Citation: Dr. Buggernuts. "The Most Frightening 30 Minutes of my Life: An Experience with Cannabis (Hashish) & Alcohol (exp55332)". Erowid.org. May 29, 2009. erowid.org/exp/55332
I've only smoked hashish about 6 times before. Two of those times I took drainers and have a very vague but pleasant recollection of constant laughter with friends, a sense of inner peace, general relaxation and ease to fall asleep. The other times I smoked part of one or two joints, and felt almost nothing.
What happened about two hours ago was different. I and two good friends were taking the night easy, drinking beer slowly and chatting, when a person I barely knew (both my friends knew her well) showed up and invited us all to collect some hashish from her dealer and smoke it together. So we all got on a bus and went to a secluded and fairly quiet park where money and goods were exchanged, sat down on benches, and our inviter (a very experienced smoker) began rolling.
The environment was not very nice: ugly concrete pavements and walls, too many people walking around, even right past us from time to time. Even the plants and trees looked ugly in the dark, the scene only illuminated slightly by the orange light of a street lamp. But all the same, the atmosphere between us was reasonably comfortable and relaxed. When the joint was ready, we began smoking, two-toke-pass style, and I really wanted to get high so I took very big drags (must have been about 15 in all). The others were keeping the smoke in their lungs for as long as possible before exhaling, so I did the same.
Time passed as we shared the joint from person to person. After my third round, I began to feel a strong but not unpleasant tingling sensation in my arms which I had experienced before. This began intensifying into an intense, and slightly uncomfortable, cold 'electric shock' feeling throughout my body. But I thought nothing of it, and took my fourth and final drag. By this time, I had become quite uncomfortable. My head felt as if its contents were spinning at high speed and I began to feel quite worried, but this was nothing compared to what was to come. I went to get a drink across the road- Vodka Cruiser- came back, and began drinking it, hoping to get rid of an annoying dry mouth feeling. At around this point I noticed that my heart was beating unusually fast and I was sweating profusely, and although I tried to reassure myself for a few minutes that this was normal and nothing was wrong, the thought that I was having a heart attack eventually slipped into my mind. From that second onwards, my nightmare started.
Suddenly, I was convinced I was dying and started to feel short but strong bursts of pain in my heart area, and felt sure I had a defect or a small hole in my heart. I put my hand there and couldn't even distinguish between the two 'lub-dub' beats, it was pounding around in there faster than it ever had. At this point, the spinning had extended (at least, it seems so in retrospect) to my whole body. Everything became hazy and pale-white in my field of vision, and when I stared into the dark I saw what looked like a yellow target (the kind you see in submarine films on the periscope) fixed in the air right in front of me. I felt the alcohol might be contributing to my state, so I stopped drinking. I was so nervous by now that I found myself leaning forward in an unusual, strained way and realised I was moving my feet about restlessly, thinking about going home as soon as possible and that these were the last minutes of my life. I was silent by now, and barely even paid attention to the others who were talking between each other, lost in my own world of paranoia and terror. I wished I'd never smoked.
I tried to hold on as long as possible so as not to embarrass myself, but eventually felt I had to stand up rather than sit. I tried to walk a little forward and turn around to face the others, but all I managed was to stumble about, 360 degrees, before having to sit down again. When one of my friends asked me if I was alright, obviously, I started feeling like an idiot- but the humiliation didn't stop there. I became so paranoid about my heart and so disoriented because of my head I decided I needed to go home, and the thought of telling my parents what I had done to get them to take me to hospital even crossed my mind. Eventually I gave in, and told the others that I needed to leave. The most experienced smoker told me to stay there and that if I left, the crowds on the way home would make me even more nervous. So I asked at least if we could move so I could lie down, and we got up and started walking to the other side of the park.
This is when the strangest physical experience of my life occurred. About half-way there, I started walking from side to side while walking as if I were drunk. This became a complete stumble because of the total disorientation in my head, like when you get off a wheel-go-round at a park after spinning very fast, eventually my legs gave way and I fell flat on my back to the floor. I didn't pass out, and remember saying: 'What the **** was that?' while lying on there. I had no clue what was happening to me. They led me to a bench and I remember having trouble seeing the thing at first, let alone trying to balance and not fall off. The experienced smoker started rubbing a bottle of cold Coca-Cola on my face, insisting that the cold would make me feel better, but it didn't, and this worried me even more. Another friend told me to try to zone out (which actually did help), and that nobody had ever died from taking hash.
At this point I realised I was absolutely dripping with sweat and that my arm veins were bulging out, but most of the time I sat with my head hanging down, eyes closed, focusing on thoughts was almost impossible, and it took effort to keep my head in a proper position. When the others lit up another joint I moved out of the smoke and sat on the curb quietly for at least 20 minutes, most of the time my head in my arms on top of my knees.
My head cleared up quite fast, I stopped sweating eventually, kept reassuring myself that everything was going to be OK. I looked up occasionally at passers-by, who gave me long stares which pissed me off rather than scared me. My friends were very patient and helpful, telling me various encouraging things. I felt a lot better mentally after describing what I had just been feeling, to be told that it was called a 'Whitey' and that it happens to a lot of people, including themselves in the past. Slight symptoms of what had happened before, or at least that's what I felt, occasionally came back in waves, but not nearly as bad as before. Another thing I remember at one point was catching movement in my peripheral vision, looking around, and seeing what I could have sworn was a little boy running across the soil about 20 metres away, stopping, and bending down to pick something up. When I re-focused, it was unmistakably a small tree.
After this, my condition steadily improved, and about 50 minutes from when we first started smoking, I felt good enough to walk home. I was told I'd gone over my personal limits (being an infrequent smoker and having drank before, and during, the session). I also think the fact that I didn't eat anything significant since lunch that day, the ugly (not to mention busy) environment, and the sense of unfamiliarity I had with the other person may have contributed. I'd also been feeling very bored, even perhaps a little low, during the day.
Not only will I cut down the amount I smoke in the future, I'll give hashish and any other kind of drug a miss for a long while.
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