Author Topic: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?  (Read 11628 times)

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 10:15:39 pm »
Hi everyone,

There has been a lot of discussion about Marijuana in the forum. Please read this link to understand the position we need to take here.

Guidelines/Rules Regarding the Use and Promotion of Medicines and Drugs

Since most of our members have dependency/addiction issues with benzodiazepines, and our stated mission is to help them quit, it would be untenable for us to allow content that discourages them from this goal, or encourages behaviour that might lead to a new dependency or addiction. Therefore:

    Do not promote illegal drug use. Nor should you describe drug paraphernalia, exult positive experiences, or glorify their use. Please keep descriptions factual and dispassionate.

    Do not promote the abuse (or illegal or inappropriate use) of medicines.

    Do not promote addictive substances as withdrawal adjunctives.


With the above guidance in mind, you may discuss your use of medicines and illicit drugs as they pertain to benzodiazepine use and withdrawal. Additionally, please bear in mind that our focus is benzodiazepine withdrawal, so the collective knowledge of our membership about drugs and medicines other than benzodiazepines will be limited. You should not expect, nor engage in, detailed discussions about drugs or medicines other than benzodiazepines.


http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=25735.0
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 10:23:16 pm »
If it's legal then go ahead and smoke as much as you want.  It won't hurt you right?  You've smoked for years without a problem, why would it be a problem now?  Like you said, you smoked on an empty stomach, if you think that is why you freaked out then what caused it the first time?

Please let us know if smoking pot helps you, this question comes up often and the responses are always the same.  It would be handy to have personal experiences attesting to the virtues of medical pot , if it works of course.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2011, 10:25:49 pm »
"THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the "high" that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.1

Not surprisingly, marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that, in chronic users, marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.2 As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.

Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms including: irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which can make it difficult to remain abstinent. These symptoms begin within about 1 day following abstinence, peak at 2-3 days, and subside within 1 or 2 weeks following drug cessation.

Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.9 Several studies associate workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover."


Does not sound good for wd to me
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2011, 10:47:52 pm »
"THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the "high" that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.1

Not surprisingly, marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that, in chronic users, marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.2 As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.

Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms including: irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which can make it difficult to remain abstinent. These symptoms begin within about 1 day following abstinence, peak at 2-3 days, and subside within 1 or 2 weeks following drug cessation.

Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.9 Several studies associate workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover."


Does not sound good for wd to me

There are different cannabinoid receptors, each with differing effects.  It also causes a cascade of serotonin, perhaps that is what relieves the depression?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 12:10:05 am »
Hi [...],

I have just stopped smoking pot after 11 years of nightly smoking (for the same reason I was rx'ed clonazepam which was for severe chronic insomnia that eventually turned out to be due to a thyroid problem that has since been treated), so if sharing my experience will be useful to you, then I will be happy to do so.

In a nutshell, in my case, pot was nothing short of a godsend for symptom relief, most especially insomnia, but other stuff, too, though this experience is not shared by everyone.  Towards the end of my tapers, it stopped having any effect other than mild sleepiness, and the last two times (at the very end of the .03mg mark) it was mildly dysphoric.  I had been planning on stopping once my withdrawal insomnia stopped, but since smoking became pointless I stopped for that reason a little earlier, instead.

As for if this is something that might be helpful for you, I would consider these factors:

1.  Is smoking pot substituting one thing for another?  I don't know if you were abusing benzos for the way they made you feel, or if you were like me and just unwittingly took it as rx'ed while feeling next to nothing only to have a rude awakening when you decided to stop.  I would certainly caution you against smoking pot if you have emotional addiction issues as opposed to purely metabolic ones.

2.  Is smoking pot legal/decriminalized/"lowest priority" where you live?  Obviously, if it is less than legal, there are some potential consequences to pursuing it.

3.  The whole panic/anxiety attack thing.  Of the people who are not in favor of pot during withdrawal, this seems to be a common thread, and it sounds like you've already experienced it first hand.  Now, I'm living proof that that's in no way inevitable that you'll have a negative experience as I hardly would have started smoking, much less kept it up for 11 years and through withdrawal, if I was experiencing panic from it.  I largely can't consider panic/anxiety a positive thing, but that said, pot does wear off pretty quickly so I guess if you have these symptoms you can just stop smoking and it will subside.

So, I don't know if that helps or not.  I think that more or less pot can clearly help some people (like myself) with withdrawal symptoms and can clearly have a negative effect on others (such as numerous other people who have posted about it in the past), so you're really the only one who can look at your circumstances and decide if this is something worth pursuing.

Good luck no matter what you decide!

 :)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2011, 12:21:08 am »
Hi [...],

I have just stopped smoking pot after 11 years of nightly smoking (for the same reason I was rx'ed clonazepam which was for severe chronic insomnia that eventually turned out to be due to a thyroid problem that has since been treated), so if sharing my experience will be useful to you, then I will be happy to do so.

In a nutshell, in my case, pot was nothing short of a godsend for symptom relief, most especially insomnia, but other stuff, too, though this experience is not shared by everyone.  Towards the end of my tapers, it stopped having any effect other than mild sleepiness, and the last two times (at the very end of the .03mg mark) it was mildly dysphoric.  I had been planning on stopping once my withdrawal insomnia stopped, but since smoking became pointless I stopped for that reason a little earlier, instead.

As for if this is something that might be helpful for you, I would consider these factors:

1.  Is smoking pot substituting one thing for another?  I don't know if you were abusing benzos for the way they made you feel, or if you were like me and just unwittingly took it as rx'ed while feeling next to nothing only to have a rude awakening when you decided to stop.  I would certainly caution you against smoking pot if you have emotional addiction issues as opposed to purely metabolic ones.

2.  Is smoking pot legal/decriminalized/"lowest priority" where you live?  Obviously, if it is less than legal, there are some potential consequences to pursuing it.

3.  The whole panic/anxiety attack thing.  Of the people who are not in favor of pot during withdrawal, this seems to be a common thread, and it sounds like you've already experienced it first hand.  Now, I'm living proof that that's in no way inevitable that you'll have a negative experience as I hardly would have started smoking, much less kept it up for 11 years and through withdrawal, if I was experiencing panic from it.  I largely can't consider panic/anxiety a positive thing, but that said, pot does wear off pretty quickly so I guess if you have these symptoms you can just stop smoking and it will subside.

So, I don't know if that helps or not.  I think that more or less pot can clearly help some people (like myself) with withdrawal symptoms and can clearly have a negative effect on others (such as numerous other people who have posted about it in the past), so you're really the only one who can look at your circumstances and decide if this is something worth pursuing.

Good luck no matter what you decide!

 :)
I think this is a pretty good answer, especially the part about everyone reacting differently. When I smoked while on benzos it did absolutely nothing good for me. Relaxed me  a bit and gave me a high, but that's it. It completely and utterly destroyed my memory. I also started getting panic attacks for the first time ever. Would not do it again.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2011, 01:16:40 am »


3.  The whole panic/anxiety attack thing.  Of the people who are not in favor of pot during withdrawal, this seems to be a common thread, and it sounds like you've already experienced it first hand.  Now, I'm living proof that that's in no way inevitable that you'll have a negative experience as I hardly would have started smoking, much less kept it up for 11 years and through withdrawal, if I was experiencing panic from it.  I largely can't consider panic/anxiety a positive thing, but that said, pot does wear off pretty quickly so I guess if you have these symptoms you can just stop smoking and it will subside.

So, I don't know if that helps or not.  I think that more or less pot can clearly help some people (like myself) with withdrawal symptoms and can clearly have a negative effect on others (such as numerous other people who have posted about it in the past), so you're really the only one who can look at your circumstances and decide if this is something worth pursuing.

Good luck no matter what you decide!

 :)

I'd say that psychosis, insomnia, memory loss and cognitive defect are just as common themes.

Perhaps those effects are what masks withdrawal so well for some users.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2011, 03:19:48 am »
Ive never had panic issues with marijuana but i know ive had through my w/d so im just going stay away from of it for now.... [...] i understand what your saying with all that but remember dont believe everything you read as this government acts upon saying marijuana does you so much damage and etc...blah blah bunch of bologna cuz ive been smoking everyday for 7 years straight and alcohol is 100 TIMES more dangerous with cognitive issues, psychological and driving! and its legal!!! Look what were going through cause of DOCTORS and its LEGAL! Doctors know that were only going get addicted to benzos yet they prescribe them like candy, this government is more corrupt than ur neighborhood drug dealer! marijuana does make you lazy and not want to do things ok but everyone is different, and im just going to try to hold my urge of smoking until im completely healed to be on the safe side....when i had my panic attack on my empty stomach my heartbeat was at 180/min which scarred me but after eating something it completely went away....MY THEORY IS CAUSE OF MY EMPTY STOMACH but im not going take that chance as one my main w/d symptoms is GI issues and [...] that info u got ive never heard of marijuana w/d lol after my first panic attack i stopped from one day to another n didnt notice anything but that i was just sober lol If it wasnt for the panic attack marijuana did wonders for me through w/d....oh well im almost done ill just stick it out till this is over  :-\....I just wanted hear from someone who prolly had the same experience as me to see if it is cause of my nerves in my stomach or it just happens.....[...] i was feeling great for the two weeks i was smoking it was just that one time that my hunger pains set in n i was uncontrollably hungry and i decided to smoke before eating and now i got sort of traumatized,if not id still be smoking right now.... :-\
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2011, 03:59:48 am »
Sounds like MIT- munchie induced tachycardia. Having a giant bag of chips on hand is essential.

Really tho- just lay off for now! You can toke it up after a safe amount of time has lapsed.

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Can marijuana help through benzo withdrawal?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2011, 03:42:34 am »
Marijuana has helped me in so many ways. I was using it before benzos a little bit, but once I started taking klonopin I was using it every night. In fact, this is what prevented me from taking what my psychiatrist recommended: 4 .5 tablets a day. Instead I took one a day, and smoked at night to put me to sleep instead of taking another pill.

When I was going through my taper, I honestly do not think I could have done it without pot. And for this reason: I experienced zero hours of insomnia. That may be hard for anybody to believe who has gone through this process. During my taper I only smoked at night in order to keep my tolerance as low as possible so that it would put me to sleep. It a time when I could sit back, relax and breathe, and most importantly, be completely relieved of all the depression the withdrawal was causing, and for the cherry on top, it put me to sleep.

I am still smoking, but took a 5 month break over the winter. The only adverse effects that I have from it are being anxious sometimes, especially going out in public. I do not like to smoke, and then go to the store. It is something I do with close friends or on my own in the comfort of my home or dorm room. But when I am not high, I am not anxious in public or in social situations.

In terms of long term effects, I will say this...I think whenever I get high during the day, its like I'm having a glass of red wine. Only in the long run, the health effects will be less intense than if I had been drinking. But it's still important for me to understand that I am making a habit out of something. The physical addiction is virtually nothing, more on the level of being addicted to coffee. But mentally, it's a pretty strong crave. For me, the benefits just outweigh everything.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.