I first used THC when I was 15. I had heard about it on the internet. I was an avid YouTube watcher, and some of the people there were weed smokers.
At the beginning of my sophomore year in high school, I saw someone vaping a Juul in class. I asked if I could hit it. Immediately I thought I was cool and I needed to get my own Juul. Through a kid I knew who vaped from freshman year, I asked him if he could get me a Juul. I would let people hit my Juul, and I thought I finally made it and had friends.
A few weeks later, I found a kid with a dab pen. We made a trade where he could use my Juul, and I could use his dab pen. The first hit I took, I was rolling on the ground, holding my head, but I was hooked. I would keep hanging out with this person until I got my own dab pen. Dab pens were really easy to get at high school. I got my own, then another one, and another one. The bathrooms at school were filled with people vaping nicotine and weed. I thought I had made it. I was one of the cool kids.
About a year after I first smoked weed. I found someone who was selling LSD. I took a high dose and ended up hallucinating, then passing out. I woke up to see my room destroyed. The reason I got into LSD was because of the people on the internet talking about how good it was. I thought I was going to have a spiritual experience and be happy. It really only sent me into further addiction. Later on, I would try mushrooms and then edibles. Around when Covid hit, I bought a weed edible from a friend. He said it was infused with a lot of wax. I ate that and ended up hallucinating really bad. I believe that’s where I really got sent into psychosis.
Family issues were happening. I was isolating more and more. Then one day, I got a message from a friend. He said he had some Delta-8-THC wax from California. He put it in cartridges and gave me a bunch to sell. I just smoked it all. I had a psychotic break when I got home from school one day. My parents took me to the mental hospital. In the hospital, they gave me a medication which caused me to hallucinate. I stopped taking it. I would argue with my parents over the phone and tell them to take me out.
After I got out, I still had my stash of Delta-8 THC. I would vape it and sit in my room watching conspiracy theories all day on the internet. After causing some more issues with my family, they took me to rehab. That day was the last time I used THC. Rehab was good and bad. It gave me some time to clear up off of the THC. I was defiant and got put in isolation for my first 3 days. Reality was a struggle for me. When I stopped taking THC, there were still some residual effects. I was in psychosis for a couple of years.
While in rehab, I planned to start my own weed farm and save the world through this powerful medicine. One of the staff there was totally on board and gave me suggestions on how to do it. I think this is because of a lack of education on weed and the propaganda of CBD and THC out there.
After I got out of rehab, my parents found an alternative peer group of teenagers who were sober. I was also put into outpatient. That helped me gain some new friends who weren’t using drugs. I was still very spiritual and looking for that spiritual awakening. I would eat random mushrooms in the ground or take a bunch of essential oils. Then one day, I went back to the mental hospital because my psychosis worsened. I think it was a combination of not eating a lot but only eating mushrooms. When I got out and started to get my life together, but one day I was desperate to get high. I searched my room for any cartridges of THC that might be in there. Luckily I didn’t find any.
I was in AA and knew I had to get a sponsor and work the steps. I found one and worked the steps, and the desire to get high again left me. Still, to this day, I’ve had no desire to smoke weed again. However, there still are some mental issues going on. My recovery routine today consists of eating natural foods and supplements also. I started juicing fruits and vegetables and taking supplements. I also started to exercise more. My brain started to clear more.
I moved out of my parent’s house into sober living, which is where I am today. I pay my own bills and support myself. My recovery today is a combination of a lot of things. Treatment centers and outpatient programs helped me build healthy relationships. AA helped me not want to get high anymore and have a purpose in life. Then eating healthy and exercising helped my brain clear up from the psychosis. I was also on medication for a period of time which helped with stabilization. I don’t see medication as a long-term solution, though, for me.
My message to the youth would be to stay away from weed and other drugs. Weed can cause psychosis. It’s not worth the risk to try to be cool and fit in with kids at school. I’d find new friends who are sober and living a purposeful life. There’s a lot of pro-pot messaging out there for the legalization of marijuana. They either want to make money off the youth or are ignorant of the stories of psychosis happening around the world.
Recovery is possible if you’re addicted to THC. I would say I have recovered from it. You also can have fun while sober. It’s not all serious. We laugh a lot, and I’ve met some great people through recovery.
Cannabis-induced psychosis is real, but so is recovery.
K., young adult
To hear more about K’s experience, please register for his talk on August 4th at 6 pm central time.