Citation: TransparentShrimp. "Second Attempt Four Years After Horrid First: An Experience with Cannabis (exp70710)". Erowid.org. Jan 27, 2018. erowid.org/exp/70710
I tried cannabis for the first time in 2004, after much nervousness and deliberation. I'm a thinking person and had great fear of losing control over my own mind. I drank some alcohol prior to use in order to allay my nervousness (my first mistake). After about three or so nearly consecutive hits from a pipe, I lost consciousness and, upon coming to, had the most nightmarish experience imaginable. All sense of continuity between events was gone; my short term memory was almost non-existent. It hurt to be alive. My brain felt drawn and quartered and everything was spinning. Worst yet, the two friends with me refused to believe the degree of discomfort I was experiencing, further propelling me into a paranoid, solipsistic state. It felt as though for about half a year thereafter, I could not 'tune in' to my surroundings, questioning if the things before me were really there.
I decided I was never going to come near cannabis again. Yet, a curious puzzle bothered me: is what I experienced what the normal and intended effect of cannabis is supposed to be and it just so happens that I personally do not enjoy it, OR is what happened to me abnormal and absolutely not what most people are looking for when they do cannabis? How could I ever know? After all, I thought, maybe I am just different from many other people; it was suggested to me, for example, that I 'think too much' and had 'overanalyzed' my trip and that I just have to 'let it take [me] over'.
The only way to answer this question was to try cannabis once again. This, however, I was unwilling to do until I became a marijuana legalization supporter a few months ago. Someone challenged me with respect to how comfortably I shun substances based on their legality status. This made me uncomfortable because my own father's life had been destroyed by LEGALLY prescribed pharmaceuticals. Once I began thinking about the issue further, it became apparent that I have very few reasons to not support marijuana legalization---with the exception of my own very horrid experience.
This meant that I had to try cannabis once again. After all, how can I claim to be an avid supporter of something that nearly caused me to lose my mind and without having an objective understanding of what a more normal reaction to the drug is supposed to be?
A few days ago, therefore, I tried it again--this time in the comfortable company of a friend. Despite his expertise and assurance that the effects occur on a spectrum, it was difficult to try it again; I sat for a long time with the pipe and lighter in my hands. Finally, toward the evening, I managed to take a very small hit.
I sat for a long time with the pipe and lighter in my hands. Finally, toward the evening, I managed to take a very small hit.
(I had quit smoking tobacco three years ago and the process of inhaling any kind of smoke was psychologically and physically not easy for me.)
I felt a very slight rush but began to doubt that anything was going to happen. A few minutes later, my attention was drawn to a colorful tortilla chip bag on the table, which somehow seemed more vibrantly colored than it had been before. Suddenly, the most strong and pleasant desire to sleep came over me. I had never felt so relaxed. I fell asleep and the dreams I had were vibrant and musical: I dreamt that an orchestra was playing very loudly on stage. Furthermore, all of the subconscious thoughts that would not have normally been released through dreams occurred in the particular dreams I had; I dreamt that the man I love was touching another woman. When he saw me he looked up in shock and fear but his expression revealed that it was no mistake and that he had been caught in an act that truly spoke of his desire. I dreamt of his mother and the unbearable nature of communicating with her--not being understood and confused by her erratic behavior. In short, my deepest fears and sentiments about people in my life were revealed to me.
In the morning, now feeling no fear toward the substance, I took another small hit. My friend and I headed out in search of brunch. I felt, again, a general light-headeness. Sitting in an outdoor cafe, I stared intently at another patron's bright yellow and blue sneakers. An interesting realization surfaced in my mind then; if what I am feeling now, I thought, is a function of dopamine and serotonin receptors being acted upon in my brain, then perhaps all of my behavior in general is governed by these things. That I have control over my mental life is an illusion. From the mere fact that I think I have free will does not follow that I do. The person with OCD who opens and shuts drawers 300 times per day also thinks s/he is choosing to do so, although that is false.
Upon returning home after brunch, we were preparing to part ways. This time, I took one rather large hit for the road. We walked out into the street. I was feeling rather disappointed that nothing more significant than sensation perception enhancement was going to happen. It's a shame, I thought, that my first experience was so nightmarish but that this time, I was going to feel almost nothing too significant. About ten minutes had elapsed. I said good-bye to my friend and proceeded to take a walk outdoors. It was at this moment, upon being alone, that I realized that I have a lot of difficulty containing my facial muscles, which keep morphing into a huge smile. Suddenly, I burst out in laughter. I walked about a block bending over in uncontrollable laughter. There was no particular reason for this, I decided, and becoming paranoid of the fact that others might see me in this dumb state, I tried to reason with myself; 'Just remember what you told yourself before you got high: You said that you would remind yourself that this is only a drug and that, by understanding the situation, you would feel comfortable with letting go and enjoying it'. This worked in quelling the paranoia. I put on my headphones and enjoyed the mild euphoria, like a million little ants in my chest, and desire to laugh all the way home.
While this peak of the high was pleasant, for two days thereafter I felt incredibly lethargic and thoughtless. Usually being a mentally productive person full of ideas, I felt that my brain was an empty metal bucket. I had nothing to say. I spent those two days around a very mentally active physicist. He kept engaging me in our usual conversations but I felt that I had nothing to offer him and was merely reacting to circumstance. Each time I reached into my brain, I was scrapping the bottom of a metal bucket. I decided that if I were to keep up smoking pot, then I might very well destroy my relationship with this person.
In summary, I now understand much better what a more typical experience is supposed to be. I understand that, generally, cannabis is far less dangerous than the legal barbiturates, tranks and anti-depressants that are killing off my father. While I don't find that it suits me personally, I respect those who choose to use it responsibly. After all, my second experience was pleasant overall because the person I was with had established rules and was very responsible.
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