Citation: Riley. "Withdrawal from Herbal Incense: An Experience with 'Gorilla Dro' (JWH-210 & Unknown) (exp96302)". Erowid.org. May 31, 2012. erowid.org/exp/96302
During the past 4 months, I smoked multiple blends of “herbal incense” daily. Gorilla Dro and Gorilla Dro Xtra were my brands of choice and made up roughly 80% of the herbal blends I smoked. Interestingly, these varieties were sold bulk from the local retailer, not packaged in attractive, sealed pouches. They indicated this was to give the consumer more product for less money. At a different shop, a salesman sold me Gorilla Dro from a labelled package and stated that the dealers of unlabeled packages were selling a counterfeit product.
Yes, Gorilla Dro in a labeled pack was more expensive the bulk pack, but the bulk was also more potent. I also used, to a much more limited degree, brands sold as 7H Hydro, 7H Kush, Black Rooster Purple Haze and a few other varieties that gave the same general feel as Gorilla Dro but had different flavors (some were disgusting) and typically required the user to smoke more of the herb, faster.
At first, 2 moderate inhalations from a pipe would put me into a state very similar to that induced by high-grade marijuana. With Gorilla Dro, the latest round of presumed-synthetic-cannabinoid-laden herbs, the psychoactive effect was finally of a primarily pleasant experience (none of the anxiety or panic attack that previous formulations delivered--such as with JWH-018).
The tolerance to Gorilla Dro is just as significant as previous herbal blends. Day 1 of smoking, a single bowl is more than enough (likely too much). Day 2 requires a little more to attain the same high. Fast forward to Day 21, I was comfortably smoking 2 bowls (6 inhalations) during each session, 2-3 sessions per day.
More than 1 month in, I took a break for 5 days--I was going out of town for business and thought it’d give me a good opportunity to reduce my tolerance so I could enjoy the herbal mix more upon my returned home.
Nausea and diarrhea hit me that first day without smoking. I chalked this up to a nervous tummy due to traveling. Later that day, the corners of my mouth and upper lip started to feel irritated. The next morning, a small strip of skin at the corners of my mouth extending to the skin on my upper lip felt burned and was a fresh, irritated red. This symptom was ameliorated with medicated Blistex (it felt so good to put the Blistex on! immediate relief!). However, I suspect the reason for this severe chapping was due to dehydration: I wasn’t drinking much fluid (my upset stomach was revolted at the idea of food or drink of any sort, more on that later) and I had significant diarrhea. I was drying out.
During the first 2 days of this break from smoking, the thought of eating (much less the action of doing so) would drive me to nausea. When I logically knew I needed to eat and forced myself to take a bite, my mouth would immediately dry up--it would take forever to chew a single bite because of this--and my stomach would begin turning. If I took 3 bites of food during the course of a meal, I was doing good. Mentally, I was empty-headed. I couldn’t maintain even the simplest thought for very long. It felt almost like being light-headed when sick with severe head congestion. Memory, in general, had become worthless.
Day 3 was a little better: the chapped lips were no longer a bother (crusted over and almost healed), I could stomach to drink a normal amount of water and I could comfortably nibble on food (still didn’t have an appetite).
On Day 4, I was invited to smoke some marijuana. I jumped at the opportunity finally got an appetite and my mind cleared up significantly! I felt much better, overall, on Day 5, but the empty headedness continued...bettered a bit after I smoked some more marijuana.
Day 6, I return home and immediately purchase more Gorilla Dro and smoked it. I immediately felt 100%. The mental fogginess vacated, my mood perked up, I felt back to baseline (what I knew of baseline at the time). The thought that the Gorilla Dro was physically addictive did pop into my mind briefly, but how could that be if the primary active is a cannabinoid? So, I started smoking it daily again.
Interestingly, the longer I smoked, the greater the thought and feel of some grand understanding of the universe became. During this whole time of smoking, I was becoming almost listless, too. Early on, I could be found smiling much more than usual (that would stop after 2 months). I was talking less and *feeling* as though my mind was becoming more contemplative, like it was figuring out some important cosmic stuff, but it never went beyond that--just a feeling, never any “knowing.” I enjoyed this feel, but it was disturbing in that I logically realized I wasn’t consciously gaining any great insight, but I *felt* I was.
Fast forward 2 more months of daily use: smoking up to 3 grams of Gorilla Dro per day, every 2-3 hours. Wake up at night, suddenly struck with insomnia, smoke a bowl of Gorilla Dro in order to be able to go back to sleep. That’s the only thing that would let me get back to sleep. This resulted in at most 5 hours of sleep each night, interrupted to smoke. All the while, my appetite vanished. Even when not sick from withdrawal, I could eat very little. But what I did eat felt perfectly sufficient. I lost at least 10 pounds in the previous 2 weeks--that seemed nice at least.
It was a few more days before I’d realize this was all due to withdrawal from Gorilla Dro. Those next few days started with dry heaving. And the withdrawal came fast. One day, I’d wake up and dry heave a bit--maybe throw up some bile or mucus. Once the wave of nausea seemed to pass, I drove to the shop and bought some Gorilla Dro. Smoked that and felt perfectly better! It reminded me of how marijuana eases/eliminates nausea in many patients. So, I’d smoke that Gorilla Dro for that day, wake up the next morning ill. “Since I can’t legally have marijuana, the solution is Gorilla Dro!” And the illness would go away...until I ran out again the next morning. And that last morning, I was severely ill.
After a few hours of vomiting and diarrhea, the body ache began to get worse--previously I chalked the body ache up to a side effect from the dry heaving. Mucus also seemed to be produced at a greater rate--constantly dripping down my throat and from my nostrils. The body is completely unable to hold down food or liquid at this time. I tried taking meclizine to help with the nausea but I quickly vomited the pill up with the swallow of water I used to take it. Chills, stomach cramps, anxiety. Yes, the anxiety...this went hand-in-hand with the mental emptiness: “Why can’t I keep a thought in my head for more than a second!?” Dry heave for an hour until finally puking up a little bile, feel better for a few minutes before spiraling down again. Repeat.
Once the shop opened, my wife drove me the 10 minutes to get some Gorilla Dro to ease the nausea. Arriving at the shop, I was sweating, nauseous (but holding it together), just a mess. I must have looked like I’d been vomiting, popped capillaries on my face, bloodshot, tearing eyes, walking half dead, sore, weak. On the short drive back home, we had to stop the car so I could vomit for a few minutes.
As soon as I got home and smoked a bowl of Gorilla Dro (yes, a bowl, not just a puff), all of those nasty withdrawal symptoms went away.
I realized at this point that I absolutely had to get off of this stuff. But I had to board a plane in 24 hours for another business trip. For the coming hours, I smoked much smaller amounts of Gorilla Dro (2 small one-hitter puffs) just to potentially ease the final withdrawal I knew I’d be hit with when I set the pipe down for good. I don’t know if this tapering helped because it was still so quick.
This withdrawal was the worst I’d apparently faced with Gorilla Dro as I’d built my tolerance up fairly high. This time around, I felt like total shit for 1 full day (and yes, the super-chapped lips/corners of mouth returned with a vengeance). Weak, couldn't function properly and miserably sick (vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms) for the next day. Benadryl helped ameliorate some of the symptoms and let me get some relaxation (if not actual sleep). Valerian root-based herbal pills also helped with some of the anxiety and insomnia. For the first couple of days, I took Valerian day and night--I’m certain it was the only thing allowing me to get any sleep at all for the first week off of Gorilla Dro. Valium or other benzodiazepines would have been extremely welcomed for calming down and getting past the worst of the withdrawal.
Having experienced several addictions before (GHB, tobacco, opium), Gorilla Dro was the worst. The other withdrawals seemed primarily emotional in nature; Gorilla Dro hits you physically, quickly, like being punched in the gut repeatedly.
A week without smoking and my appetite climbed up to, perhaps, 50% of what it was before I ever smoked Gorilla Dro. It took more than 14 days without smoking Gorilla Dro for me to really start to feel as though I was back in the land of the real and living.
In the last month, incorporating the final 2 weeks of smoking Gorilla Dro and the first 2 weeks without it, I lost 20 lbs. Eight weeks after quitting, my appetite is still weak, however, my mind is thriving--thoughts are clear, mood is better than before I ever touched Gorilla Dro.
I sent a sample of Gorilla Dro I'd been using to EcstasyData (ID 2433
) and they found it to contain JWH-210 and an unidentified substance (perhaps another cannabinoid?)
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