on 06.13.2019

I smoked pot recreationally when I lived abroad in Europe. During one unforgettable afternoon smoking with friends, I had a sudden, severe paranoia attack. I stood up and started yelling, “Oh my God, I’m going to die.” I kept repeating it for a half hour. My heart raced uncontrollably. My blood pressure soared. Friends hauled me into the shower, put me to bed.

The next morning, I was better but another subsequent, sudden attack (sans marijuana) sent me to the hospital and eventually back to the US. That was the beginning of my anxiety/paranoia attacks that lasted for about two years (though none were as intense as the first). I got therapy and swore off weed for good. I was living abroad. Lord knows of that pot was dipped or what it was rolled with.

Fast forward to earlier this year (some 20 years since the aforementioned incident). I’m living at home, caring for an ill parent. Stressed for years. Continued body aches and inflammation and interstitial cystitis. A good friend recommends a hit of her joint to take the edge off. Hesitantly, I tried it. Pot is better nowadays, she explained. We have strains. We know where it’s grown. You can find low THC blends.

Craig, I slept better that night than I’ve slept in years. I didn’t realize how much stress I’d been carrying until then. And my cystitis pain was notably diminished. Second time I tried that strain I was couchlocked. I don’t like anything that messes with my perception of time and space so I’m on the hunt for low-THC/high CBD strains I can vape.

Sadly, I can’t talk to hardly anyone about this and definitely no one at church. I’ve never gone to work or church high. It’s not something I’d do and plan to leave the house. I don’t want to be a stoner; I just want something to take the edge off sometimes, in the same way that people have an glass of wine and in a way that’s not ibuprofen or naproxen. I’ve been taking them for years and I worry about the long term effect. I’m struggling with whether this is OK for me or not and the link from THC to anxiety and paranoia.

What Do You Think About Cannabis?