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Hey. My name's Gavin. I'm an 18 year old college freshman.

About six days ago, I smoked marijuana with a couple friends on campus. I didn't smoke much; I only took about 2 hits. But once the weed hit me, I had the scariest episode of my life. Suddenly, things stopped making sense, and I felt as though I were going to die. I basically had a huge panic attack. I was luckily able to spend the night in my friend's room. 

The high wore off completely by the next morning, but by then, something more troubling had begun. I felt this overwhelming anxiety that lasted the entire day, and things just didn't feel the same as before I smoked. Over the next couple days, things seemed dreamlike to me, and I still felt this overwhelming anxiety. I decided to see a doctor, and she told me I could be suffering from depersonilzation or derealization and that it will go away in time. I asked a couple friends, and one said that she had the same feelings as I do, and they eventually wore off.

It's been 6 days since I smoked, and I still feel anxious and nervous.. I sort of forget how to feel normal. My heart keeps racing from time-to-time, and I feel scared. My thoughts are always racing. Could this anxiety be exacerbated by the fact that I have finals coming up in about a week? Or is this just an effect of the marijuana? Has anyone else had this kind of experience? A response would be greatly appreciated. 


I've posted this reply now 3 times in the last 2 days but I will give this another shot :-D


The #1 side effect of marijuana is elevated heart rate and the #2 side effect is anxiety and this anxiety can be very intense, to the point of extreme panic and an ER visit. More than 30% of panic attack victims seen in emergency rooms are there because of marijuana induced panic attack. It's the #1 reason people visit the ER because of weed. Can you think of any other reasons? I can't.

Marijuana is a fairly well understood drug pharmacologically and really is essentially harmless. THC isn't a very potent or toxic substance. With that said it effects everyone differently and you never know how it's going to effect you. Much of it depends on your mood at the time, etc as with most psychoactive drugs. The amount of THC is any one joint is never known either so you don't know how much you're getting. 


I don't want to get too technical here but yes your symptoms are in all likelihood caused by the marijuana and your continued anxiety is just self-sustained fears coupled with finals coming up. If you smoke again it will probably happen again and here's why

-- You're going to be worried about it happening again so likely it will. 


Advice on the matter -- Reconsider smoking weed. I know it's fun but it stops being fun altogether when you have panic attacks while high. I can't smoke it either for the exact same reasons. Doesn't mean you're weak at all, just means weed has a more negative than positive effect on you and you're possibly a little more sensitive to its effects than others.