had mild symptoms for a few weeks - insomnia, headache for a couple weeks, anxiety. I never fully recovered from it before I started smoking again but after 3-4 weeks it was pretty manageable. I did also have some paws symptoms after not smoking even 1 day, though they were also mild.

When I started smoking vape pens (~100mg/day, and herb too but more the concentrates), I started having moderate paws symptoms every day (when not high) - they were about as bad as the paws when I quit herb. When I quit concentrates, holy hell. It was a completely different animal. Incredibly intense; and felt like complete sh** for months. Im at a year now and feel like it did after ~3 weeks of quitting herb.

By THC mass, when using concentrates I was theoretically smoking the same or less than I was before. But obviously hte peak highs were a whole lot higher; I think that plays a big role; as does how long you are high each day.
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#13

Postby Bthizzleinapickle » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:18 am

Caligrown yes I am still in Texas and I’m always having palpitations the Buspirone took away the panic attacks and everything else is healthy but my palpitations won’t go away I’m seeing the heart dr again to run more tests hopefully I can find out why they won’t go away I haven’t tried BP meds yet though I’m 26 and go to the gym often
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#14

Postby weedboy29 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:14 pm

Hi everyone,

OMG.. It’s so scary to read my exact 3 months...
First of all sorry for my English, this is not my mother language.
I'm a 29 male, who was smoking for around 10 years, with smaller breaks. It was almost a daily habit, unfortunately.
Not the US or Canadian big bud weeds, or vapes, but a worse quality weed.
One night (beginning of November, 2019) I was laying in my bed, I was stoned as f*** and i had a sore throat as well. I decided to take one pill for my throat and bamm. Insane Panic attack hit me. My fiancée was away with her parents out of town, so I was completely alone, which frightened me more. I was ended up in the bathtub for about 1 hour, I had to took a cold water bath, but this wasn’t really helpful. Finally I decided to call the ambulance since I was really about to die - at least I felt that way. I had a racing heart, insane heart palpitations, extreme fear of death. Never felt this in my life before. I was literally praying to god which I don’t believe to exist to stop all of this, from tomorrow I will change my life I promise.
I quit smoking weed 2-3 days after this happened, once I realized what happens if I smoke even 1 joint.
Then a few days later I quit normal (Heets) cigarettes as well, after I had a racing heart and palpitations from smoking them, and had to go to the hospital - again, nothing has been found, all tests were OK.

After several tests were made - you name it I had it for sure - nothing has been found, except around 1000 palpitations a day (I had this 24 hours EKG machine on my chest)
They had a special expression for that (for that 1000 palpitations) but I totally forgot what was it. One thing is certain - they said its ok, it may be a common thing for a lot of people I don’t need to worry about it.

The next 4-6 weeks were feel like hell. I had insane panic attacks, social situation attacks, anger attacks, I couldn’t sleep, I felt I was dying, and this is it. I event went to see psychotherapist, but after 30 minutes she gave me a subscription for antidepressants.. Obviously after all of this happened, and as beeing a pendant personality I refused every medicine she offered. I was so scared to take them, what if I can’t stop it, or when I stop taking when that’s gonna be worse than whis? What can be worse then this?
I even stopped alcohols, and my everyday’s coffee to 'save' my heart, not giving extra work or BP to it.

After about 2 months it started to feel better. Not 100%, but surely better. You know what, I’m really glad all of this happened, because:
- I stopped smoking weed and cigarettes
- I’m working out every week now (swimming, gym or squash)
- My brain's cogwheels started to slowly moving again, started to remember all the things what happened a few days earlier
- I started to dream again, after 10 years to be honest. Thanks god these are not nightmares, but rather old memories, or other kind of dreams from my 10-15 years ago (I guess from the time before I started to smoke weed)
- My social relationships were getting stronger, I started to lose my social anxiety which I had sometimes - funny thing but I was a guitarist and singer in a band, we had more than 350 concerts :) so I’m not an antisocial guy type anyway..

CaliGrown mentioned she even stopped drinking wine - well, I felt exactly the same. I even tried 1 small beer on Christmas, but i regretted it after a few minutes. Since then I did not drink any alcohol :(
What is bothering me, that almost 3,5 months passed, and I just had a bigger panic attack again, that is why I decided to visit this forum. I still feel like something is wrong with me, I have a hidden, or undiscovered heart problem, and soon I will going to die.
On the other hand my brain knows this is all because of PAWS, but who can tell when it’s gonna end?
What I realized that its more likely hits me if I’m laying on the bed or doing nothing. If I keep my brain occupied with something to do, that’s more likely to be OK. What I also realized that these “chest fear” feeling is starting from the abnormal heart palpitations.
I want my normal life back, I literally cried today because my recent panic attack. I can’t take this anymore, I don’t want to have these anxiety attacks :(
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