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Bad experience with marijuana?
April 3, 2011 12:44 PM   Subscribe

I had a very bad experience with marijuana recently, and I’m looking to figure out what caused it, and how I can stop it from happening again.

I first started experimenting with marijuana with my boyfriend, who is what one might call an “experienced stoner,” close to a month ago at this point. The first two or three times I tried smoking, basically nothing happened, at most I was a little giddy. After that, I got high the next two times we smoked.

The time after that was—for lack of a better word—insane. Or rather, I felt like I was going crazy. We had smoked a bowl together, and for the first time it was evenly split. I had probably 10-12 hits, which was a pretty big increase from the previous 3-5 coughed and fumbled per session.

I started feeling incredibly woozy and had to sit down, but then was all right in like a minute. We were outside, and walking back up to my room was…surreal, I guess. At first it was just like my mind was a tiny bit disconnected from my body, although not necessarily badly, just a little floaty. By the time we got back up to my room, though, it was entirely different. I started feeling incredibly dizzy. I had a hard time standing up, so I sat on my bed. Looking around, it felt like the world wasn’t three-dimensional anymore. Or, rather, it was like the room was a photograph with multiple exposures, or like a movie reel was slowed down to the point where you can see the different frames for a split second.

In a strange way, too, I lost track of time. It felt like things I had done five minutes ago were hours and hours ago. I couldn’t hold the train of a conversation in my head, because it felt like every sentence was hours ago. Apparently I wouldn’t stop moving around, but I don’t really remember that. It also felt like every thirty seconds, every time I forgot, but I was waking up over and over again, from a dream within a dream, within yet another dream.

All of this sounds perfectly fine and just like a strange occurrence now, but when it happened, it was quite possibly the most terrifying experience of my life. I felt like I was paralyzed, except I could clearly move. I felt like the world wasn’t real, except I could interact with it, and the dimensions changed to suit my perception based on location. I think I probably started hyperventilating, though I don’t really know for sure. Basically, I was scared to death. I just wanted to go to sleep and not have to feel like this any more, which I eventually did, probably about 45 minutes after this all occurred.
The next day we smoked again, because I didn’t want to leave the weekend on a bad note. I had like two tiny hits, and it was fine, I just got giggly and warm feeling.

The next weekend we smoked again. The first and second nights were fine, although I didn’t smoke very much at all, and I took my time between hits. The third night I smoked, the same thing happened as before, but after only two hits (admittedly largish and close together). Time slowed down again, but more than before. I couldn’t even respond very coherently to anything, because I couldn’t even remember the important parts of the sentence because 30 seconds felt like an hour. We listened to some music, and a song that I know was no longer than 2 minutes felt like hours long. My vision was all jolting and multiple exposure again, but it was worse than before. I started crying on my boyfriend’s shoulder (I don’t even remember why, I was upset about some small thing that had magnified itself in my mind). This time I didn’t get as anxious about the actual experience, mostly because I had some idea what was going on, but it was a worse feeling and all I wanted was for it to be morning and to be sober again.

Possibly relevant information: I’m a nineteen year old, slightly underweight female with significant anxiety problems (currently in therapy). The two bad nights I had some negative feelings earlier that day, but I thought they were resolved by the time I smoked (I try to always go into situations involving substances in a good state of mind). Reconstructing the timeline in my mind, it is possible that both of the bad nights were right before I started my period.

I’ve seen this question, and a lot of the experiences that the asker talks about have happened to me. I found that after the first time, though, and I tried to heed all of the advice that was given.

I guess my question is; how do I make sure that this never ever happens again? Is there something I’m not thinking of? I tried drinking and eating the second time, because I read that that would help, but it didn’t at all. What am I missing? I enjoy the little giggles and the altered perception that a good time brings, but after this, I’m seriously considering never doing this again. Help?
Throw-away email is badmarijuana@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (58 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
It sounds to me like you were just high.

Not everyone likes the effects of marijuana.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 12:51 PM on April 3, 2011 [21 favorites]


Marijuana can cause you to feel paranoid... you can't make sure it won't happen again unless you don't smoke again. But if you really want to smoke, I would recommend smoking less and smoking less high quality weed so you don't get so stoned.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:54 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Agreeing with e,l,f . Just sounds like you were high, and your body doesn't do high. Happens to some people.
posted by deezil at 12:54 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're in therapy for anxiety? Any chance you're on SSRIs as well? Years ago, I had to drive a friend home from a party after she had a particularly bad experience on weed. As it turned out, she was on an SSRI of some kind. Her doctor's comment when she mentioned it to him later was "yeah, that's a REALLY bad idea, don't do that any more"
posted by deadmessenger at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


significant anxiety problems

This jumps out at me. When I was at the height of my anxiety disorder (panic attacks every day, etc) marijuana was a significant trigger. It can calm some people, but it can trigger anxiety/panic in others.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:56 PM on April 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


For all things in life, moderation is key. If you had 12 hits that could be a huge dose of pot. I couldn't/wouldn't ever have more than 2 or three. Maybe you are hyper-sensitive to pot and it will never be a good choice for you. That is possible. You'll live a wonderful life without ever having any. Make sure you are not consuming anything else that is exacerbating your perceptions. Marijuana will exacerbate perceptions all by itself. Losing sense of time and paranoia are common. If you ever try it again, don't take more than 1 or 2 puffs and wait to observe.
posted by nogero at 12:56 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pot isn't necessarily for everyone, and it can fail to play nicely with anxiety (which I always seem to forgot whenever I try to smoke my way out of a panic attack). If you want to continue smoking, set a pretty low limit as to how much you'll smoke. You may, however, just have to give it up, for now.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:56 PM on April 3, 2011


Thirding that you were just really, really high. Some people like that kind of commatose, can't get out of a chair feeling, some people hate it. Anecdotally it's people who tend towards anxiety and/or are very "controlling" people.

Also, that's a ton of weed smoking.
posted by Patbon at 12:57 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah you got high.
Apparently I wouldn’t stop moving around, but I don’t really remember that. It also felt like every thirty seconds, every time I forgot, but I was waking up over and over again, from a dream within a dream, within yet another dream. -That sounds like my old acid trips.

The thing about some drugs is that is what people want them to do, to disconnect them or slant their perspective. Most people are ready for this, some people get overwhelmed,some people keep doing drugs in the hope of getting overwhelmed again.

If it helps, the more your body becomes familiar with the sensation the more you will be "in control" of the results of getting high.
posted by Max Power at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2011


Anxiety and pot don't mix well. Smoke less or not at all. The first few time I smoked I got SUPER high. Don't drink before hand and make sure you've had something to eat, too.
posted by captainscared at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2011


Don't smoke as much. Seriously.

You were high. Actually, after "10 or 12 hits" you were very, very, very high. Your experience sounds exactly like mine the first time I got cooked (which happened three or four months after I first started smoking) and the first time was actually scary, in an uhhh will this ever go away??? kind of way. I don't get that high every time I smoke, but it happens now and then.

Also, don't let your boyfriend push you into anything and don't push YOURSELF into anything for fear of disappointing your boyfriend. The next day we smoked again, because I didn’t want to leave the weekend on a bad note. That? Is bullshit. Not wanting to smoke is not leaving the weekend on a bad note. Tell yourself that. Bull. Shit. Cut down on the smoking and don't smoke if you're pressuring yourself to do so. Not fun, not right, not advisable.
posted by lydhre at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2011 [24 favorites]


I think you probably smoked too much for your tolerance level. For someone who hasn't smoked before, 10-12 hits is going to get you absolutely wrecked. Start off smaller, and work your way up. Your experiences seem very normal - that's what a cannabis high feels like. Nothing to be worried about, really - just don't smoke as much and you likely won't be as panicky.
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2011


How to make sure this doesn't happen again? Stop smoking pot.

(Note: I come from Humboldt County. I am about as pro marijuana as they come. But, as previous commenters have said, marijuana isn't for everyone.)
posted by mollymayhem at 12:59 PM on April 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Check this question of mine. I'm fine. You were just very high.
posted by elektrotechnicus at 1:00 PM on April 3, 2011


You pulled a whitey. Basically, you took more cannabis than your body/mind knew how to process, and so the hallucinogenic effects were overwhelming. Sometimes inexperienced or occasional smokers will have an unpleasant response to either (a) smoking too much, or (b) smoking something much stronger than usual. Nausea, dizziness, pale skin, feeling clammy, the world spinning out of control -- these are all natural physiological responses to what is basically an OD of cannabis.

Having said that, you cannot OD on cannabis. Just to be clear, you may feel ill, in the same way you'd feel ill if you ate too much ice cream. But it's not like alcohol; you can't poison yourself with weed. So even if you do have such a horrible experience again, don't worry about it. Keep plenty of fluids on hand, with electrolytes. The only solution to smoking too much is to sleep it off or wait it out.

Now, as for making sure this never happens again, you have a few choices. You can never smoke again, which I'm guessing is not the answer you're looking for. Or you can be very careful about how many hits you take and how close together they are. Sometimes, when you're under the influence, you may feel pressured to 'keep up' with others, but you never want to attempt to keep up with a serious stoner if you're not one yourself. It will make you feel sick. Space your hits out -- wait a good fifteen minutes, maybe even set a timer (since your sense of time gets screwy when you're high) -- between hits. The only way to measure this is through a bit of trial and error, but it's better to be just a little giggly than it is to be wasted to the point of feeling ill.
posted by brina at 1:00 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


It sounds like you and pot don't get along in large amounts.

It's okay if you decide never to smoke it again, and you don't have to explain why if you don't want to. Anybody who isn't okay with that isn't worth having around.
posted by SillyShepherd at 1:02 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Smoke slower. Just like there's a big difference between slamming a bottle of wine in 5 minutes and sipping it over the course of a meal and dessert - pot is the same. It takes your body a little while to start feeling high. If you keep smoking frantically because you want to keep up with the circle without checking with yourself to see how you are feeling, you will probably end up wayyyyy higher than you need or want to be.
posted by coupdefoudre at 1:03 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't do something that you don't want to do. There are consequences - next time, be confident and smoke it, other emotions don't mix with being High.
posted by Johnkx at 1:05 PM on April 3, 2011


Your, uh, "experienced stoner" boyfriend should probably have known that you taking 10-12 hits was going to screw you way way way way up. He might be able to handle 10-12 hits because he's so "experienced", and his body is habituated to it (meaning, his body is tolerant because he smokes so much). This is the basics of how recreational drugs work.
posted by so_gracefully at 1:07 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you enjoy how you felt after 3-5 hits, then "give up marijuana completely" is terrible advice. You don't need to give it up completely, you just need to go waaaaay slower, and only have like 3-5 hits.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:07 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like to divide the intensity of the effects of marijuana into three categories: buzzed, high, and stoned. A buzz is what you describe after a few hits: giddy and warm. High is when you are noticeably feeling the effects of marijuana, but still mostly giddy and warm. Stoned is when you get the full-on hallucinogenic effect with distorted space-time, eerie perceptions, and altered states. Even when I smoked, I didn't like being stoned so much. Three times I lost my sight for the duration of the high (scary! but interesting) and mostly I just want to lie down and sleep/rest it off. No need to go there, really. Not when a buzz or a high is good to you.

If -IF!- you choose to do it again, take one to three hits only. Don't jump from 2 or 3 hits to 10 or 12.....stick with 2 or 3 and if you want more take another 1 or 2. It ain't a contest. The hardcore smokers I (used to) know rarely did more than 3 or 4 hits. (The stuff grown these days is bred to be increasingly more potent.) And make sure you feel safe and are in a good space, in all aspects.

Take care! You're okay!
posted by Jezebella at 1:08 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You were super baked and you didn't like it. Either don't smoke that much or dont' smoke at all.

Time distortion is one of the most well known effects of being stoned, btw.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:09 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is precisely what happens to me when I smoke too much, so I seldom smoke, and when I do, I take small hits (don't fill my lungs, don't hold it in very long) and I only take a couple hits. I never smoke from a bong as that was always harder for me to control. A couple small hits gives me a nice buzz, but I'm still totally in control of my brain. I have anxiety issue too, so it's probably a bad combination. But, to echo what others have said, it's fine to say no. Pot doesn't work for everyone, and there's no point in doing it if it's a bad experience.
posted by Ms. Toad at 1:11 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, it's very common for smokers in a group setting not to all smoke the same amount. At some point as it winds its way around the circle, someone will say "I'm good" and pass. If you like where you're at after three hits, stay there. If you start to come down, take another one or two if you feel like it.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:11 PM on April 3, 2011


Were you smoking reggies or high-end stuff? There's some evidence that growers selecting for maximum THC in their strains have inadvertently bred out other cannabinoids that have anti-anxiety properties.

+1 for just smoking less per session also.
posted by ofthestrait at 1:12 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should add that you also want to make sure you're smoking in a comfortable setting. You need to be in the right frame of mind - don't smoke if you've recently had a traumatic experience.

Remember, how you smoke matters too - bongs and vaporizers can be really deceptive, and you might not realize how high you're getting until it hits you. I would recommend starting with less efficient methods of smoking, to see if cannabis is something that's really for you. It's OK if it isn't - but to find out you're going to need to start off with a lower dosage.

Finally, don't try to fight your high. Recognize that your perception is being altered by a drug, and try to go with the flow. If you panic and try to control things, you're going to have a bad experience. Remember: you're just high; you're going to be fine.

Hope this helps.
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 1:13 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You were really really high. That's usually not fun. Try to smoke less next time. (I've had similar experiences - where i lose depth perception and a sense of time, and i hate it. It is sort of terrifying, as you said.) And try to remember that different types/batches of pot have different strengths and effects, so don't assume that smoking the same amount will get you the same effect.

Smoking pot is like adding salt to cooking - go slow, do a bit at a time, because its easy to add more but impossible to fix if there's too much all at once.
posted by Kololo at 1:15 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Your, uh, "experienced stoner" boyfriend should probably have known that you taking 10-12 hits was going to screw you way way way way up

seconded.

Also, in addition to not smoking as much in general, take smaller hits. Smaller hits is the key for me. I barely ever smoke and I once accidentally took one huge hit and very nearly passed out. Really unpleasant experience. Smaller hits are the only way that I can actually monitor how high I'm getting before I'm way too high (I don't enjoy myself if I'm at all past being a little giggly).

And it's fine to not like being really high. (Or high at all! If you keep having bad experiences when you smoke, don't let other people telling you how great it is make you keep doing it.) Smoke as much as you want to get you to where you want and then stop. And remember that you might have to wait for it to catch up to you. Passing isn't a big deal.
posted by geegollygosh at 1:24 PM on April 3, 2011


I once knew a guy who was a full-time dealer (friend of my boyfriend-at-the-time), and he always kept a supply of orange juice in his fridge. He gave it to friends and customers who were "greening out" after smoking too much.

I think his MO was give the inexperienced smoker a glass of water and then a glass of OJ. He claimed it brought them back down to where they weren't utterly wasted, back to the giggly stage. Purely anecdotal, and it may even just be a placebo, but you might want to give it a try if it happens again.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:39 PM on April 3, 2011


Uggh, this is exactly what happened to me the first time I really smoked. And last time, because I hated the loss of control feeling. I did too much because I didn't feel what I thought I should feel when "high" after I had just a little bit. So I kept up with my "experienced stoner" friend and went waaay overboard. He told me the next day (after he apologized a ton) that the feelings I was describing, which to me were super scary, sounded fun to him. So, I feel like people interpret similar effects differently, and maybe pot isn't my drug, or yours. That's OK!
posted by MadamM at 1:42 PM on April 3, 2011


Frankly, I'm a little jealous. It's been a lot of years since my brain cells reacted that way. Trippin' balls was fun! Of course, none of it is "real" real—clearly, one can't put any trust into one's psychedelic sensory input. It was sometimes a little intense, but always relatively interesting and never actually dangerous. It's not like marijuana makes people want to fly or play chicken with cars.

Don't smoke so much, or you'll end up habituating.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:11 PM on April 3, 2011


As an EMT, I have cared for many people who have had serious adverse reactions to pot. Just because it grows in the ground does not make it somehow magically safe.

Don't let people who want to justify their own use dictate yours. Keep in mind the (legal, academic, career) consequences that could come into play if you require medical assistance. And think about what could happen if your stoner buddies declined to get the authorities involved because they were too high or too afraid.

The scariest call I was ever involved with was for someone who started seizing (and stopped breathing) after smoking pot in similar circumstances (pt was a novice, their SO was "experienced." We got there in time, but the pt could have suffered brain damage or even died.

Sure, this is anecdotal. But if you're reacting so badly, why keep pushing it? What are you really getting out of it?
posted by charmcityblues at 2:14 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


In case anyone hasn't mentioned it, you smoked too much for your tolerance. It can be very unpleasant.

So slow down, or stop altogether, at least until you have your anxiety issues well in hand. Anxiety and weed don't play well together.
posted by rtha at 2:16 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This sounds to me like a classic case of just smoking too damn much. Try taking a single hit, waiting 10-30 minutes, seeing how you feel, then taking another if you feel like it. It's not a contest nor a race. Anyone who makes you feel otherwise is not someone you want to smoke with.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:21 PM on April 3, 2011


This is the equivalent of asking "I threw up and then passed out after drinking 15 beers and now I feel like shit, how do I not do that again?"

And the answer is pretty much the same. "Don't do that again."

Moderation in all things. You'll learn your limits pretty soon. And when you do get too high again (and you probably will again), don't fight it. Just go to a safe place and relax, and enjoy it as best you can. Play video games, listen to music, whatever.
posted by empath at 2:58 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is why I never liked pot. I smoked for a while because all my friends did, before I finally figured out that it was dumb to be doing something illegal and expensive if I didn't even LIKE it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:58 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


What they said: Dude, you were just really high.

Don't like it? Don't do it. It's as simple as that.

I always found pot was only good for extremely laid-back "hanging out" and "shooting the shit" scenarios with people I knew well and liked a lot, and was the absolute best in the middle of the night walking around in a dead-quiet--and 99.999% safe--suburb with a couple of good friends. Any situation where I might've encountered a sober person was super paranoia-inducing, and made me hyper-aware of how totally falling-down fucked-up I was.

Also! Are you taking any prescription medications? If you are, you should really not do drugs. Never, ever.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:28 PM on April 3, 2011


Yeah....12 bong hits is more than I would do, and I've been a wake and baker for...well...probably longer than you've been alive. That's either heroic amounts of weed, or a really shitty dealer. Good weed, and proper breath control, and 3 hits is my happy spot.

That said, every stoner has had that "omg, I'm SO FUCKED UP!" moment. The trick is to just roll with it. Or, if you're really uncomfortable, eat some carbs. I don't know why...but carbs will temper a pot high.
posted by dejah420 at 3:35 PM on April 3, 2011


Reminds me of me when I was 21. That feeling went away eventually.
Nthing "go easy if you're going to smoke again".
posted by luckynerd at 3:36 PM on April 3, 2011


Yup, I'd agree with all the others who say to smoke less in the future.

it's possible that you had what my friends and I have called a "brown out" which is essentially a disproportionately high time after smoking a relatively normal amount. This has happened to me twice in my life, and I got through it by just waiting it out. I've never been sure why they happen, but most pot smokers I know, know what I'm talking about when I describe a brown out.

In your case, though, from what you're saying..yeah, maybe you just smoked way too much that time.
posted by Richat at 3:45 PM on April 3, 2011


Yup, smoke less; you're not destined to be a big stoner. When he feels like smoking up, have a glass of wine instead. Or ONE hit and a glass of wine.

I went to a super pothead college, and did my damnedest to smoke up a lot too. I just didn't, and don't, like it all that much -- my experiences were pretty similar to yours. Not being a pot smoker isn't the same as being an anti-pot-smoker.
posted by kestrel251 at 3:50 PM on April 3, 2011


That said, every stoner has had that "omg, I'm SO FUCKED UP!" moment. The trick is to just roll with it. Or, if you're really uncomfortable, eat some carbs. I don't know why...but carbs will temper a pot high.

During my own very first "omg, I'm SO FUCKED UP!" moment, I ate four pounds of Sunmaid raisins. I actually hate raisins and do not recommend that anyone consume four pounds of them in a single sitting. I am still not sure what I hoped to accomplish.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 3:50 PM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


As its been said already, you were just really high.

If you don't like it, don't partake. It can take a while to get acclimated to the effects of marijuana. While I can smoke until there is nothing left and be fine (as well as tired/hungry), I have friends who only take a hit or two with others who don't partake at all.

Marijuana is not for everyone, but if you are still interested in using/trying it you should take it slow and only take hits with breaks in between so you can judge the effects. Being new to marijuana, this is really typical. I recall being at a friends house at the time and I HAD to lie down. I just ate too much cannabis products. While it was a bit weird, I knew everything would be fine in time and I would just keep my head down and nap it off. In all actuality, I think I've seen almost all of my toking friends tap out at some point or another due to smoking too much/too strong of strain.

Best of luck, and you've really experienced the worst effects cannabis has to offer. It can only get better or stay at the status quo of how you react.
posted by handbanana at 3:54 PM on April 3, 2011


I was about to say something about eating. My stoner friends have often insisted that giving in to the munchies and eating would put the brakes on their high (not kill it, but mute it). I suspect part of that might be they're so focused on eating that they miss the peak of the effects as they go by and then have a normal mellowness that comes from being stuffed.

If you're going to do it again, then in addition to making sure you're in a place and time you feel safe (like your house/apartment with close friends) have your comfort-items on hand. Ice cream, fresh sheets and fluffy blanket, favorite film, mellow music, etc. If you overdo it again, think of it like being sick with a fever. You've done it before, you know you'll be ok, you just have to ride it out. Get under the covers with some cookies and milk and watch Star Wars for the 100th time. You don't even have to wait. If you're planning to get high, plan what to do with those couple hours. Make fondue, go for a walk, watch a film, take a bubble bath. Having a plan can make you feel more secure that just getting high and then trying to OMG MAKE DECISIONS.

Do not smoke (or at least no more than one small puff) if you are already drunk.
posted by K.P. at 4:10 PM on April 3, 2011


You just described my first *real* pot-smoking experience, word for word. (Seriously, that was kind of weird.)

I think many people have made good points, including the idea of not being a potsmoker != anti-potsmoker. Also, there's nothing wrong with being sober around your stoned friends. Easier said than done, as it took me YEARS to get comfortable with the idea. And more time to actually have fun with it.

Nowadays, I absolutely love, adore, joyfully embrace being around stoned people. Holy god are they funny! They let me let my guard down. I can think of only a few better ways to be silly with somebody. And a funny thing is...I get this a lot...stoned friends always forget that I'm not stoned too. It's like they can't figure it out. And we have another round of giggles about it. Every time.

I mention all this because you have options. And they don't preclude you from having a good time. Which is the point, so who cares if you can't quantify it any other way than '[shrug]...I dunno...this is the effect my friends have on me'.

My little inside joke is that my tolerance for pot is so low that just being around my friends gets me high. ...I think somebody even wrote a song about it... Which is funny because it's true. Especially if they're, you know, smoking pot.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:25 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, wanted to add to the food thing...I think part of the reason that eating food helps mellow out the high is that it's a physical activity that is not strenuous, is completely enjoyable and distracting to pass the time, and most importantly, is something that you really know how to do without ANY thought or anxiety whatsoever. When I used to try liking getting high, and I'd be stuck in that stupid time-warp on the verge of The Fear precipice...if I saw some food I'd think "OH THANK GOD. THIS...this eating...this I can do." It's as if eating is the perfect task. I used to think, "yes, this is right at my level." Much later, I graduated to being able to watch The Simpsons ...I even got some of the jokes! But I never progressed beyond that. Pot isn't for everybody.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:32 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to enjoy smoking pot occasionally in college, but after a couple of years, I started reacting negatively to it. VERY similar to your experience.

I didn't get the visual distortions as much as you did, but the time-distortion thing was exactly as you describe it. The inability to hold on to any train of thought long enough to respond was maddening, and I basically couldn't talk. I remember that we were listening to music (that i knew well) and I couldn't follow it coherently, as if I kept almost-remembering then forgetting to recognize the song, over and over, lost in between notes.

I thought perhaps it was the particular pot, or my mood. I tried again a number of times before I gave up and determined that apparently, I just can't enjoy pot anymore, even in small amounts.
posted by desuetude at 4:38 PM on April 3, 2011


I'd have to say that the slowed down time frame-by-frame was my exact first time I got high. I'd smoked before, but nothing happened, then BAM. For me, it was a good thing, I couldn't stop laughing, because it had confirmed this view of reality that I'd been philosophizing for some time...

I'd never gotten that high again (well, I got pretty fucked up once, where I thought the shit was laced with something, but time never slowed down). It's possible after a few more times you may never have that happen again.

It's also possible that pot just isn't for you. I like(d) weed. As time's gone on, it's affected me negatively over the years where I feel anxious and can't enjoy it and causes slight pain issues. But I appreciate it for what it is.

If you want, try a few more times, but eventually you may find it's just not your thing. And that is OK. You should never feel pressure to do something you don't want to do if it's not right for you. I hope if you realize that it's not for you that your boyfriend respects your wishes. Good luck with however it turns out.
posted by symbioid at 4:56 PM on April 3, 2011


Smoke less or quit smoking. Pot does nothing for me, other than make me super duper tired. So, I don't smoke pot. It's pretty easy to avoid the side effects if you just quit doing it. It's not for everyone.
posted by elpea at 5:01 PM on April 3, 2011


I agree with most of the above, especially brina. I'll just add that different weed, and different methods of ingesting it, will have different effects. Unfortunately, since you can't buy it legally, you usually don't know exactly what you're getting. Also I smoked plenty of weed while taking an SSRI and never had a problem. YMMV.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 5:23 PM on April 3, 2011


I should also amend my comment to mention that I'm rarely trying to get "high", like college high where you laugh for hours and watch bad movies and make interesting food choices...3 hits is more ... stupid aches and pains from an interesting life stop hurting and I can keep getting stuff done.
posted by dejah420 at 5:35 PM on April 3, 2011


(posting this from my sockpuppet account.)

This sounds extremely similar to what happened to me. the first time I smoked, nothing. the second time, one strong hit and then woozyness, and then I was absolutely tripping balls. so much that later on I thought the bowl I had smoked from had been laced with acid, ha ha.

I spent the night absolutely wigging out, zoning out at the itunes visualizer, doing wacky things that my friends felt the need to record on video (such as twitching uncontrollably), feeling incredibly detached from reality, and spent the night (which felt like yearsandyearsandyears) thinking I was going to die, having intense visualizations of flying through outer space and colorful wormholes ("flying through space-time"), and writing in a journal (to preserve the memories) of all the wacky made-up words that were bubbling up in my head.

I was still feeling the effects the next day when my roommate and I went to see Stomp and all I could think of while I was sitting through that show was "oh man. i'm alive, and I'm watching Stomp. i can't believe i'm still alive. and at Stomp."

it was the first time pot had an effect on me and I was so scared that that is what pot would do to me for the rest of my life (and I had the rest of college ahead of me, damn it!)

BUT. as scary as that experience was, that has NEVER happened to me when smoking pot since. when I've described that to stoner friends, they haven't even thought it was laced, they just thought I smoked too much. so I guess I had a bigger hit than my body was used to, and now everything is fine and I can smoke a LOT and be in a wonderful stone-zone.

and I even tried acid a few years later and the experience was so simliar, but I was in control of it, so it was significantly more fun and less scary.
posted by sarahj at 5:45 PM on April 3, 2011


oh, and at the time I fit your stats exactly - 19, slightly underweight (alas no more), and anxiety central. the times I smoked after that were months later, and more likely to be spliffs or joints rather than bowls - and I had a much more normal reaction. So I recommend waiting some time before you smoke that much again, and possibly rolling joints rather than a bowl for now (upgrade to bowl later, or smoke with more people so you smoke less yourself)

you could also treat it like a trip, and give yourself things to do (paint, play with wacky internet visualization sites - balldroppings or something - get drums and keyboards and make noise... etc)

i think you'll be fine! just don't be worried when you smoke :)
posted by sarahj at 5:56 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is your brain saying "don't do this to me." Think about listening to it.

It can be hard when you have people close to you doing stuff like this and you want to fit in. But just because they are having fun with it, doesn't mean you will. It also doesn't mean you have to if you don't like how it makes you feel.

I know what it feels like when the people close to you are stoners and you aren't getting high with them. It feels like being left behind. It feels like not being able to keep up with the cool people. But you know what? They're stoned: They probably don't care that much if you do or don't, as long as your not bringing the mood down. Someday though, you may actually be glad that this wasn't your thing.
posted by Ys at 7:38 PM on April 3, 2011


Your question throws up a LOT of red flags in my mind.

I think MJ is great for people...but not ALL people.

1. Are you just smoking because your boyf is smoking? Is that what you really want to do?

2. After that first horrible experience, why did you do it again next weekend? Your idea or your boyf's?

3. People who do drugs typically aren't the best at measuring quantity. 10-12 hits vs 2 "largish" tokes means absolutely nothing. If you think dosage is a problem, please measure with a scale. You can buy a nice digital one with a blue light display for $8 on ebay. That $8 is worth it if it keeps you away from that bad experience.

4. There are different types of marijuana...different qualities, different strains, etc. Unless you are getting them from the same GROWER (not seller) and they come from the same batch, you have no idea what you are smoking.

5. Are you drinking alcohol (before/during/after)?

6. Are you doing this on an empty or full stomach?

7. How much time are you taking to smoke. 10-12 hits over 5 minutes is different from 10-12 hits over 2 hours.

8. Marijuana is kinda a..."gateway" drug. So I'm guessing that you weren't all coked out years before you tried this. This may in fact be your first drug. Maybe your body is just telling you it doesnt like being stoned, high...or it just doesn't want drugs in your system.

9. That giggling bit you did...thats the sign of a beginner. I'm guessing your boyf doesn't do that anymore. After a while people don't do that anymore...the way it affects you later on is different. Maybe you don't like the effects its now causing.

Pretty much...just don't do it anymore, it doesn't seem like you, your body, or your brain like it.

signed,
marijuana user.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:46 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nthing that you shouldn't be trying to keep up with your BF and that it's a bad sign if he's encouraging you to smoke so much at a time. He doesnt sound very together. Don't EVER feel that you need to keep pace with anyone's alcohol or drug consumption. PLEASE.

MJ is fine for lots of people, far less dangerous than alcohol and I think it should be legalized.

However, for people with anxiety issues, it can be a bad mix. It can also be depressing to wind up a few years down with a social life that always seems to be centered around getting high. MJ just might not be the thing for you and that should be totally cool with your BF.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:22 AM on April 4, 2011


You are experiencing two of MJ's well known side effects, time perception distortion and paranoia. The trick is relaxing, not fighting, and knowing you are safe and the effects are temporary. It is very common in altered states to panic with the feeling it will never end. Just relax, lay down, and tell yourself it's temporary. Breathing exercises or stretching can help a lot too.

It's also worth mentioning that it may be the strain of pot you are smoking. While marijuana is illegal, the drug quality, character, and strength will all be highly variable.

Also, it just might not be for you. You can try to work on titrating better as too little is clearly more your speed than too much. If you can't titrate effectively, just stop.
posted by chairface at 8:42 AM on April 4, 2011


I had smoked for many, many years when I ate a brownie for the first time and what you described happened to me. I had WAY, way too much pot in my system. It was weird and scary and I was a regular smoker at the time (haven't smoked in about 7 years to date - mostly just don't need to get high anymore).

If you're going to smoke again, I nth the 2 puffs max or just don't smoke if you don't like the way you're feeling. And definitely think about whether you're smoking just to make your bf happy. I've been married to a daily smoker for 11 years, I haven't smoked in 7 years. Hasn't affected our marriage one bit (except I can go out for munchies when he wants some...)
posted by Sophie1 at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2011


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