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Terror Blossom
Cannabis - Hash
by Samanthe
Citation:   Samanthe. "Terror Blossom: An Experience with Cannabis - Hash (exp11244)". Erowid.org. Dec 25, 2001. erowid.org/exp/11244

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1 hit smoked Cannabis - Hash

BODY WEIGHT: 127 lb


When I was 19, I tried Cannabis again, after having endured a massive overdose two years earlier [see “First High: Massive Overdose at 17”]. Again, I was living in Europe, where Cannabis consumers mainly smoke hash. For some reason, all my friends were heavy Cannabis users. I preferred my Cannabis-using technical college friends to the stodgy university students.

I finally felt one night that surely I could take a tiny hit of Cannabis and be fine with it. So I did, I took a tiny hit off a tiny roach. And I really didn’t feel different. We went on a long walk, and returned to a dorm room. I reclined against the wall, on top of a bed, just listening to people talking. My creepy chemist friend who always smelled of ether was lying next to me, tapping the locket I wore around my neck, looking up at me with a mischievous look. And then, completely out of the blue, hitting me like a bolt of lightning, I felt what I have described as a “blossom of terror” explode in my chest. In retrospect, it was a plain old unprovoked intense panic attack. I’m not entirely certain whether the cannabis caused it or if it was a coincidence. But it was suddenly centerstage and what I was forced to deal with. The fear was so mind-numbing, so incomprehensible and big, that I was struck speechless. I considered trying to communicate to my friends what I was experiencing, and dismissed it as impossible. It would only make me feel more alienated than I already suddenly felt. So I bolted out of the room back to my own room.

Once there, I called up my only other American friend in the dorm and asked her to help me. Thankfully, she was a regular Cannabis user and had done a bit of experimentation with mushrooms, and pretty much knew what was up. She was incredibly helpful, talking in soothing tones and telling me I would be OK. She asked me how she could help. I told her I felt like I was having a heart attack. We decided I would try to sleep and see how I felt in the morning.

Once I turned off the light and tried to sleep, I felt as intensely altered as I had back when I was 17 and massively overdosed. Only this time I was positive that if I fell asleep, I would die. (This pattern has re-emerged during subsequent psychedelic trips.) I had a picture in my minds eye of a shadowy door that was ajar, as if a “door in my mind” had been prematurely kicked open and subconscious material was leaking through. (This was several years before I heard the phrase, 'the doors of perception.') I had an “uh-oh” feeling. The muscles around my heart felt clenched and hurt. This pain and fear were worse even than my experience 2 years earlier. In the morning, a doctor came by with a portable EKG machine and declared my heart healthy. This did little to ease my fears. Essentially I was on a hair-trigger, with a fresh panic attack ready to burst open at any moment. Anxiety crowded almost everything else out of my mind for over two weeks. I was barely able to function in class. I was scared to put any medicines in my mouth, for fear that they would alter my body chemistry in a strange and evil way. Finally I went to the doctor and he boredly gave me pills to take; in retrospect they were probably a benzodiazepine anxiolytic. I endured the next few weeks. The panic attacks became less frequent, but I was still on edge constantly, for fear they would come back. It was a vicious cycle. Even just thinking about smoking Cannabis would trigger a funny sensation in the back of my head, like a panic attack beginning to bubble up. Smelling it was even worse. I was wound tight.

When I returned to the States and resumed my regular college life, the panic attacks seemed to melt into a phase of migraines. They felt related. The same sensations would start in the back of my head, but they exploded into intense headache tinged with a sense of loss and fear. I continued to be in mortal fear of smoking Cannabis. Thus began my battle with migraines.

So overall, there was a pattern emerging; I am highly sensitive to Cannabis. It has taken me 12 years to realize to what degree this is true, and how to handle the information.

I feel like much of my searching for meaning in this world has been related to better understanding what exactly happened to me that night, as I lay alone with fear and pain gripping my heart. This may sound overly dramatic, but it really was a reference point for years and years, a looming shadow on my horizon. Now I have integrated the 'terror blossom' and it is a memory with no charge to it. I have reached a point of gratitude, where that trauma is just a thread in the tapestry of my relatively stable and happy life. I think I was being nudged out of a sheltered suburban mindset, out into a mental space where I was forced to think for myself and question consensual reality. But what a journey! I think I would have benefited from access to data like what's posted here on Erowid. But who knows? That's not how my life has gone. This was before the ubiquity of internet.

Exp Year: 2001ExpID: 11244
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Dec 25, 2001Views: 43,676
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Cannabis - Hash (93) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Post Trip Problems (8), Bad Trips (6), General (1)

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