The New Year is traditionally a time of reflection. We evaluate the year that we just finished and make resolutions to be better the upcoming year. The reality is that we should constantly strive for personal improvement, but it’s just so much easier to put it off until the end of the year, then pretend to be different for a few weeks in January, and go right back to our bad habits in February. This post isn’t to poopoo on New Years’ resolutions, it’s to discuss my personal experience with cannabis withdrawal, specifically THC.
As a cannabis legalization advocate, I’ve battled against misinformation and self-righteous assholes for the better part of 20 years. I do a great job of blocking out the noise and following the science, but sometimes news pops up that makes me reevaluate everything with fresh, unbiased perspective. The specific news that made me pause and think were the recent reports of children overdosing from THC gummies.
The stories of the 1500% increase in kids eating THC gummies isn’t surprising. This is easy to explain and shouldn’t worry anyone. This increase is simply because THC is legal and available everywhere in the US. When more people have THC gummies laying around, there’s more opportunity for kids to eat them. This is more about parents being more responsible about where they leave stuff than it is about the THC or the industry.
The stories that made me go, “Hmm. WTF is that?” were the ones about kids dying from eating too much THC. I’m sure yall heard that a kid in Virginia died after eating a jar of his mom’s CBD gummies. That’s sad and terrifying, but after reading everything that I could find, there’s no ‘real’ data that cannabinoids were the cause of death. The doctors coded the death as caused by THC, but that doesn’t mean anything. They can ‘code’ a death any way they want. It’s tragic that a kid lost his life, but blaming it on CBD or THC is as stupid as blaming cows for people getting heart disease. You can make a connection if you really try, but you just sound like a dipshit trying to explain it.
After determining that all this new ‘evidence’ for cannabis’ evilness was nonsense, I still decided that I wanted to reevaluate my relationship with it. Since blinding my left eye with a golf ball in March 2022, I suffer from glaucoma and cataracts in my hurt eye. This caused me a lot of pain and depression. I asked one of my 6 doctors if I had a ‘legit’ medical reason to smoke pot because of my glaucoma. She said, “Sure, but use the drops because they work 100x better and you won’t be able to smoke enough to keep the pressure down.”
I took that as a challenge and smoked like a Jamaican for about a month. She was right. I ended up giving myself anxiety from being stoned all day and I got bored of smoking flowers and eating gummies. While my consumption slowed down significantly, I maintained daily use of hemp until January 2023. My use included 1 x 10mg D8 gummy in the morning, 1/2 of a 10mg D9 gummy later in the day, a sleep gummy at night, and I’d smoke a little if I felt like it.
Fast forward to the end of 2022 and my pressure and pain are stable and I’m more or less back to normal (I’m still legally blind in my left eye, but that’s a mental thing. I have to physical pain). So, I don’t know why, but one day I said, “You know what. I’m going to quit using hemp/cannabis products and see what the withdrawals are like.”
The scourge of the opioid epidemic has made the general public very aware of how devastating drug withdrawals can be. Listening to an opioid addict talk about withdrawals is both sobering and sad. Most say that they’d rather die and withdraw, and a lot of them do. Statistically, everyone reading this has been personally affected by opioid addiction.
Although I knew that cannabis withdrawal wasn’t the same as oxycodone withdrawal, I was still kinda scared that I was gonna be in for some pain during the next 5-7 days. I was also worried that if the withdrawals were really bad, I may have to reevaluate my stance on cannabis’ safety. I didn’t want to have an epiphany that made me change my career at 44 years old.
I quit using all hemp/cannabis stuff ‘cold turkey.’ I woke up, drank a cup of coffee, and started working. I was fine. I didn’t get cocky because I know that it takes a little bit for drugs to leave your system and withdrawals kick in. Day 2 came and went and I was fine. Days 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 came and went and the only thing that I noticed is that I would get bored doing mundane tasks like paying a bill, counting inventory, or listening to my wife.
I didn’t have headaches, nausea, or anything else that’s associated with drug withdrawals. I did notice that I either dreamed more or I remembered my dreams better – I don’t know which it was. I also noticed that aches and pains were sharper and I had to take aspirin more than normal, but I don’t think any of this was bad.
I went 14 days without using any cannabinoids and the only side effect I noticed was I was less tolerant of my wife’s nagging. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
I concluded that RESPONSIBLE USE of THC is just as safe as everyone has been saying for the last 2000 years. Anything is bad if you abuse it – you can die from drinking too much water. I guess this goes back to the wisdom of my ancient Greek ancestors and them preaching moderation and self-awareness.
Thanks for reading and let’s have a great 2023!