Yesterday a package came in the mail from Amazon. Not remembering that I had ordered anything, I gave it a couple shakes. Like a lot of the stuff they ship, the box was too big for its contents and the item inside jostled for position against inflatable plastic packing. I shook the package again, this time a little harder and in varying directions to get a better fix on the muffled audio emanating from the passenger inside. Beneath the easily audible and obvious dull knocking came the unmistakeable rattle of hundreds of capsules. A tiny spark of excitement ignited inside me as my memory jogged. Cannitrol. At last, I was to to become the Cannitrol Guinea Pig.
I like using keys to open Amazon boxes, and packaging in general. The teeth bite into the packing tape easily and then it just takes a swift motion to rip and claw a line running the full length of the box. It’s the sort of technique that would make my mom cringe, causing her deep emotional and physical discomfort, inciting protests and pleas for me to wait while she fetched a pair of scissors; the right tool for the job. But today is my day, and unlike my mom, I won’t be saving the box to add to an already absurdly large and unnecessary collection of boxes and packing material.
So basically, the story starts like this:
I have met hundreds of people since starting QWAS, and thousands more visit my site every year for help with quitting weed. Fear of withdrawal is almost always a concern for people, and I get asked regularly about sleep aids, anti-anxiety meds, and something to help improve moodiness after quitting. A product named Cannitrol is one of the products I have suggested that people try. I don’t endorse Cannitrol, just point people in the right direction and have them do the research. Well, today, that’s changing. I’m officially on Day 1 of my 90 day Cannitrol experiment.
Why Am I doing this?
After smoking weed almost every day for more than 15 years before quitting, I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to just slip quietly out the side door and resume normal life without some sort of lingering prolonged consequences. In my case, anxiety and depression have been long time companions since quitting more than 10 years ago. I manage well in my professional life for the most part, but at home I can be moody bitch, or just a plain downer. At times anxiety has been literally paralyzing for me. As the years have progressed, overall I would say that I’m great. Weed isn’t even on my radar, but depression and anxiety are two blips that maintain an erratic flight path; popping up, disappearing, and then popping up again.
I’ve yearned for something to “smooth me out” but have never taken any affirmative action until today. I’m long overdue to at least try something, and the combination of ingredients in Cannitrol makes sense to me. I believe it will be mild enough that I will still feel like “me”, but effective enough to keep depression and anxiety at manageable levels. While I am not going through marijuana withdrawal, I will be cutting way back on drinking (I typically have 1-2 glasses of wine in the evenings). So, at least until I’m able to measure a response, I’ll leave the grapes alone. Here is a closer look at my new stimulant of choice:
5-HTP (5mg) is an amino acid which helps in the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. It is available over the counter in the US, Canada and the UK as an appetite suppressant, sleep aid, and antidepressant.
Eleutherocus Senticosus PE (15mg) or Ciwujia Extract is gaining popularity as a treatment for stress.
Passion Flower (2.5mg) is an herbal treatment for anxiety and insomnia.
L-Tyrosine (1mg) helps improve alertness and mental arousal.
Valerian Root (6mg) purportedly helps with sleep disorders and increases the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.
Rather than go into more detail about how I choose to open packages, or provide more in depth descriptions of the ingredients listed above, I am just going to tell you how I am feeling. Each week, I will add to this blog post with my report.
Depression: Present on and off this past week. Mostly lamenting the amount of responsibility I find myself buried under. Tax time doesn’t help. Being a new father requires a lot of time and patience. Have gone to bed without brushing a couple times. Slept in my clothes one night.
Anxiety: Not much of this. I’m able to identify the source of any mild anxieties… nothing too unreasonable.
Irritability: I am generally irritable if I get interrupted during work, and especially if I can’t do what I want, when I want. It’s possibly only child syndrome gone horribly wrong. I’m hoping that this experiment will help me mellow a little in this respect.
Withdrawal: To soon to report.
Mental State: I can’t say I really feel positive or overly optimistic about anything. I know that by all measures I live a very rich life with a beautiful wife and child, the people I love are in good health, but my outlook is sort of unenthusiastic nonetheless. I would describe my emotional state as “flat” with a few manic peaks and valleys. I hope this will change.
Depression: So far I haven’t really had any spells of depressions which is what I am used to. Usually at least once or twice per month i find myself feeling melancholy for days at a time. Male period? Maybe. So far no spelss of depression.
Anxiety: No anxiety to speak of.
Irritability: I think I feel positive in general about this experiment, so to soon to tell. I haven’t been too much of an asshole this week.
Withdrawal: None whatsoever. Granted I am abstaining from alcohol since I have been MJ free for almost 15 years.
Mental State: I’m so conscious of my experiment, and I feel uplifted by the possibility that maybe my overall mental state will improve. Early results are that I think I feel better. I’ve had a cold this last week, and also put my back out, so that has definitely affected my ability to even feel normal. We’ll see next week.
Depression: None. Which is a unusual for me. I usually am prone to spells as I mentioned earlier. It’s a pattern with me.
Anxiety: No anxiety to speak of.
Irritability: I must say – I feel much less irritable. This is a big improvement. I am not snapping at people, and I have been fixating less on the things that bother me. Tonight I did snap at my wife when she reminded me that I hadn’t done something she had asked for. But that was really the only incident like that this week.
Withdrawal: No withdrawal symptoms. However, I had three glasses of wine at a friends birthday party, so my abstinence wasn’t perfect this week.
Mental State: Definitely there is an improvement with my outlook on life. I am still overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility in my life, but it isn’t penetrating that way it used to. I feel somewhat more hopeful about some of the things I am working on.
[Guinea pig photo by: José Carlos Cortizo Pérez]