Weed PAWS or not?

Postby dresco089 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:44 pm

I was a daily smoker for about 2 years, I often took tolerance breaks and never had a problem, insomnia being the only withdrawal. However, the last time I smoked, I had a really bad experience, I felt disscociated and everything around me looked distorted (apparently signs of dp/dr). I then stopped cold turkey. The initial withdrawals I had were quite weird: sleeping a lot, really bad headaches and insane brain fog, which all lasted for about 2 weeks.

Since then I've been off it for 2.5 months now. I started to get really bad digestive problems at around the 1 month mark: constant stomach pain, barely have bowel movements, severe indigestion along other random symptoms such as tension headaches, chest tightness, tinnitus, eye floaters. It seems I have all physical symptoms of anxiety. I also had an endoscopy done and everything is normal.

Drs put me on lexapro 10mg to help with the anxiety and depression. My question is am I experiencing PAWS? And will the lexapro affect my recovery? I've been on many forums and people's experiences relate PAWS to a cluster of different symptoms. Mine are just severe anxiety with insomnia and really bad digestive problems.

Any advice and insight would be highly appreciated!
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#1

Postby tokeless » Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:55 pm

However, the last time I smoked, I had a really bad experience, I felt disscociated and everything around me looked distorted (apparently signs of dp/dr)

DP and DR are often reported here as evidence of PAWS, but you experienced them whilst smoking, so unlikely to be that. Anxiety is very complex and affects people differently and we often see in to things as connected when they are coincidental. Imagine if it was a sunny day, no forecast of rain. I'm sitting at home thinking how nice a bit of rain would be to cool off. It then rains suddenly..... did I make that happen by thinking about it, or was it just coincidence and unpredictable weather? You have been checked out medically so focus on your success in quitting, don't look for things to prove you have XYZ.. Accept you feel different now and in time all will be well. We have one go at life, so don't waste it thinking what if...
Best wishes
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#2

Postby dresco089 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:20 pm

Thank you for responding. Since I've been on the lexapro I have been able to get on with my life a lot more. Will it affect my recovery? I was debating a lot about taking it, but I feel I had no other choice, the stomach pain and digestive problems have really reduced and I'm able to concentrate a lot more which helps for my job. Also what are typical signs that will indicate if its PAWS or not?
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#3

Postby tokeless » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:38 pm

dresco089 wrote:Thank you for responding. Since I've been on the lexapro I have been able to get on with my life a lot more. Will it affect my recovery? I was debating a lot about taking it, but I feel I had no other choice, the stomach pain and digestive problems have really reduced and I'm able to concentrate a lot more which helps for my job. Also what are typical signs that will indicate if its PAWS or not?


Hi, I'm not the best person to ask about PAWS because I'm not convinced it's a thing... I think we like to label things so we can identify with it. I never got any PAWS after 35 years of pretty much daily use. Why not? Am I just an anomaly along with every other smoker I knew who also got none when they stopped other than some night sweats and bizarre but vivid dreams. However, that's just my experience and opinion. All I advise is live your life as a non smoker and move on. Don't trap your mind in the seeking out why you feel this way... you do, and it will pass. I'm probably going to get replies now telling me PAWS is real... so is anxiety but many struggle to accept it's that, so keep seeking the 'truth'. It's a choice I guess. Good luck, try and get off the meds as soon as you can. You can manage your life if you believe you can.
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#4

Postby PAWSsurvivor » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:06 am

PAWS and anxiety disorders are essentially the same thing. I've learned alot about these subjects over time.

Tokeless did you know Claire Weekes used to call anxiety "Nervous Illness"? I hate the word anxiety. People use it too loosely for it to be connected with what symptoms it can really cause. I denied I had "anxiety" because it was never described properly to me. I mean people I know say "I'm anxious waiting in line so long", or "I'm anxious because I need to get so much work done tonight". No one says "I'm anxious I have a massive migraine, reality looks weird, i feel electricity in my body, and my ears are ringing loudly 24/7". If someone could have clearly explained to me earlier on what real anxiety is and what it can do, I may have been more willing to accept it as a true diagnosis. Anxiety is essentially high cortisol and adrenaline. It is harmless (it's meant to help you in a fight against a bear) but it can cause alot of weird symptoms when in abundance.

Whether the symptoms are due to the weed, genetics combined with weed, strain of cannabis, high thc, excessive / mis use, or an individual's fear based reaction to anxiety symptoms, or a combination of the above is up for debate. It doesn't really matter in the end. The solution is the same. Good living habits and giving it less space in your life over time so that your nervous system can slowly unwind.

Tokeless is right, just keep on living life and being kind and respectful to yourself. What if's don't help. If you feel you are in real danger from some symptom, ask a medical professional first and foremost, but it sounds like you already have the support of your doctor.

PS. I recently went to a lecture on anxiety disorders in youth led by some medical doctors in my city. Medical professionals are noting anxiety conditions are on the rise due to weed legalization (at least in my country). ER visits are becoming more and more common after cannabis use. Give it a decade, I wonder what new research will learn about this "harmless" "soft" "non addictive" "herb" that everyone seems to love so much?
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#5

Postby tokeless » Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:12 am

Medical professionals are noting anxiety conditions are on the rise due to weed legalization (at least in my country). ER visits are becoming more and more common after cannabis use. Give it a decade, I wonder what new research will learn about this "harmless" "soft" "non addictive" "herb" that everyone seems to love so much?

I'm more of the belief that man, we are the issue, more than a plant that has been with us for millennia. It is man that has modified the plant to create stronger and stronger strains. We, the consumers have asked for variations and the market created it. I honestly believe when the US saw the $$$ signs, the industry created a monster. Who the **** wants to use 80-90% THC? The industry created the oils, gummie bears, edibles and any other type of product because they wanted $$$$ and **** the consumer, because give people too much choice, they'll make bad ones too. I don't demonise weed... I demonise the market, the people who for all we know have manipulated the plant to have addiction elements?? We don't demonise alcohol because it creates alcoholics and social problems, not comparable to weed. I still think the plant isn't the problem, it's us.
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#6

Postby PAWSsurvivor » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:37 pm

I hear what you are saying. Weed is a substance. It's neither good nor bad, it's just there. And it's how we use it that makes it a positive or negative thing. My thoughts are that our cannabinoid receptors weren't evolved to be tampered with an exogenous substance. We do all sorts of tampering with the human body with medical interventions, so I would understand weed being used in that context. But the average person? I don't buy that it's any better or worse than booze. I think Cannabis plays all sorts of problems in society, but i think it's harder to measure. Just read R/leaves, there's plenty of people there who have had enough of what cannabis brings to their life.
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#7

Postby dresco089 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:10 am

Yeah I don't condone cannabis either, I just believe there are common misconceptions about it being completely harmless. I was just wondering if anyone could relate to my situation/symptoms, they sound pretty uncommon from pretty much every thing I've read regarding PAWS/ marijuana withdrawal.

I will also try to stay off the meds for the least time possible, but I've felt a definite improvement since taking them. According to other peoples experiences with PAWS, SSRIs dont really help them (as dopamine is depleted, and uping serotonin has no effect). This hasn't been the case for me though, that's why I keep thinking is it PAWS or like you guys mentioned an anxiety disorder ?(that was perhaps triggered by cannabis use)
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#8

Postby tokeless » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:54 am

dresco089 wrote:Yeah I don't condone cannabis either, I just believe there are common misconceptions about it being completely harmless. I was just wondering if anyone could relate to my situation/symptoms, they sound pretty uncommon from pretty much every thing I've read regarding PAWS/ marijuana withdrawal.

I will also try to stay off the meds for the least time possible, but I've felt a definite improvement since taking them. According to other peoples experiences with PAWS, SSRIs dont really help them (as dopamine is depleted, and uping serotonin has no effect). This hasn't been the case for me though, that's why I keep thinking is it PAWS or like you guys mentioned an anxiety disorder ?(that was perhaps triggered by cannabis use)



I don't think anyone has stated it's a harmless drug. Very few things are totally harmless depending on how it's used and it's effect on the individual. Prescription meds can be harmful too... however, my advice remains the same.
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#9

Postby mbblock » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:36 am

Hello, I smoked constantly for about 3 years and tried stopping in January. About 3 days in it started. Bad headaches shortly after waking up, eye floaters, hard to stay asleep the usual PAWS ive been reading about on here. At first i wasn’t aware of what was going on i thought i had something wrong with me and I had my eyes and brain checked. I couldn’t take it after 3 weeks and started to smoke again. After coming on here about a month into smoking again i realized i was making things worse and there was nothing wrong with me it was just the weed messing with my senses and all that. I’m now devoted to not smoking anymore and only a few days into it and reading all these posts is scary and makes me realize the fight i have ahead of me. Like why didn’t i just stop in January... I would be 3 months into it and not a few days. The eye floaters and constant headaches are the worst for me right now. This forum is really helpful with staying committed and keeping my head up. If anyone has any tips or anything like that I’d really appreciate it. I’m only 20 and am in school so things are already challenging as i try to figure out what I’m doing with my life. Heres to taking it day by day and taking everything in stride. Thanks for sharing your experiences cause it has helped me. Cheers
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