Depersonalization Caused by Marijuana Smoking and Marijuana Edibles

by Dr. R. E. Freedman

In recent times, a marijuana experience has become very different than the one might have had after smoking or ingesting marijuana in the past. This is because the amount of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects, is much higher today than in the past. It has recently risen from less than 1% – 4% in the 1990s, to nearly 13% today. Many times it reaches higher than 37% in many marijuana substances. This is quite a jump in potency and unexpected for many who are unaware of this fact.

The result for many is greater degrees of adverse reactions for longer periods of time. Individuals, especially those not used to inhaling or ingesting a substance of this potency may often experience the following reactions:

Adverse Reactions
– Disorientation
– Anxiety
– Panic
– Confusion
– Racing Mind
– Cotton Mouth (dry mouth)
– Thirst
– Racing Heart
– Depersonalization (feelings of unreality)

The problem with edible marijuana in particular is that it takes longer to work (30 minutes or more) but may last up to 8-10 hours at a time. This is quite different than the instant 3- 10 minute smoking high which lasts for a much shorter period of time. Impatient individuals often ingest too much of the edibles at one time, not understanding that it takes longer to experience the effects, much longer than smoking marijuana. Effects may be more pronounced from ingesting too much of the substance as well (dosages are not always regulated), leaving the individual feeling panicky with the realization of how much they consumed and that the effects often last up to 8-10 hours.

It is important for the individual to do the following if experiencing any distress:

Hydrate – Drink plenty of water and then drink some more.
Eat Food.
Breathe through the anxiety and remain as calm as possible
Learn the steps to overcome anxiety and continue using them
Remind yourself that this is basically a safe substance and it is merely a matter of time until symptoms subside.
Depersonalization will require a specific process to interrupt the symptoms.

It’s important to remember that the THC in marijuana after ingested (eaten) rather than smoked is broken down in the liver (metabilized) into a new compound that is quite a bit more psychedelic and lasts longer than regular THC. This is why many experience a stronger, “tripping” type experience after ingesting too much marijuana this way. It’s important to find out the dosage in an edible before ingesting rather than after.

It is also imperative to learn how edibles in particular interact with other medications and foods. This is not the marijuana of yesteryear and if taken in too large a dosage, one risks a strong and uncomfortable reaction, much more of a psychedelic nature than smoking.

Depersonalization and/or Anxiety Reactions

If you find that you are still experiencing feelings of anxiety and/or depersonalization 24 hours or more after using marijuana, do not panic. Some individuals are naturally more reactive to outside stimuli than others. It is indicative of a strong impression related to the mild trauma of this experience. The marijuana is out of your system but may leave you with a strong imprint of the event. This impression is not difficult to overcome when approached correctly. You have not damaged yourself or are going crazy. Your mind is still transitioning from the experience and memory often plays a strong part in this transition. The more upset and worried you become, the more prolonged and pronounced the experience.

This new and more powerful strain of marijuana is not for everyone. If you are highly reactive to outside stimuli, such as caffeine, nicotine, medications, alcohol or marijuana in the past, then you might experience a stronger reaction to smoking the marijuana of today, and definitely a stronger reaction to the edibles, as dosages are often unregulated and higher than one might expect.

Learning how to use these substances correctly along with knowing yourself is the key to maintaining a calm and less reactive mind and body.

Depersonalization accompanied by strong symptoms of anxiety is often experienced after a bad encounter with marijuana. It is upsetting, frustrating and often lingers if not approached correctly. It is not difficult to overcome but it is essential that one understands exactly what has occurred and how to interrupt the symptoms effectively.

Knowledge really is power and by learning all one can before experimenting with these substances is imperative in maintaining a peaceful state of mind without the interruption of intrusive symptoms to both mind and body.

For further information do not hesitate to call for a complimentary phone evaluation concerning this topic or check out our website for follow up information concerning our program package and phone/Skype counseling sessions.
Office Phone: 215-635-4700, 10-10 (EST)

Post Marijuana Depersonalization Syndrome

by Dr. R. E. Freedman

There is a pattern of symptoms which often follow the use of marijuana (smoking and edibles). This pattern may occur even years after the use of this substance without any repercussions. What generally occurs is a strong sensation of feeling unreal, detached, disoriented, foggy or disconnected. Many state they experience the prolonged sensation of feeling high, as if the marijuana remained in their system or caused damage within. This produces intense worry, fear, lack of sleep and loss of appetite. Concentration levels drop as does the ability to work, socialize, study or simply enjoy life.

We call this the Post Marijuana Depersonalization Syndrome (PMDS) and it is not an unusual occurrence. There is a typical personality type that experiences this reaction and it helps to know if one falls into this category. This is the individual who is basically:

– Highly intelligent
– Analytical
– Over-achiever
– Creative
– Perfectionist

– Most of all, this individual is Highly Reactive to outside stimuli, as exhibited in the following:

– Adverse reactions when taking prescription medications which often overrides the benefits of the medication.
– Intense reaction to caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or recreational drugs.
– Experiences discomfort in rising outdoor temperatures, with irritability, anxiety and tension.

This is also an individual who avoids the discomfort of confrontation and often represses strong emotions such as:


Instead of acknowledging and working out emotional distress, the individual represses emotions, which result in the manifestation of intrusive physical and emotional symptoms such as:

Feelings of Unreality
Brain Fog
Inability to Concentrate
Visual Disturbances
Headaches and Body Aches
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Loss of Appetite
Gastrointestinal Distress

These sensations are only exacerbated by the use of medication since the individual is highly reactive to outside stimuli and medication is high on this list.

Naturally, the remedy for Post Marijuana Depersonalization Syndrome (PMDS) is to completely avoid triggers such as:

Recreational Substances that alter one’s mental state
Excess of Sugar

It is also essential to learn how to interrupt symptoms and make the proper corrections, allowing a fatigued mind to refresh. This entails:

Learning how to make the proper Behavioral Corrections (Thought Modification) allowing a fatigued mind to refresh.
Using a highly specific Nutrition Plan to create a less reactive mind and body, resulting in balanced blood sugar levels and naturally boosting Serotonin levels in the brain.

The combination of Thought Modification along with Nutritional Corrections allow an exhausted mind and body to rejuvenate, allowing full clarity to permanently return.

For further information, feel free to contact our office for a complimentary phone evaluation.

Office Phone: 215-635-4700
Office Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM (EST)

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