Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Why do/don't you smoke marijuana?


#1

This question is directed at those with SZ but I’m only a caretaker so wasn’t sure if it should go here or in Diagnosed… in any case I didn’t want to revive the old marijuana thread because I have a specific question about using marijuana with SZ, not about possible health benefits or the pros and cons of legalization, and I agree with what some people said about that turn of conversation not being beneficial here.

But as someone who smokes it every day, and has an SZ roommate who does the same, I’m curious. I’ve heard that it can make symptoms much worse. Firstly I’m wondering about the details of that – does it only make paranoia and hallucinations and such worse when you’re actually high, or does it make everything worse even when sober, if you smoke regularly?

Is there anyone here with SZ who smokes and doesn’t see adverse effects?
If you’re the family member of someone who’s been diagnosed and smokes weed, what effects have you noticed?

And most of all, if you do smoke it regularly, what do you think it is that compels you to? Is it much the same as for anyone who becomes dependent on it – it makes you feel happy, relieves stress or anxiety, makes everything more fun, helps you sleep, etc? Or do you feel it helps your SZ specifically?

In the case of my roommate, I have been concerned over the amount she smokes, but have given up trying to change that. As other caretakers will understand, when you live with someone with SZ you have to pick your battles. My boyfriend and I figured it was much more important to make sure she takes her pills and goes to work and stays functioning, than to tackle an addiction, which is rough even when you don’t have other mental illnesses. Especially since the side effects it seems to give her aren’t usually serious, and are pretty much the same as for us: lack of motivation if you don’t pick your times well, spending money on it that could be spent elsewhere, wanting it every day. None of these are good, true, but it doesn’t seem to cause her to freak out, and in any case, it’s her choice. Even though it does concern me that she’s said more than once, when we suggest she at least cut back, that she doesn’t feel able to. I’ve been there myself, and it’s not fun. I’m no longer dependent on it like that, but I know it’s a hard pit to dig yourself out of.
The only time she had a reaction that could be considered psychotic was before she lived with us. And even then, I’ve heard of people who don’t have SZ and just went way over their tolerance level having freak-outs like this. She called 911 because (after smoking a whole gram by herself) she thought she was turning into a golden statue, and soon wouldn’t be able to move at all.
Nothing like that has happened since she’s been living with us. And I can’t help feeling that if it did make her paranoia or delusions or hallucinations worse, she wouldn’t crave it like she does.

But that’s what I’m wondering – could it be a love-hate relationship?

What are your experiences with SZ and MJ?


#2

I was an avid mj smoker for a lot of years. I’m still in favour of legalization and all.

Well, it didn’t help me at all. I think in my case I smoked it to relax my mania, and I really loved the flavour of it. I was so used to wake up and smoke, it was my morning ritual. And then again before sleeping. And a lot of it in between. When I was not working I would smoke all day long, hardly smoked cigarettes. While working a lot less, I didn’t have the time.

I always had a bit of paranoia with it, but was accostumed to dismiss it as such and it usually passed. When I was psychotic I used to smoke to have visual hallucinations, that’s how far gone I was. I wanted them, they were confortable.

There was one summer, in the beginning of my psychotic break, that I spent an entire night after smoking some potent mj hugging a button that said “don’t panic” on it, because I thought I was being abducted by aliens. Also, around the same time, I could feel, see and live withing the Yin Yang, and my cat was my guide in my discovery. I had a lot of experiences, that at the time I considered esoterical, with mj.

I don’t regret smoking it, I think I would develop sz anyway. Probably without LSD I wouldn’t have such a strong psychotic break though.

I’m a believer that people with sz shouldn’t smoke. It’s not good for you, even with low thc. But for each, each own choices.


#3

I have never smoked marijuana, not even tried it, the reason why I do not smoke or have not tried to smoke is that it is illegal and I do not want to mess up my mind. In my society I have never seen anybody smoking marijuana or using any other illegal drugs.


#4

Yeah, that’s about what I figured. It’s probably not really “good” for any of us who don’t have the actual qualifying conditions. I use it for anxiety but I’ve heard plenty of people claim it actually increases anxiety. Maybe it does for some, but I don’t think it does for me. To each their own.

Wow, that’s a pretty good reason. Where is your society if you don’t mind me asking?
I started because it was around me. I didn’t give in to peer pressure, I decided for myself when I wanted to try it. But we live in Colorado, where it’s completely legal for anyone over 21 (or 18 for medical), so that makes it a lot harder to get away from.


#5

I don’t care for MJ. Even if it was legal and I had access to it free I would not smoke it.

Maybe I’d smoke it before thanksgiving dinner, but that’s it! :wink:


#6

That is one of the best times. I love Thanksgiving, it sucks when you’re not hungry enough to eat all you want. Be warned though, if you do enhance your appetite that way, your stomach will probably regret it the next day. Speaking from experience. :sweat:


#7

http://www.schizophrenia.com/research/cannabis.htm

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000220


#8

I don’t because I don’t like the act of smoking. Grosses me out.


#9

It has an awful effect on me so I don’t smoke MJ; same with my person with diagnosis. Dramatically increases family member’s distressing symptoms.


#10

I do not smoke it because it stinks.
If I want that smell on me, I’ll go SquEEze a skunk.


#11

After a year of smoking frequently without problem, I became actively psychotic every time I smoked it for hours at a time while high
It may have been what caused the constant episode as well (I mean the need to take meds)


#12

I stopped smoking fairly quickly after starting. I got some that was loaded with PCP, and that combined with a sz mind, made for quite a disaster. Hallucinations, aggression, and paranoia to the max…no bueno, no mas.


#13

well, @Malvok I’ve finally decided it’s not worth it for me anymore. I still love it and if I’m ever offered to take a hit I probably would. but for me, it’s costly and it ruined my marriage and that’s enough for anyone, right? If it just weren’t so damn expensive I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I’m a po’ boy. and even poorer when I buy weed.


#14

When I smoke I get really paranoid, but as far as I can tell it’s just when i’m high. Last time I smoked I kept thinking everybody was going to fight me


#15

I’m not a smoker of the stuff nor a non smoker of it. Why do I? No idea…one hit is enough for me. I guess because it was a part of my identity in my youth or something…the musicians I liked sang about it was just around me nearly all the time.

Why shouldn’t I? Because it is not a social thing for me (yes it can make me socially paranoid) and also has a sapping effect on my attention span. Makes me feel weird and unsure of myself. But I’m not against it in any way at all. I think you know if it was something I could just purchase at a shop legally I might have a toke now and then for my own well being. But the way the majority of people smoke it (higher tolerance/different effect) doesn’t work for me.


#16

This is the thing right here

It makes my head feel like it’s full of fog, and I get hyper and anxious and I can’t remember anything


#17

I don’t because I get paranoid and think people are thinking negative sh-t about me. And I can’t tell volume levels, like if I’m talking loud or too quite…


#18

Smoking affects my schizophrenia in no apparent way that I can tell. It does however get rid of my suicidal thoughts which I deal with every day.

I quit smoking but in the past two months I’ve taken one hit three seperate times. So did I quit? Lol I don’t know. I try to stay away because the doctors advise me it’s a bad idea.


#19

I don’t smoke it because it makes me paranoid, depressed and obsessed.


#20

I used to smoke a lot when I was younger. Every day… any chance I could… all the time… all day if I was able…

At first I thought it was great, and relaxing. It took the hard edge off the world. I loved being high. My body felt like it was melting… but then that feeling of being out of body would happen.

The out of body feeling would get worse…. I would think that I was dead and had no way to get back into my body.

I would think I was caught in a time loop… doing the same thing over and over. Then on top of the out of body… things felt hazy and out of synch like a badly translated movie… the voice came after people stopped talking.

When the body was numb and immobile… the visual would act up and so would the voices…

I started to get really paranoid and think I was being followed and I also had the feeling like I blacked out… even if I hadn’t.

I was sure I was losing time. I was sure I had lost people… Lots of delusions and sneaky brained thinking crept in hard.

The last time I smoked it… I had some visuals and violent intruding thoughts. I was super delusional and that sparked the paranoia…

Another thing that didn’t help… when I was smoking pot… I had no motivation… no will or want when I came down…

I also stopped taking my meds…

My high times are over.

http://www.schizophrenia.com/prevention/streetdrugs.html
From Sz.com… Marijuana and Sz… scientific studies… effects… the rest.