Citation: S. Carter. "Possible Addiction: An Experience with Products - Spice and Synthetic Cannabinoids (exp91493)". Erowid.org. Jan 3, 2012. erowid.org/exp/91493
I will start with a bit of background information. I am now a 25 year old male living in the SE United States. I don't have any history of medical problems or mental disorders (other than slight, sporadic depression. It's untreated, and I either meditate or self-medicate. I do not trust my government or its health care system). My life was relatively stress-free, in large part because of daily marijuana therapy. I am an athlete by profession, but vaporizing marijuana hasnít affected my performance in the least, and Iíve been doing it for well over two years. I had known about spice, a smokable product containing a synthetic cannaboid blend, for a while. Every now and then, when everyone who I bought MJ from was dry, I would take the trip up to the local head shop and get a gram (which was $20 at the time). I enjoyed it Ė it wasnít a whole lot different from weed. Spice, for me, was just close enough to bud to get me through until I could get the good stuff.
Marijuana has a very pacifistic effect on me, more pronounced than with most. I am a mixed martial artist by profession, and the nature of the lifestyle tends to make me more aggressive than is warranted. Not that Iím a violent or confrontational person Ė Iím convinced itís the constant fighting and intense training that kind of wears out my adrenal glandís natural circuit breaker. But, as I said, marijuana therapy kept me in balance.
Well, to make the long story short, I started moving up in my sport, and I started getting into events that paid better money, but also paid better attention to drug testing. I wasnít too worried, because I had the spice to fall back on. It had always gotten me through the rough patches before when I couldnít smoke marijuana, so I was supremely confident in its ability to take marijuanaís place in my life as my therapeutic substance. I was sort of right, but wrong in a lot of ways.
I made the transition from marijuana to spice, but right away I began to notice a couple of things. First of all, it was a much more expensive habit than my previous one (almost three times over). I immediately started having to look into other sources. I found a place about an hour and a half away from my house that sold spice at a much more reasonable price, but the three hours of driving time three times a week began to cut into my training. So I began to make small sacrifices, going without this or that, so I could get my weekís supply in one trip. At this point, I began to feel like I might be becoming addicted to spice, which is a way I /never/ felt while using marijuana.
I decided to take a break and focus only on my training for a week, if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I wasnít addicted. It was on Monday that I made this decision. By Tuesday afternoon I had a bag of spice on my end table next to the vaporizer Iíd just packed away the day before. This was disturbing to me Ė Iíve never felt even slightly addicted to anything, and what I had just done was total addict behavior. Being a fighter, I have to have an iron will. I have thrown the word Ďtryí out of my vocabulary, you know? But what I had just done deeply, deeply shook me. It made me doubt myself, which was something I do not do.
Three weeks later, I was still smoking spice, at an escalated rate. I was taking breaks from the gym to get high. I was getting high all the time Ė not just using it for meditation or to unwind after a hard, productive day. I lost two fights in a row, after coming off of a three fight win streak, and it was because I wasn't 100% mentally. Fighting is not a lucrative profession unless youíre in the big time, and for me, not getting my win bonuses almost broke me. I had to take my spice habit under consideration, and decided that it was working against me instead of for me, and that defeated the whole purpose.
Hereís the moral of the story that Iím trying to present: While marijuana made my life happy and more full, spice was something that did not. The high was similar, but it was the way it made me act when I /wasnít/ high that I didnít like. I never craved the marijuana high like I did with the spice, which I still donít understand, since the marijuana high is more enjoyable for me. That craving, and the psychological need for a crutch, almost ruined my professional career. If you therapeutize with marijuana, just understand that spice is not the same thing. Just another example of man trying to improve nature and coming in second best.
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