How I got Addicted

Like everybody else on this blog I have decided enough is enough. Marijuana has had a grip on my life physically and mentally. I’m 26 and started smoking weed when I was 16. I smoked everyday from the age of 18 until the day I decided to quit. The most extreme I did was an occasional bong rip, maybe once a year which always lead to a bad high. I was a casual smoker, hitter box in my pocket. Just riding out a constant low level high all the time.

My group of friends are all pot smokers so socially it was great. We always had a good time as long as we were together and getting high. Some of my best memories have had weed somehow related to them. For the ten years I smoked I can honestly say it was a great ride. Luckily I’ve stayed out of trouble with the law and really haven’t had any issues other than a bad high here and there.

During my ten years I’ve quit a couple times. Due to an impeding drug test for work. So not using for a couple of weeks left me irritable at best but in the back of my mind I knew once that cup of pee was submitted I’d be firing up on my way back home. It was manageable because I was working out (trying to clear my system) and I knew I was gonna go back smoking as soon as the test was done.

Never in my life would I have thought quitting weed altogether would be the toughest obstacle to overcome.

Why I Stopped Smoking Weed

So with the back story taken care of I’m going on 4 weeks sober. I’ve decided to quit because I want to start fresh. Have a new beginning at life. This past year I’ve gotten engaged to the most wonderful woman I could ask for. We have been together for 7 years. She has put up with my pot smoking since day one.

Not once has she criticized me for smoking all the time, she even laughs at my forgetfulness and dorkyness when I was high. One day I sitting think about my future, our future and decided enough is enough. Not only does she deserve my sobriety but so do I. I was tired of being lazy and just plain boring. Weed crippled my desire to go out and do things. At the time I was completely okay with that. Weed helped me disappear from all the stress that the world brought on. It even made my aches and pains go away.

Somewhere in my ten years of smoking it turned from a social activity to a dependence. My body and mind needed the drug. Up until the final few days I was oblivious to my addiction. I was a full blown addict. I saw this a decided to end it. With a bright future in head of me (wedding, her finishing school, and plans to move out of state) essentially start a new life I knew I needed to drop my addiction. Commence absolute hell.

I’m four weeks sober.

Like I said before I have quit multiple times for drug tests so the first couple weeks were not so bad. Just the usual irritable mindset, occasional headaches and the relentless desire to get high. Week three I started to get concerned. Now mind you this entire time I had no idea that marijuana withdrawals was a real thing.

The third week in I started having minor chest pains. Right around my heart area. During this same time I stared running again after a 5 year break. I pushed myself too hard and thought that these chest pains were caused from that. So I wrote it off being just a workout injury. My chest pains weren’t constant at first. It usually hurt with deep breaths only. By the end of week three I started to develops more symptoms. Twice my left arm went cold and tingly. And I was staring to feel anxious. Like mini panic attacks.
Mini Panic Attacks from Withdrawal

Both times my arm went numb I got scared and couldn’t stop thinking that maybe I’m having signs of a pre-heart attack. What made matters worse is there is heart disease in my family. But being the stubborn sob I am I wrote if off as being a one time thing. I’m 26 I can’t be having a heart attack that’s too young. So with a few more chest pains and small anxiety attacks I roll into week four.I start the week off like normal. Monday I have a pretty average day at work. When I’m working I have my mind off of my body so I don’t really feel my chest tightness or the anxious feelings that come with it. But the job ends and I load the tools in the truck. I have an hour and half drive I head of me (my partner is driving) and as we get underway I start to feel my chest pains.

But something is different this time. Now my heart is starting to race, the same way when you have a bad high. With that comes the shortness of breath and thoughts of impending doom. Before I know it I’m in a full blown panic attack. Feeling like a bad high but I haven’t smoked in 3 weeks. My neck gets tight and I get the cold sweats. Here I am stuck in a van for an hour and I’m having the worst panic attack in my life. I thought I was having a heart attack. Going back to my stubbornness I didn’t want to cause a scene so I just rode it out. Taking a couple sips of water here and there and thinking about the happy things in life. I made it back to the shop. I got in my truck and headed home. At this point my anxiousness has dropped quite a bit. I get home and try to relax. Now it’s about 4pm and I’m not expecting my fiancé home until about 10pm. I didn’t want to worry her about what had happened so I decided to wait to tell her. From 4pm to 10pm was rough. My chest pains were constant and so was my anxiousness.

I tried pacing around and doing small chores to get my mind off of it but had no success. So convinced I’m having heart problems I begin reading symptoms of a heart attack online. Wouldn’t you know it the symptoms I’m experiencing fit it perfectly. Now I’m really concerned. She can’t get home soon enough. When she does I tell her everything even the things over the past few weeks. She convinces me that we should go to the ER. I get checked in and put in the waiting room because it happened to be a busy night. Just being in the hospital made a sense of calmness come over me. I guess I knew that I would be okay. They finally get to me and take my vitals and draw some blood. My vitals come back good. Nothing out of the ordinary. I even tell the nurse about the history of use of marijuana. I wanted to be honest because I was so nervous.

During the whole checking in process the nurse had asked me a couple times if I had any history of anxiety problems. I said no because I really never have. They get me to a back room where I wait for the blood work test to come back and take some chest X-rays. I take my X-rays and wait for the doctor to come in and give me the news. When the doctor finally got to me and overlook all my tests he gave me a clear bill of health. I was amazed and worried all at the same time. I thought to myself that I’m glad my heart and lungs are normal but I know there is something wrong with me. I’m not crazy there is something internally wrong. The doctor diagnosed me with chest wall pain (costochondritis). Usually brought on by emotion stress.

I get a script of some muscle relaxers and sent on my way. The next day I finally get some sleep with the help of one of these muscle relaxers. I wake up around noon and feel better. Almost back to normal. Fast forward a few hours and I’m back in a full blown panic attack again. This time I’m confused and scared. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. Even tho I have my loved ones around I feel helpless and the suicidal thoughts set in. I try taking some deep breaths and go for a small walk around the backyard. It helps. I calm myself enough to clear my head and gain my composure.

I still have no real appetite going on two days now. After I calmed down asked my fiancé if she could give me a message. I threw on some tunes lit some candles and let her get to work. Almost immediately I felt calm and back to normal. During this time I talked about what I’m nervous about or what may be stressing me (wedding, work, moving,etc.) I found this to help a lot also. I’ve always been an independent person and tend to keep things bottled up and deal with it myself. Talking about some of these things that were on my mind helped clear my head. So that night I started looking into what could be causing all this.

It dawned on me that maybe it’s possible I’m going thru withdrawals. That’s when I found this website. Reading all your posts about the troubles of quitting solidified my issues. I’m going thru withdrawals. It has brought great comfort to me knowing that I’m not alone in this and I thank you all for sharing your stories. My emotions have been all over the place. I guess what’s happening is my brain is trying to come back to reality.

Finding the normal ways of dealing with stress and emotions. I know that this depression or altered state of mind will pass. It’s all been caused by that herb. I can beat it and so can you. We are in this together. I’m seeking help from my loved ones. I’ve found that talking with people about anything or reading a book helps a lot. Just trying to keep your mind busy is the trick. Just these past few days has been the toughest thing I’ve had to go through. And I know it’s far from over. Never in my life would I have thought marijuana would have such a solid grip on my emotional well being. I will be sure to keep up on this feed and anybody that needs help overcoming their addiction because I know I need help.

With love — Jake

    42 replies to "I Quit Weed and Had Withdrawal Panic Attacks: Jake’s Story"

    • Ron Patterson

      are you still having the withdrawals? mine are really bad and I just wanted to know what other symptoms you have

      • Morgan

        Hey I’ve never written to anyone or blogged online before but i thought maybe someone else could understand. I’ve been smoking at least a half quarter to a quarter a day for ten years now and last summer was diagnosed with CHS. Doctors and specialists laughed at me and said i was being a hypochondriac. Constantly going to the doctors suffering from never ending nausea, cycles of vomiting (every morning at around 5am for a good year) cold sweats to the point of my skin stinging when its touched, vertigo that makes me feel very similar to drunk spins,and unbelievable chest and abdominal pain which was so bad i would randomly drop to the ground unable to breathe the pain was so bad and then a few mins later it would stop (or hrs if the episode was a bad one). I also thought i was having some kind of internal malfunction and ended up on the side of the road having an ambulance come. The paramedics treated me like a child and made fun of me saying it was just a panic attack and to calm down. Eventually after a stomach scope the surgeon asked me if i smoked pot and after explaining my symptoms which had been occurring for three years being misdiagnosed.. he explained about and diagnosed me with CHS. I know it sounds stupid but i get really mean and frantic when i don’t smoke and i know i use it as a crutch to deal with whats happened to me in my life. For this reason i couldn’t stop smoking even if the symptoms got bad. Guess my body had other ways to get me to listen because then came the cystic acne and small sebaceous cysts. The body has ways of making you listen if you don’t hear it the first couple of times lol.
        I also just got engaged and my life is about to change for the better. So i quit two days ago and i feel stupid saying this but the withdrawal has been unreal. I am soaked in sweat and freezing cold even after several hot showers, my skin stings, and i feel so dizzy i feel like being sick. Im losing my temper on everyone and everything in my path and im coughing up the resin that has been weighing on my lungs for ten yrs. I know im making a good choice and im not having too much trouble with cravings (a bit) but the withdrawal makes me feel like a crack head (pardon my language) but its embarrassing and i feel very alone. Anyways.. thanks for listening to whoever reads this and i hope my story helps clarify symptoms for others unsure of whats happening to them.

        • Leo

          I hear you. Going through this myself now.

          How are you now, where you at?

    • Anonymous

      I’d very much appreciate a small update entry by the author (‘Jake’). Please, be the hero… Our hero!

      PS: The poll lacks the actual answer: The hardest part about quitting THC is neither going through WD nor being around friends who smoke. Not even combined.

      It’s the realisation of being sober and NEVER EVER getting high again!

      • John Mckee

        THEY SHOULD! I will look into this and fix it.

    • MIchele

      Thank you sharing your story. I am in beginning stages and the cravings are so powerful. I am going to buy a book and try to keep my mind busy.

    • Miss A

      I too have smoked weed since I was about 16, the everyday since 17 and I’m now 26. I’ve only quit pot a couple of times, but when I did cut down it was the wrong timing as I’d have extra stress from work etc. I’ve slowly cut down the last 3 years, I used to smoke all day, before work & as soon as I got home. My social circle was full of people who smoked. But now, I’ve done it alone more then anything and my boyfriend smokes all day, and his friends etc. seeing all of them and how their life circles around it so much, has turned me away. I don’t enjoy being high, as I have also suffered extreme panic attacks having to leave work etc if I’m already stressed weed would just bring on a panic attack. I never had anxiety before but no doubt long term use has had its affects. I don’t want to suck out of a bong everyday, so I cut down to about 2 cones a night for the last couple of years. I am now on my 6th day smoke free, only symptoms are lack of appetite but still eating healthy. Some anxious feelings at work under pressure due to Christmas but no sweating. I have been dreaming a lot tho, and they haven’t all been bad. I just know, it’s gonna get better. It has too! Dealing with reality, putting your health first & being able to sleep without it is a positive. It’ll take time, I’m sure symptoms will get worse but I’m willing to fight it. My uncle has had half of his lung removed and he has smoked weed for so many years, basically lung cancer and he has to eat weed now because he’s so adjusted to having it. Everyone’s allowed to enjoy it, but it’s so easy to abuse without recognising it. I wish you all good luck on your journey of being weed free.

    • mikib

      So good to hear off these comments when going through your own withdrawals,having smoked for 37yr,im now 53 i believe its now time once and for all for this to come to an end,i have been fortunate early in life to start and run a successful business,high and lows ,children,marriage,great social life,money etc,although im told i did have a bit of an ego!,well i did not know it,then things came to a crash!,divorce,bankruptcy,incarceration,i put this down to excess drink and herb,which i actually stopped for 5 years,going through AA and counselling etc.,unfortunately went back on it gradually as i believed i could now control my habits?,what a joke im an ADDICT,been diagoinsed bi-polar and suffered depression hit an all time low, realising if i could control my vices i would have been able to by now!.
      So im taking what jake said earlier,I WANT A NEW BEGINNING IN LIFE,even at my age lol,i will be amazing to be clear headed going into my next birthday and staying clean.
      I feel so much better writing this,im 2wks into stopping,symptoms vicious cold sweats,no energy, low mood,no appetite,guilt,getting it from the wife saying i told you so!,but she is so supportive at this time and time and strength by the grace of god will get me through this i do not want to smoke again ever!,and i have said this 100s of times,everyday over the 4wks being stopping!
      I know its not going to be easy but at least i know clearly realise
      Good luck everybody on their journey to quit

    • Tyler

      Jake I just wanna day that your story is just like mine. I have been smoking marijuana every single day since I was 17. I’m 25 now. This past year I been smoking really potent weed along with drinking a lot as well and over eating. I had no problems until one night out the blue as I was almost done smoking a fat j, I had bad sharpe pains in my chest. And then I panic and my hearts starts beating out of my chest. I have been to the hospital more than 3 times from this because it literally feels like something is wrong with me internally. Like I have a blockage in my heart or something. I quit smoking and smoking cigs and drinking on October 4, 2017. I have been having “withdrawals” like panic attacks. Over thinking. Anxiety. Etc. my brain even hurts some. I even went to a mental health place to get out on anxiety and panic attack medicine just so u won’t have any more attacks cuz I can’t pay doctor bills. After taking the medications for a few days it wouldn’t let me sleep. So I quit taking them. Then a couple days later I have another bad panic attack that feels like a heart attack. So I start taking them again. It’s been 16 days that I have had no cigs, weed, or alcohol. And I feel like these “withdrawals” will never end. Can you give me any advice? How long could these withdrawals really last??

      • AP

        I’m 30 years old, smoked weed everyday , all night since I was 13, mainly high grade weed. I knew I was starting to overdo it when I would smoke and my nose and lips would sweat profusely from my heart rate going up. Then one night I smoked a fat blunt , was playing nba 2k and boom, I had a panic attack. Due to fear of anxiety/panic attack’s , I quit cold turkey. It’s now been 18 days clean, and I’m just now starting to have random panic attacks , my heart begins to pound differently , crazy throughts I’m dying. I smoked 3-4 blunts a day , smoked on my lunch break , when I woke up, you name it. This is life off weed, our brain trying to recalibrate itself from being altered by the abuse of marijuana. We can only hope this passes, because it does suck! You’re not alone.

    • P. J.

      Hey guys,
      My english is quite bad, but i want to tell you my story.
      I started smoking when i was 18.
      After a half year of smoking i began smoking weed every day, like 1-3 joints.
      I always practice sports in this time (Gym/Football).
      After 2 years of strict smoking, i telled my self that i was addicted.
      So i decided to stop smoking for 1 to 2 month.
      The first 2-3 weeks all went nice, just confusing dreams/ problems to fall asleep.
      But after 3 weeks, one evening i lay in my bed and thought about that i could have a heartproblem. (Palpitations like that).
      So i started to get cold sweat and adrenaline kicks combined with heartrace (like in panic attacks)

      Before that point i dont have this type of problems.

      After this expierence i decided to use my last 3 or 4 g of weed with my friends, so i wouldnt smoke for a longer therm of time.

      It went bad, realy bad i thought i would die, cause od my heart beat.
      I couldt even walk to the next hospital.

      The next weeks i stopped smoking.
      I went to the doc and ask what it could be.
      I left some blood and got an EKG for short and longtime.

      They said that my body is healthy af but i couldnt belive it cause the the pain next to my heart.

      Now im 1 1/2 month out and it wont get better.
      I dont have panic attacks any more but im anxious cause i feel my heart beating the whole time and must think about this…
      So i try to keep my sports up, cause im addicted to it.
      Since the panic attacks i also stopped my sports cause i dont know at this time that i was “just” addicted in a psycholigic way.
      Even if its just my psyche i feeling physical pain

      I hope that could help someone
      Im just make the process

      • CaliGrown

        Have you recovered? It’s been about six weeks for me and I still have panic attacks occasionally not to do went to the ER twice vitals EKG normal. Will I ever get through this? Been thinking something else is wrong with me even trying to get my doctor to give me an MRI and other test to see if something is wrong with my brain because I’ve never been in anxious/panicky person or ever felt like this in my life please help.

    • tony

      +1 . . .

      • Jorge kings

        Tyler I been having the same symptoms keep up the work I been sober for a week and the withdrawals are crazy keep up the work I’m never smoking weed again that’s for sure I been smoking ever since I was 15 I’m 24 now it’s good to know I’m not alone

    • Joe

      I can relate! Panic/anxiety/mind will debilitate you faster than anything else…

      Joe, 19 male- My quick story-

      August 2017 I was diagnosed with lyme disease… I am fine now, but Jan. 22nd I woke up with the symtoms of Lyme disease! FLU LIKE symptoms! Soo what did I think? I thought my lyme had finally kicked in (knowing it is a slow growing/spreading bacterium) and practically broke down to the lowest point of my life (this week). Now to clear things up, take a look at lyme symptoms and then look at THC withdrawal symptoms! (VERY SIMILAR) Like you, I did not know withdrawals were a thing either! Thankfully 2 days after breakdown and a lot of Prayer, a friend of mine (health freak) had let me know that he’s been feeling all of the same symptoms i have (note- he had no idea that i was going thru it as well) so that’s when the connection was made! We both quit at the same time, and exhibited the same symptoms, at the same time. Literally snapped out of it when he had told me (this goes to show how debilitating your mind can be, and how sometimes it’s better not to know than to know) the news!

      Today (jan. 27th) I am still detoxing after 2-3 years of heavy marijuana sessions, but I feel great knowing im not actually debilitated (lyme)! So this story is actually something that I can relate to very much, although i still have anxiousness because im also a hypochondriac (i think lol), I have come to the ultimate realization… HEALTH, health is by far the most important thing one can strive for! So thanks a lot for your share as I only searched this website due to my anxious mind and the need for answers! Your story is the closest to mine, that I have found so far! I hope anyone who feels anxiousness/doom (which is just another withdrawal symptom) can come to their senses that they’re going to be just fine!

    • Joe

      Btw I got Lyme bc of i love smoking in the woods! There’s no problem with smoking in the woods, but take this advice (advice i did not take seriously)… If you love the woods and nature, please, please CHECK YOSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOSELF! Check for ticks damn it!! Im lucky! Many are not who get Lyme, many suffer lifelong! I dont want to scare you out of loving nature, but be smart damn it!!! Don’t let a substance take you over like it did me! Moderation is needed 100% but im not telling u to quick smoking weed! Im teeling you to stay healthy mentally/physically, but most importantly, DO NOT LET A CRITTER THE SIZE OF PINHEAD DICTATE YOUR HEALT AS WELL AS YOUR FUTURE!! Vigilance can save a life! So please once again… CHECK YOSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOSELF!!!! Stay positive everyone, keep that head up, as it will save your health!!! Good day to everyone!

    • Joe

      My last two comments may very well reinforce the idea “quit weed” as I wouldn’t of gotten infected (lyme) if it weren’t for the drug!

    • Alexander weingart

      Hello, I’m Z. I’m 31 and had been smoking daily for about eight years. Over the last year I have been smoking very heavily. Up to five grams a day. When I finally decided to quit, I began experiencing very intense symptoms.

      The anxiety attacks started around one week in, and as of writing this, I am now 17 days into sobriety. I still have very sudden and terrible anxiety attacks, but reading these stories has been the first real feeling of relief I have had since this journey started.

      My story is much like Jake’s. The feelings of impending doom are much the same way he described his own experience.

      I will try to remember to update this when I make my full recovery.

    • Lonnie

      I am 57 an have used mj for years – once a day at the end of the day usually and more on weekends. I recently stopped altogether and my bp has been about 160/95 to 170/100. I haven’t checked my bp frequently, but every time I have for the past 2 months my bp has been high. I was diagnosed a while back with pre-hypertension but am not currently on meds for anything. The last check in the Drs office was 130/85 but that was maybe a year ago or so.
      I have all the usual detox symptoms – ups and downs, depression, anxiety, dreaming, smoking dreams – still after 2 months. I have read that it could take upwards of 2 years to completely detox.
      I deliberated on my choice for a while. I am not going to say that mj is bad or good or whatever – it was a conscious choice to stop…for good.
      Yesterday my bp was high and I had a mild headache. After working around my yard yesterday and physically exerting myself I relaxed and rested up. I expected everything to be calmer, but found my heart was pounding in my chest as I was relaxing and my headache was still there. I didn’t take my bp but expected it would be high.
      The feeling of getting high was great. But I have to say that stopping altogether and the after effects makes smoking/vaping/ingesting pot not worth it. It will be nice when I have all of it out of my system.

    • Judy West

      Some one please update their story. I quit smoking weed, and I have never experienced anxiety in my life. Now all of a sudden it is all I feel, its to the point where ima terribly light headed through out the day and it makes me very nauseas. I don’t want to diagnose myself with anxiety, because I was a very active person and very stress free. It just doesn’t make sense. So knowing this is a withdraw can someone please update if they have surpassed the anxiety over time. I don’t care how long it takes, I just do not want to turn to hard anxiety relieving medications if there is hope that this will pass over time once my brain chemistry goes back to normal. Thank you

      • John Mckee

        It does get better with time. How long have you not smoked for?

        • Ryan brow n

          Same here i smoked the thc vape pretty heavy for 8 months in a row now im on my one month and a half sober from smoking concentrated amounts of thc and im still dealing my anxiety panic attacks fear insomnia dreams and some sweats here and there , my dr said im healthy that its withdrawals i can say that i do feel slightly better then last month not much last month i was dying cold hot sweats and panic attacks omg crying because i wish i could change my mistake of starting to smoke for those 8 months in the first place when before that i was clean and sober now im just hoping praying and fighting that it will get better with time and before finding similar stories i felt truly alone and doomed for life sorry but im going through this now and i had to message someone who has went through this hell

        • Ryan

          And i know 8 months aint shit but i overdid it smoking that vape , do you think with time and sobriety a full recovery is possible to feel the way one fid before smoking in the first place

          • Ryan

            I smoked Heavy the THC Vape for eight months and now I am dealing with the exact symptoms anxiety panic attacks insomnia fear of impending doom strange dreams everyday fighting crying wishing i couId go back in time before i made the mistake of smoking in the first place when i was sober am on my one and a half month sober and I can say I am doing slightly better than last month not mich better and still nowhere near the way i used to feel before i started smoking and before reading the stories I thought I was alone and truly doomed for life even though my dr said im healthy that its withdrawls it wasnt until reading some others exact stories i thought i would be doomed for life and i thought i was alone now im just staying clean struggling fighting praying hoping to recover to the way i used to feel i used to be bored now i pray that i can one day go back to that feeling i truly know now what i had before i started smoking . Sorry i had to message someone who went through this any i would appreciate any info thank you

            • CaliGrown

              Omg this is me!!! I’ve been the the ER twice with a pounding heart, numb sweaty hands/arms completely out of it, lightheaded, mind goes crazy swearing I’m dying and this is the end. Happens for 20-30 min at a time almost every day, especially if I’m thinking about it, which I can’t stop doing. Doc thinks anxiety or panic attacks. I literally feel like I’m dying. Been in and out of the docs office trying to figure out what was wrong with me. (Haven’t told them I smoke though) Cause I’m like weed wouldn’t do this!!! I’ve been smoking out of a vape pen for about 6 months (due to convenience) but the last oil I had caused me to have these episodes every time I hit it. I thought it was a bad batch or just too strong so I quit all together after about a week of using it. This was 1 1/2 weeks ago and I’ve still been having these episodes. Insomnia just started but I’ve been so freaked out about what was wrong with me I figured I was causing even more anxiety and insomnia. How long did your symptoms last or what did you do to help rid yourself of them? I can’t function, I’ve been in and out of work because of it. I’m literally wearing a heart monitor as I’m typing this because I swore it was my heart and my doc wants to confirm but now I’m wondering if it’s withdrawals???? I had a missions trip to Iraq coming up so I thought it was anxiety from that too. Never thought withdrawals. Please help, I’m still going through these symptoms and it’s been 6 weeks since I stopped the vape and I will do anything for them to stop (except start smoking again of course)

          • John Mckee

            Hi Ryan – Yes i do think you can get back there. It might take a bit of time, but your brain can return to normal.

          • Nathan

            Finding this blog is going to save my life. Thanks everyone for sharing to know I’m not alone. Been to the ER twice and my long journey is just beginning.

            • Brayden Justin

              Thank you, I cannot stress enough this blog is the reason I’m still here, I for real read this everyday. I’ll write my story so far and maybe help others as this has helped me. I’m 18 years old.
              1 week after quitting weed: I smoked vape carts for about a year straight stopping a few times but what is weird is I stopped for a month and felt nothing wrong then started smoking again. Anyways one week wasn’t too bad I had a pretty bad anxiety attack after the end which is when it started going downhill.
              2 weeks: I started convincing myself I was gonna die at least once every couple days from a heart attack because my brain would overtake me. I would think to myself I would only have a heart attack if my left arm hurt, well what do u know a few mins into thinking that it would start hurting scaring me even more. I’ve never had anxiety attacks before these withdrawals so they scared me a lot.
              Week 3: well this has been the worst week for me I have attacks everyday and have feelings like I’m gonna pass out but all my anxiety attacks are about me dying (heart attacks mostly, lung problems…exc)
              Week 4: this is the week I’m on currently. It sucks a lot so far but just reading this has helped me thru it so much. I feel no need to ever smoke again due to these withdrawals and honestly I’m glad this has happened, in a weird way I know I will never smoke again it is not worth the terrible withdrawals. I’m hoping they are almost over but they might not be, I had a small attack just before writing this so I pray for everyone going through this, please don’t start again think about the withdrawals you will have to sit through again.

    • Zac

      I don’t want to hear someone just saying it’ll get back to normal, I want to find someone who has come out the other side of withdrawal and it’s completely gone now. How long did it take for you? Do you have any tips for what to focus on during the “terrible doom” phases?

      • Paul

        This is what helped me:

        -Read up on CWS
        -Stay busy and keep your routines (try not to be alone)
        -Talk to people about your feelings
        -Understand that it will pass
        -Use sleep aides like wine, TV, reading, set sleep routines, etc. to help fall asleep
        -Go see a doctor, to understand that you’re healthy and not dying helps a lot
        -Although I’m not a church goer, I tuned into spirituality to help my heightened struggles with mortality

      • CaliGrown

        Yes, me too. Please someone save us!!!

    • Paul

      GOOD NEWS: I survived cannabis withdraw. Here’s my timeline and what helped and didn’t help me to get through this really tough period of my life:

      About Me:

      49 years-old
      Father to two kids
      I have a good job and I’m a positive and outgoing person
      Smoked heavy indicas and hybrids for nearly two years (3-4 times a week)

      Onset of CWS (Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome):

      I’ll never forget when this occurred. After two weeks of going cold turkey with zero symptoms, I was taking a shower and thinking about a crazy science article on pig brains when I was hit with a massive panic attack. I had to rush out of the shower, literally tripping over myself as I thought I was dying. This was the start to a nearly two month onslaught of anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and a sense that my life would never be the same again.

      After this panic attack, I would have several for the next two weeks; although these attacks would never be as bad as the first one (I wasn’t prepared for them), I would have to struggle to contain them as they were triggered by my troubled thoughts and mood, often related to the fact that I’m older and sensed my own mortality. This sense of doom and death was a dark cloud that hung over me nonstop, draining vigor and happiness from everything that I used to enjoy. I couldn’t take pleasure in anything: sex, eating, watching TV, and worse of all, spending time with my family.

      These first two weeks were absolute hell. To make things worse, I didn’t tell anyone as I thought I was having a midlife crisis and felt ashamed and weak. To anyone reading this, this was my absolute worst mistake. If there was ever a time to speak to someone, it was during this period. However, I began researching my condition and realized that I was suffering from CWS. This discovery helped me to no end–it was my lifeline.

      Things got better in the third week (five weeks into abstinence), but a dampened sense of doom was still permeated with a general anxiety and restlessness. I sought distractions to keep my mind off things, but they would always return, especially at night, and I fell into a cycle of watching TV all night long and waking with an hour’s worth of sleep, and then crashing out of pure desperation for sleep the following night (only to reawaken after 4-5 hours of sleep). This was also the week that I finally told my wife the truth. She was surprised. She thought that I was going through a midlife crisis but didn’t realize the depth of my former cannabis habit, nor the crushing withdrawal symptoms. Other than discovering CWS, the fact that I could open up completely to someone helped me tremendously (by now, I was also openly discussing my CWS with friends). Another thing that helped was to get into a regular routine: go to work, take care of the kids, do things on the weekends, etc. Crashing out–in my mind–would make things worse. Keep it together. Keep moving forward.

      For the next three weeks, I could sense that my symptoms were abating, but at a pace that was painfully slow–more like a crawl. I would have good days followed by bad days; a great day that would end with a bad night and vise-a-versa. I finally saw a doctor but it was a waste of time. He knew nothing about CWS, only diagnosed me with moderate to severe depression and asked if I wanted to see a psychologist. Fuck getting on anti-depressants, I’m trying to get off THC! OK, maybe I should’ve seen this through his eyes, but after spending weeks reading about CWS, I knew that more drugs were not the answer; however, I was despondent at times, thinking that my life would never be the same again.

      But then my wife chimed in:

      “Don’t be stupid. You shouldn’t have quit cold turkey and now you’re having withdrawal symptoms. You’ll get better. But don’t you ever smoke again. It’s dangerous!”

      Here’s where the light pierces the dark clouds.

      By week seven, I can definitely tell that the CWS is finally winding down. I beginning to get some regular sleep (but I still need aides like wine and watching TV until I fall asleep) and I experiencing real interest in things instead of doing them for routine and distraction (watching comedies really helped!). Not a 100% but 75-80% there, almost normal. But by week eight, I having longer stretches of feeling normal and I even forget that I had anxiously, and then one magical day, I feel normal. Then another day, then another day. After eight weeks (ten weeks of abstinence) my CWS finally is over.

      I can go into a dark room, close my eyes and fall asleep.
      No more panic attacks, sense of doom, or anxiety.
      Interest in life has returned.
      I feel normal.

      Hang in there, CWS will pass. It may take eight weeks like me, or it may be shorter or longer for you, but IT WILL PASS. YOU WILL RETURN TO NORMAL.

      Sincerely hope that this helps.


      After going through this experience, I never really understood anxiety or depression, or other psychological issues (sure, on an intellectual level but not on an emotional level). CWS was terrible but it was only temporary, but to understand that for some people, that this is their regular existence, gave a me huge jolt of empathy for their plight. I smoked cannabis for fun and then experienced its dark side, so if there was anything positive from this stupid thing that I did, it’s to understand and help others with real and paralyzing anxiety and depression.


    • Mike

      I had the arms go completely numb. Thought that was the end for me. Got to the hospital everything normal. I’ve been without weed for 3 months. I still have problems. If I go outside in the heat I fill like crap. Like I get these hot flash fillings. When I’m in the a/c I’m fine. I cant stand being outside. And my job is outside this is crazy. Any one else have that problem?

    • Bunny38

      I feel for you as I am experiencing the exact same thing with my boyfriend right now. We smoke heavily daily for years and years now and we’re suddenly stopping. It’s been worse for my boyfriend as he is having these attacks of depersonalizations and panic wondering if his life will be ok without the weed. Marijuana has such a strong hold on your entire self, it becomes you in every way.
      We cannot wait to beat this evil addiction that takes so many people in. People believe you cannot be addicted to smoking marijuana and I tell them to get fkd! How are you doing Jake?

    • CaliGrown

      The cannabis vape additives that company’s add mixed with the oils effect the nervous system, the nervous system controls your fight or flight (ie panic attacks)

      Flower only contains appx 20% thc, the last vape pen that did this to me was 80-90% thc. I started at 60-70% pens. I vaped for 6-8 months before I got these symptoms

      I’m def still going through withdrawals 6 weeks after quitting.

      Some tips that help me with panic attacks and insomnia (my most worrisome symptoms):

      Drink lots of water daily. Alkaline water if you can (even at Walmart) it’s ph balanced-read about it

      Vitamins- a daily vitamin, potassium, b12 for nervous system and brain I even take a vitamin D too

      Work out 30-60 min daily if you can- those who live a sedimentary life like me can def feel a difference

      Breathing- breath deep down tummy breaths not deep chest breaths. Tell yourself your fine, because you are

      Meditate- I don’t do this but heard it helps

      Melatonin for sleep, it’s natural and will help you sleep through the nightmares (at least 5-6 hours I would get off 5mg)

      Diet- stay away from sodium and processed foods. Eat healthier foods especially super foods for the brain, try juicing too. Look up good food for the brain

      Go to a cannabis/narcotics anonymous, find someone going through the same symptoms and support each other

      I have high blood pressure, diagnosed while going through all these symptoms. As soon as I got off my meds thinking I was better I had a panic attack 3 days off. Bp meds seem to help.

      Realize these are withdrawals has helped me so much. I’ve been in and out of the Er all tests normal. In and out of the doc, had a heart monitor on for a week and ultrasound of the heart from palpating during the attacks. Knowing these are just withdrawals from a high amount of thc has helped me to not freak out and claim I’m dying. We can do this!

      I know all this sucks but you gotta live a healthy life at least until you get through this….good luck!!!

    • Philipp Reiss

      Since these stories really helped me, to understand my own situation I want to share my experiences as well.

      I was a daily smoker for the last 7 years. I quit around 7 weeks ago. It was not really a planned move, but I enjoyed it less and less. When I was sober, I wanted to smoke, after I smoked I felt bad about it and wished I was sober again.

      During day time, I had depressive thoughts and anxious moments. Not overwhelmingly, but uncomfortable nevertheless. After smoking in the evening I usually went through a paranoid period, before I could “enjoy” the high.

      Since I am in a new relationship I found it a good idea to cut down on my consumption and after a few days of sobriety, I just did not want to go back to my old behavior anymore. Anxious moments and paranoid thoughts basically where the main reason for me to quit.

      Funny enough exactly these things are my worst enemy now.

      The first few sober days were great. A clear mind, more joy and fun in my life, higher levels of activity and so on.

      But since week 2 or 3 I have huge issues with anxiety. Especially in the morning.
      Every day my brain thinks about new ways to torture me, forcing me to suffer from the most random things.

      Sadly a lot of these weird thoughts and anxious feelings are somehow related to my new relationship. Since we have to live in a long-distance relationship for a few months there is a lot of free time for me to make up shit that I can worry about. It has been a while since I was in love and it is really frustrating, how much joy I lose, due to my current state of mind.

      I took on meditation and take long walks, to clear my mind a bit, but it does not seem to help so much.

      I absolutely underestimated the withdrawal of weed. It somehow makes me aware of how much I do not want to go back to this drug. On the other hand, I start to really feel affected by my anxiety and by little panic attacks.

      7 years of abuse cannot be reversed in a few days, I understand that, but by now I would be fine if a new, more enjoyable phase of withdrawal would set in.

      To all of you!!! I wish you guys the best luck and strength. Even though I am not in the best state of mind at the moment I embrace the pain and I am proud of me and of you, for our decision to quit smoking.

      • John Mckee

        Best of luck to you too Philipp. You are doing the right steps. Exercise definitely helps as does meditation. It takes time, but the acute phase should be over soon. Remember what life was like before weed? Chances are there were ups and downs back then too. Have reasonable expectations about what life is going to be like without weed.

    • Bill

      Man I am 16 and I’ve been an on and off smoker since 15. Recently I had started to vape cartriges everyday for almost 2 months. One day I ran out and decided just to stop. Then a few days later I had nausea and diarrhea. Then panic attacks followed, feeling as though I was dying. My heart rate was out of my chest and I was having terrible anxiety so I went to the hospital.the doctors said nothing was wrong with me, even x rayed my lungs for vape cart damage. I was okay. Sent me home and I have been having small episodes of panic attacks and anxiety. They come and go maybe have 2 a day. We will get through this. Any tips ?

    • Charlotte

      This post has put my mind at ease a lot, I started having major panic attacks just over a week ago and put it down to anxiety as I’ve suffered with that for about a year, stupidly not knowing that withdrawals can cause panic attacks! So I went back to my doctor yesterday and told her I’d stopped smoking weed 4 weeks ago and could this be because of that, she said yes, I went home feeling a bit better. Until last night I got into bed and felt myself getting panicked again I had bad chest pain and started telling myself what if the doctors are missing something and I’m actually having mini heart attacks or another more serious problem? I suppose that’s what panic attacks do to you but I’d just like to know if anyone else has the bad chest pains? And are they normal?

    • Bizarre

      Man… This spoke to me.

      • John Mckee

        Glad we could share a story to show you that you aren’t alone! There are lots of resources on the site to serve you.


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