Thread: Synthetic Cannibinoid/Herbal Incense Induced Dysautonomia

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    Synthetic Cannibinoid/Herbal Incense Induced Dysautonomia 
    Summary of Case 1

    A friend of mine may have developed dysautonomia after herbal blend use once. He does have a history of anxiety and depression, and his anxiety symptoms prior to this incident were mental, not physiological.

    In summary, Jim’s friend experiences the following symptoms 24 hours a day for two years: heart palpitations, ability to hear heart beats in my neck, penis, hands, heart fluttering sensations, ringing in ears, chest pain, pressure by the left breast, overall heightened awareness, random twitching in neck, face, and arms, and low body temperature (around 96 using armpit measurement).

    Treatments tried individually
    Omega 3 fish oil, Magnesium glycinate, General neurotransmitter support, Lithium orotate, Oral gaba, Taurine ,B-100 complex, General 30 day detox program,Phosphatidyl Choline, Inositol

    Jims friend has not tried the clay.

    Source: (!)

    Summary of Case 2

    Peter’s story: Smoked herbal blends daily (3 grams a week) for 13 months with no break. For 7 months he had of light headedness/dizziness, some chest pains, shortness of breath, panic situations and anxiety when going to any place.

    Peters posted in a different forum in addition to synchronium : “Overdose - 13 months Herbal Incense use Issues... “

    George’s story: Smoked only one gram of a herbal blend for a few weeks a year ago. After that experience he had lingering (and intense) dizziness/lightheadedness, a feeling of being unbalanced (having bad balance), irregular heartbeat, anxiety, and he just “didn’t feel right”.

    George stated, “For those who have or had bad experiences with spice and feel they are “not quite the same” after¬wards, and for Garret with the eye floaters. I had a bad experience with it a year ago, the effects of which didn’t go away for a year …Two things fixed the trouble I was having … 1) Nerve Shield, a supplement from Redd Remedies that helps your nerves heal, and 2) taking a clay supplement (Swanson “French Green Clay” avail¬able on Amazon for $6). The clay did the trick for me and as far as I can tell removed the traces of the chemical from my body. Cleared up the balance problem I was having.

    “Just FYI  — I am not a troll, nor am I a fan of making things illegal … but bad exper¬i¬ences do happen with these syn¬thetics (I know, I had one), and they do seem to stay in your body over time. The best thing I found to get rid of them is the clay (seems to bind to it and flush it out over the course of 3 weeks or so).”

    Treatment recommended from Synchronium
    They took french green clay for 6 weeks at 1-3 grams a day, then took various heart and nerve supplements such as nerve shield(Redd Remedies), hawthorn, motherwort, reishi, Gingko Biloba, chlorella and other brain supplements for various specific complaints, for about two months. Swanson stopped selling them, so google naturepurity and frenchclayforall, or other sources.
    Source: (

    Summary of Case 3

    wickedplaya: had random panic attacks, extreme sweating, shaking, and pressure in forehead , nausea, increased nervousness in daily situations, and extreme anxiety for two months. He ingested jwh-018 in his tea and these effects were the result. He cut caffeine from his diet, but that didn’t improve his symptoms.

    justinsh: smoked herbal blends for 6 months and suffered the following effects for a month and a half upon quitting: internal unrest, anxiety, trouble sleeping, blurred vision and depth perception problems, and an inability to think clearly.

    Vukani: “I read on many posts that the side effects of JWH 18 has got to do with GAD. In that respect, yes. Even after almost a year I still have lingering effects. Very small muscle twitches, nervousness in the stomach. My experience contrary to what has been said on this forum was very different. I only took JWH once and a minute amount-salt grain. I became stone and had no panic attacks or associated anxiety while under the influence. My problem started the next day. Nothing triggered anxiety in me.”

    “I feel that the nervous system was affected but that is up for discussion as GAD's symptoms is very clear in my own case. On the advice of exercise. I have tried jogging even as recently as 2 months ago and it seems every time I pursue exercise my nervousness becomes extreme in my stomach and I feel out of it in my head”

    formakashic stated: For months later, even though condition improved, symptoms still persist. “my symptoms include anxiety, pressure in my head (mostly left side), weakness/pressure in my left arm/shoulder, the inability to concentrate/focus to my normal capacity, some racing thoughts, insomnia sometimes and a few other minor things. “

    drummingfool stated: He smoked some Serenity Now almost a year ago. He had a massive panic attack afterwards. “I only smoked it probably a total of about 6 or 7 times, but all in the span of a few days. I started to feel like I was losing my mind after awhile. The thoughts running through my head, the confusion, the feeling of disassociation (feeling "unreal"), the panic, the anxiety... freaking TERRIBLE.”

    freak1c stated: “DOES induce new term psychosis.........pyschosis with no previous history and yes this includes anxiety/ panic disorder. The anxiety is physiological, not mentally induced, this is drastically different than being self conscious around people when you're on pot or nervous/ paranoid and calling that an anxiety attack, also this is different than a mentally induced actual anxiety attack…..I NEVER had any anxiety condition previous to use of this crap, was always highly social and used to very stressing environments and situations, no problem, now after stopping smoking this crap for the first few days I couldn't even leave my freakin house, forget about driving anywhere or going to the store, I was looking into checking myself into a mental hospital because I was a non functioning absolute wreck ALL OF A SUDDEN….Luckily I'm okay now but still not 100% and I have read reports about people being off this crap for up to 3 years and they are still a wreck..”


    Coolio- stated it was a form of PSTD(Post- traumatic stress disorder) or could be a pyschosomatic illness.

    Johnboii –stated that is it merely GAD disorder, and this event help brought it out in the individual.

    Vukani: UPDATE: “It's now been almost a year. I have taken up Kayaking and mountain biking and feel fine. (No affects afterwards as previously described) I still on occasion get small muscle twitches but nothing to concern me. (eyelid twitching for a few hours, or twitching in my leg etc. Most people do get twitching anyway) But this is occasional like I said. My nervousness is completely gone. One thing I can recommend is I started taking Magnesium tablets, Dandelion tablets. This helped alot as it supports a healthy nervous system”

    drummingfool UPDATE: “Well, after being on the GABA now for almost 3 months, there's definitely been some changes. My disassociation is almost gone, but a LOT of anxiety still remains... just not all the time. I definitely feel better after taking my GABA, but I only take it at night.”


    Summary of Case 4

    Morrow222 said he smoked k2 summit and he has developed cluster headaches. “Liquor helps slightly, but then makes it worse, and it wears off much more quickly.”

    thujone stated: “Alcohol also has a significant impact on serotonin, and I expect the reason beer is better treatment than liquor in this case is because of the added presence of the sedative hops…”

    PharmaKon stated: “I don't think that you are the only one who has suffered issues/panic attacks (although this is the first I've heard of ongoing intense headaches) caused by using JWH products. I am not extremely familiar with JWH but I have smoked "Spice" containing JWH which sounds similar to what K2 is - I could be wrong. But as you may of may not know, the herb/plant matter itself in these spice/k2 blends is not that actual active ingredient (JWH). The JWH extract is typically sprinkled on or mixed into I believe damiana but it could be a different herb. From what I understand the extract itself is extremely potent, and because of shipping and production on a large scale due to the growing popularity of this stuff sometimes more extract can end up in what you thought would just be a normal sized hit; causing an extreme affect on the end user (panic attacks/confusion/headaches apparently).”

    Sega420 stated: “from my research it appears that anything more than a few milligrams of JWH-018 ( the most prevalant compound in these smoke blends) and its considered an OD and the user will experience adverse effects.”

    infiltratah said he is having problems focusing on things with his eyes, and strange headaches. This started two weeks after ingestion of jwh-018. He also stated, “someone suggested taking neurontin or lyrica because one of the sufferers claimed that beer helped his headaches & alcohol, neurontin & lyrica all work on the gaba receptors.”

    Chainer stated about smoking blends, “I HIGHLY advise (as usual, see all my posts here) against smoking any pre-packaged blend. It likely does not contain JWH, but rather a slew of chemicals and perhaps some JWH.”

    budnik said he smoked some jwh, and has experienced disorientation, tiredness, sensitive hearing, and slight euphoria since he feels like he is stoned some part of the day. Has not stated whether these effects have passed.

    V1nc3nt had some lingering issues after smoking a similar blend to k2: “ I get night sweats. I'm constantly dis-coordinated. Like the feeling you get when you stay up all night. I can't smoke, drink, have caffeine, or foods with too much sodium. I constantly have a pressure on my forehead.I get wicked migraines in my temples by my ears. So bad that it makes me sick.I get numbness and tingles like my hands have fallen asleep.It gets worse if I've had a lack of sleep.I find it harder to remember things. I have chest pains pretty often.”

    forums1969 stated: His first and last experience he had with synthetic marijuana was prepackaged blend called Cloud Ten. “I don't know what happened to me form it, but it seriously fucked me up and still has some mental effects from it…ever since that night (which was 2 months ago) I get head pains/head sensations.” He also stated he has a lot of pressure in his head, but it has gotten better with time. Currently, he gets these weird head sensations, even though he is not feeling anxious at all. I quote partially of his post: “I think my brain/body is still really stressed from that night so even if I feel fine I really am not…I also have such a hard time focusing and tasks that were simple for me before can be very difficult for me to perform. I never had any mental problems until after I OD on it now I feel like I am a little off in the head.” Also, forums 1969 had night sweats and would wake up in the night with this heart racing.

    iom stated: “Panic attacks are not unheard of with cannabis use, and a particularly bad experience can imprint itself on one's psyche with lasting consequences.”

    birdman1967 has been smoking herbal spice for 13 months: He has developed chest tightness, and random panic attacks. He stated, “Never had anxiety or any breathing issues before.” His symptoms since quitting blends and cigarettes: Current symptoms include headaches, pressure in head, pain from jaw to temples, insomnia, light headiness, dizzy, anxiety, depression, depersonalization ( feel like I'm in a dream and nothing is real), vision issues ( I felt like I couldn't take in everything around me and I had to close my eyes), and High heart rate and blood pressure.” He does not feel the same since he smoked the blend.

    noobster stated: “So now we are considering the possibility that the JWH was contaminated with some sort of heavy metal (perhaps as a catalyst or in equipment) or some type of toxin that can cause autonomic and peripheral neuropathy.” His symptoms include, paranoia, constant sweaty palms, random nerve pain, myalgias, seeing stationary objects move when turning his head.

    Morrow222 UPDATE stated : ”I think it's chemical induced anxiety. I don't feel anxious ever, like never ever. I rarely get butterflys in my stomach or anything. I think it just caused your brain to feel anxiety but instead of feeling anxious (like as in your chest) it just causes an incredible amount of pain in your brain. I have to grind my teeth and do all these weird twitchy things like a person with extreme anxiety would do.”

    He also stated , “This JWH-018 really fucked up my brain and I don't know if this terrible sensation will ever go away and who knows how long it will take for it to be defined as a medical condition and be well known to doctors.”

    formakashic stated he suffered “constant anxiety, insomnia, pressure in my left arm and left side of my head, depersonalization and tension in various parts of my body like my neck and shoulders.” Doctor told him his b12 and folic acid levels were low. He exercised daily and took b vitamins.

    His treatment: He recovered 99 percent after a year by going to neurofeedback sessions. He stated,“basically your brain is hooked up to a few sensors that are connected to a computer. Then you either listen to music or watch a movie and when the computer detects that your brain went out of optimal "in the moment" mode then it skips the music or movie which causes your brain to scan itself and correct any abnormalities.”

    freak1c stated: “I too broke my brain on this crap and have the same symptoms others are relating here, my horror story is in the dark side forum. Personally I think we all have Dysautonomia, check it out…..I've been looking all over the place for all the info I can find on our symptoms and I think Dysautonomia fits it to a T, it also affects each person differently and some people exposed to the same cause of Dysautonomia are not affected while others are.

    The synth cannabinoids are full agonists and the CB receptors in our bodies regulate much more than just feeling stoned, they regulate all kinds of organs and processes in our bodies, we overloaded them with full agonists and threw our brain chemistry out of wack, our CNS is a wreck right now, like a short circuit, synth cannabinoids directly unbalance the symmetry between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system I.M.O. The anxiety and panic attacks are not mentally induced, there is no mental aspect to them whatsoever, they are physiological, at least in my case.”

    “The American Association of Psychiatry is now saying synth cannabinoids can cause new term psychosis ( psychosis with no previous history ) and extended psychosis..”

    “But it sounds to me like these full agonists are throwing the sympathetic nervous system into overload, this system usually only activates in fight or flight situations and this would account for ALL the symptoms people are reporting, including headaches, chest pain, and numbness, blurred vision, DP, heart rate, anxiety, etc., and I think the sympathetic nervous system is staying activated and the parasympathetic nervous system ( which calms us down and has an opposing, balancing effect on the sympathetic nervous system ) is not being activated or is being retarded, I think full agonists or toxicity have created a deep imbalance of these systems, as well as synth cannibinoids being known to inhibit GABA transmission.”

    Zardock stated: “But overdoing these synthetic cannibinoids definitely can trigger something very unpleasant in a lot of people. And in very sensitive people, I'm sure even one or two low-moderate doses could trigger anxiety and panic.”

    REI-REBO states spice products could have included other non-cannibinoid compounds in addition to unknown synthetic cannibinoids (JWH..AM, etc).

    raymo123 stated he smoked k2 blends for a year and has developed tighting in chest, and chest pains when his heart rate goes to 110bpm but no problems when he is at rest.

    Hz0 stated, “I've understood most JWH's are cannibinoid receptor full-agonists. Full agonism of CB1 and CB2 in combination with some weird genetic trait could possibly be causing irreversible neurological damage to a handful of people.”

    Badfate: Has also developed the cluster headaches after using spice for 3 months.

    FurMozart smoked spice for 3 months, and developed chest pains and panic attacks.

    crystal sellers smoked spice for a year and developed the same symptoms as morrow222 which includes impaired memory(ability to forget things easily), impaired thinking, and ringing in ears.


    Golden1 stated “Phenazepam and phenibut both cure the headache interestingly enough.”

    Kitime stated: “The reason GABA agonists (Alcohol, Valium, Ambien) are curing the headaches and malaise feeling is because JWH and cannibinoids in general inhibit GABA, and these compounds reverse that”

    V1nc3nt UPDATE stated: “The head neurologist told me that I need to stay away from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. She also said that I need to drink water, fruit juice, eat healthy, and fit in a bit of exercise each day. ...I have been doing what she suggested for about 3 months now and I'd say I'm getting 1% better each week. It is not great, but it is something. I figure I'll be at 100% in two years. My headaches are less frequent and most of the weirder symptoms such as night sweats and numbness in my hands have gone away, praise God.”

    Forums1969 UPDATE: “….Well for me it has been just over six months and I still am recovery I did find an interesting find about depersonalization and some supplements to take to help with it.” So I am assuming he mostly recovered in over 6 months using supplements listed here,”

    He started taking some supplements a few months later and it improved his mood and he didn’t feel off, “Piracetam, Acetyl L-Carnitine/Alpha Lipoic Acid, Magnesium, Zinc and B complex in liquid form.”

    Mrhack suggested: since one may have low GABA levels in the brain, one should try pharmagaba, valerian root, and omeprazol (helps Avitan cross the BBB).

    birdman1967 UPDATE: “To date I feel like I haven't improved from the 90% I still have the brain fog which effects my cognitive function and memory.” “ I am feeling much better than I was 2 months ago, but still have bouts of dizziness, headaches, light headedness and this anxiety/panic feeling anytime I am in a room with stale warm air or even outside if it is warm out.” He gets random panic attacks, and has this feeling of lingering anxiety.

    Supplements he is on:
    Carlson Labs Super Daily 2 multivitamin
    Carlson Labs Super Omega 3 1000mg x 2 a day
    Carlson Labs Vitamin D3 2000ug or whatever that amount is
    Carlson Labs Chelated Magnessium 200mg x 2 a day

    freak1c suggested trying, “5-HTP, L-Theanine, GABA - Gamma-Amino-Butyric-Acid - the consensus is that taking GABA directly will not pass the BBB so it won’t work, some say it works, B-complex vitamin formula, B-6 is necessary for production of GABA, Valerian - I find this very good as a sedative, Kava Kava - sedative, anxiolytic , St. Johns Wort - affects GABA reuptake, Passion Flower, Choline , and Inositol - for seratonin levels.”

    nursemanintraining suggested the following treatments for cluster headaches/migranes: Tizanidine 4 mg + 800 MG Ibuprofen + 25 MG Phenergan

    hueyfree123 suggested supplements: “Gaba, inositol powder form, choline, all B-vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, magnesium, niacin, folic acid, coq10, zinc, most importantly fish oil liquid form, alpha gpc, dmae, phosphidyl serine, and whatever else you can think of..The ones especially needed are the Alpha GPC, DMAE, B-Vitamins and the most important is fish oil.”

    His panic attacks and breathing problems have improved 85 % after a few months.

    He also suggested” Dr. Christophers Mind Trac Formula" to restore chemical imbalances.


    Common symptoms reported are chest pain, ringing in ears, cluster headaches/migraines, tightness in chest, heart palpitations, lingering anxiety, light headedness/dizziness, having bad balance, random twitching/tingling sensations, inability to think clearly, pressure in forehead, disorientation, panic attacks, head pains, insomnia, and vision issues (eye floaters).

    These symptoms may be neurological.

    So are these cases suffering from dysautonomia(may be toxicity related) and what advice/treatments would be recommended?

    Article ( discusses treatments for anxiety-related dysautonomia which have been effective in these cases for some people.

    It lists the following symptoms:
    Chest pain with no apparent medical cause
    Panic attacks/anxiety
    Heart palpitations
    Balance problems
    Hypersensitive startle reflex
    Shortness of breath
    Numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes
    Sensitivity to caffeine and other stimulants

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    Assuming the problems stem solely from CB receptor (ant)agonism it may be worth noting the localizations of them in the brain.

    Cannabinoidreceptors in the humanbrain: a detailed anatomical and quantitative autoradiographic study in the fetal, neonatal and adult humanbrain
    M Glassa, b, R.L.M Faulla, , M Dragunowb
    Quantitation of cannabinoid CB1receptors in healthy humanbrain using positron emission tomography and an inverse agonist radioligand
    Garth E. Terrya, c, Jeih-San Liowa, Sami S. Zoghbia, Jussi Hirvonena, Amanda G. Farrisa, Alicja Lernera, Johannes T. Tauscherb, John M. Schausb, Lee Phebusb, Christian C. Felderb, Cheryl L. Morsea, Jinsoo S. Honga, Victor W. Pikea, Christer Halldinc, Robert B. Innisa
    Distribution of Cannabinoid Receptors in the Central
    and Peripheral Nervous System
    K. Mackie
    I've done some hunting for decent reading on the topic, and I think that these studies should provide a solid understanding which areas in particular are effected. My thinking is that the cardiovascular issues reported are due to subcortical CB receptors, the reported anxiety the amygdala, and the "derp" from the neocortex among others.

    I'll do some looking into CB receptor mediated apoptosis or whatever else catches my eye when I'm not working or cramming for my MCAT.
    But, for now I'll say just stick with hardcore swimming because it worked for "Altered Perception" for her dysautonomia.

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    I'm curious why exactly you think its dysautonomia. Surely there are simpler explanations? Why has anxiety/PTSD like condition been ruled out, or at least isn't the first guess? With how incredibly potent some of the new cannabinoids are, it's not exactly surprising that they could provoke such intense responses. Not to mention the fact that the symptoms are completely non-specific, and generalize completely with anxiety related disorders. Has anyone (who used the synthetic cannabinoids) ever been diagnosed with it?

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    Bluelighter FlippingTop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    I don't want to seem like an ass but having read many many reports on synthetic cannaboids I believe that most reports, such as many of the ones you have stated, are caused by anxiety following (over)exposure to cannaboids (jwh-018 in particular, the most anxiogenic of the lot!).

    Cannaboids are just like any other drug, if you plan to take them be conservative about your usage. With moderate responsible dosing there seems to be little danger from them, no more than with any other drug.

    But if you are going to purchase a gram and then
    Smoked herbal blends daily (3 grams a week) for 13 months with no break.
    No fucking wonder you ran into trouble!

    I am not preaching for cannaboids, far from it, they seem to be turning out to be not quite as good as we would have hoped! But moderate dosing, and spacing these doses seems to cause no problems in the majority of people.

    I also believe that part of the problem is the inconsistent spraying of said cannaboids onto the herbs. I have seen a fair few reports of people smoking a bong or 2 of a legal high mix they know and love only to get WAY higher than expected. It also makes a little sense, then spraying your own Damiana herbs or whatever you will take care, but a mass produced product will be another matter.

    You state dysautonomia in your post but I cna't see any evidence for this what so ever, much more likely is anxiety and it's broad range of issues...
    From what I have read dysautonomia is not something that can be caused by anxiety, and should not be confused with such symptoms.
    Last edited by FlippingTop; 15-05-2012 at 21:23.

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    Do we have any lab analyses of the actual contents of any of these products? Beyond the various active cannabinoids there has to be a significant degree of impurities present. I think it would be a lot easier to diagnose what's going on here if we knew what chemicals and impurities are in these products.

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    Bluelighter FlippingTop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    the chemical is usually JWH-018. Impurities are not really a concern with sprayed herbs I don't think.

  7. Collapse Details
    Quote Originally Posted by FlippingTop View Post
    the chemical is usually JWH-018. Impurities are not really a concern with sprayed herbs I don't think.
    In the US at least, where JWH-018 is now regulated, I believe that the majority of these products contain a newer generation of synthetic cannabinoids. The back of the packaging has a notice that reads something like: "Lab confirmed does not contain JWH-018, [list of half a dozen other newly regulated chemicals]". I also think its a bit premature to rule out the impact of impurities in these sprays. If the impurity is something like say cadmium, and people are smoking large volumes daily I'd say that's definitely a cause for concern.

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