Citation: RedTides. "Heavy Use Ends in Health Complications: experience with AM-2201 (ID 95702)". Erowid.org. Jun 26, 2012. erowid.org/exp/95702
A little background:
I've been quit smoking marijuana more than 3 years for ongoing health/asthma issues associated with long term heavy use. I really used it for lifelong sleeplessness and anxiety issues that most prescribed medications do not begin to address. So I'd already been seeing various doctors in that time and my sleep/anxiety issues increased dramatically with my cessation of marijuana.
Starting in mid 2011 I was introduced to synthetic cannabinoids and several of their chemical variants. After trying a few 'herbal blends' of varying success and I began ordering and doing my own dosing, main one I used being AM-2201. The only other drug I've been on at the time was daily prescribed doses of Hyrdocodone for early arthritis in my knees.
First night I researched with the powdered form of the chemical I basically OD'd myself gradually and slowly over 10 hours as I read up on what to expect. Figured if I did it sooner and eased into it I would build a tolerance a bit faster and not have anything unexpected happen later. The OD started off mild and quickly got severe with rapid onset heartbeat, vomiting, and highly dissociative hallucinations. This all came on within 5 minutes of my last inhale, major symptoms of heartbeat and nausea were over within another 5 minutes, the peak hallucinatory portion of the experience lasted another 10 minutes before beginning tapering off slowly, then coming down fully over about another 20 minutes, noticed severe sleepiness afterwards.
The experience was a tad frightening but being it was hitting the right spots in my brain my anxiety was very very mild during the experience, in fact it was nearly non-existent. I was able to look at the experience clinically detached and while the trip was nice, the things that went along with it weren't so much. I would avoid doing anything like this again and only approached being near that high one other time without the physical problems.
As other long term users have noted, tolerance began to quickly build and so I began to increase dosages. In less than 2 weeks I went from .25mg up to about 1mg per research session. As dosage increased so did problems with eating, very loose bowel movements, stomach pains like hunger but followed by intense nausea which would repeat until eating, severe nausea on waking in the morning, increasingly severe intestinal cramping, and increased acid reflux. Dosing with AM-2201 about 45minutes after onset of 7.5mg of Hydrocodone would reduce these symptoms greatly, but not eliminate them. The downside was a tendency to dehydrate quickly. I experimented often with onset of 15mg of Hydrocodone mixed with smoking a nice dosage of synthetic cannabinoids in the evenings. It would literally knock me out for 10-12 hours a go.
After about 5 months in, I was up to 5mg per session and pushing more just to maintain getting a marijuana like experience. I realized during this period that my usual use of Hydrocodone as per prescription wasn't doing much for my pain as it has for the past several years, in fact I couldn't even tell I was taking that medication any longer. Along with that the reduction of bad side-effects noted above, while in the past would not all happen at same time, began to combine on me more severely to bring me to a debilitating point with my health, plus my habit was becoming more expensive than my previous one. so I realized I needed to make a decision.
I quit using synthetic cannabinoids:
I had already read up on the withdrawals associated with synthetic cannabinoids and quitting, I broke down and scored about 2 oz's of strong local hydro marijuana to attempt to facilitate a what I hoped would be a mild withdrawal experience. While it was able to help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal to a degree, the anxiety and sleeplessness issues reared their ugly heads making for a hell of a time getting clean. I was irritable, cranky, I found myself constantly wandering around feeling lost and not knowing what I was thinking I was doing at times.
Not to mention I could not actually get high off the marijuana, either the damage to my receptors was severe enough, or my tolerance for cannabinoid compounds was just insurmountable at that time. I could tell I had smoked cannabis but I did not get the feeling or physical symptoms that go along with being high. Basically it would just makes me lightheaded and ease the symptoms to a degree. But in the end I blew a bunch of money I had no reason to spend on a drug that didn't really work any longer.
So I take the step not to tell my Dr. the whole truth but to relate my symptoms as an on again off again thing that had began about the same timeframe as my use started. I go through a month of exams I've had in the past and basically without going into every detail, I had a severely enlarged liver, full blown IBS, and after an endoscopy a year ago, and compared to the new one, my esophageal flap had eroded by nearly 60%. I've never had issues with my digestion or used anti-acids with anything resembling regularity. Now I'm having to take a slew of prescription medications for digestion problems, having to eat antacids hand over fist, and I'm looking at having surgery for my esophagus. My Dr. is still flabbergasted over my declining health, and he was pretty sure I had cancer as I had dropped tons of weight, and am now well under 200lbs and still unable to put on weight.
Also, my tolerance for cannabis has not fallen much here months later after no usage of either drug, I tried a few grams and the results was disheartening. Not only have I screwed my health to worse than what it was before along with still having previous issues, but now there's no point in even trying to buy/smoke cannabis if I were so inclined in the future. Maybe I'll get adventurous in a year and see if I can get high.
Another tolerance issue is with acetaminophen. Tylenol has no effect on my pain any longer. Ibuprofen still works to a degree, but it explains why I have reduced pain relief from the Hydrocodone I'm prescribed now. I'm not a heavy abuser of my pills only taking when needed or on certain nights when I want to help myself sleep without as much pain. But I've had to compensate by taking more when I need the pain relief.
But looking at my experience and others with long time usage, I think there's going to be more people ending up with long term health problems they cannot rightly explain for lack of medical study/evidence on the subject.
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