Chronic or short-term dizziness can have a number of causes, including headaches, vertigo, anxiety, blood pressure issues, dehydration, and more. While some people report that cannabis can help with their dizziness, it can also cause it in others.

If you’ve experienced dizziness, either as a result of cannabis or another medical condition, read on to learn more about how to treat cannabis-related vertigo or how to use cannabis as a potential dizziness solution.

Potential Side Effects of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is like other medications in that it can cause a series of side effects. Even though some are common and others rare, it’s critical to understand what may happen if you or a loved one are beginning to use medical cannabis. One of the most common side effects of medical weed is dizziness, which first-time users often experience.

When recommending medical marijuana, as well as any other medication, physicians are always considering its pros and cons. Most doctors only recommend medicine if they feel its benefits outweigh its side effects — and medical marijuana is no exception.

In some instances, your physician may consider how those side effects could help your treatment plan. Patients with insomnia, for example, could receive a medical cannabis recommendation because the medicine can cause drowsiness.

Some of the most common side effects of cannabis include:

  • dry mouth
  • bloodshot eyes
  • nausea
  • increased heart rate
  • increased appetite
  • disorientation

Does Medical Cannabis Cause Dizziness?

Scientists are beginning to understand why cannabis causes dizziness in so many users. Although more research is needed to identify the exact causes, there are a few reasons someone may experience vertigo after ingesting marijuana:

  • Decrease in blood pressure: Medical marijuana’s cerebral and physical effects come from cannabinoids. One primary cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), tends to cause several side effects in high concentrations. One such side effect is a decrease in blood pressure as THC expands your blood vessels. With a blood pressure drop, your heart rate increases. It’s not uncommon to then become dizzy, especially if you’re standing.
  • Increase in sensory perception: Another effect of THC that’s especially noticeable when you’re using a strain with a high THC content is heightened sensory perception. Researchers suspect that with enhanced senses, such as sight and sound, it’s more of a challenge for your brain to keep your body balanced and compensate for changes, like standing up. That learning curve can cause dizziness.
  • Lowered cerebral blood flow: Lowered blood pressure rates can lead to less blood in the brain, which contributes to vertigo. Cannabis can also reduce oxygen in the blood, which in turn decreases oxygen rates in the brain.

Another factor that’s often associated with feeling dizzy after using medical cannabis is familiarity. Those who have been using medical cannabis for an extensive period tend not to experience dizziness. Those beginning their medical marijuana treatment, however, usually do. A potential reason for this difference is that your body is still becoming familiar with medical marijuana’s effects.

Signs of Dizziness From Medical Cannabis

When you feel dizzy, you may notice these symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

If you begin to feel dizzy, try sitting down somewhere until your symptoms ease.

Long-Term Side Effects of Dizziness

With medical marijuana use, dizziness doesn’t cause long-term side effects. It’s a symptom you should discuss with your medical cannabis doctor, however, as they’ll likely recommend changes to your treatment plan.

Another reason to talk to your physician about your dizziness is that it can be a sign of a larger problem, particularly if it’s happening when you haven’t used cannabis. Some other potential causes of dizziness include:

  • Anemia
  • Internal bleeding
  • Thyroid disease
  • Allergies

How to Avoid and Manage Dizziness From Medical Marijuana

To avoid or manage dizziness from medical marijuana, your physician may recommend the following:

  • Switching to a strain of medical marijuana with a higher content of cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Micro-dosing or decreasing your daily dose of medical cannabis
  • Using a long-acting administration method, such as edibles, instead of fast-acting options, like smoking

It’s essential to note that your physician may suggest other alternatives as well.

Can Cannabis Help With Chronic Dizziness?

If you suspect that your dizziness is caused by something other than marijuana, you may actually be able to find relief through cannabis.

There is limited scientific research specifically examining the impact of cannabis on dizziness. However, some studies suggest that cannabinoids, particularly CBD, may have antiemetic (anti-nausea) and anti-inflammatory properties that could potentially be beneficial for conditions associated with dizziness.

It’s crucial to approach the use of cannabis cautiously and consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you are experiencing persistent dizziness or if it is related to an underlying medical condition. Additionally, the type of cannabis product, dosage, and individual factors can all influence how someone responds to its effects.

Talk to Your Medical Marijuana Doctor About Your Dizziness

While many physicians and patients find the benefits of medical cannabis outweigh the side effects, every case is different. If you’re experiencing dizziness when you use your medicinal marijuana, it’s essential to schedule an appointment with your medical marijuana doctor to discuss your treatment plan, medical history, and personal preferences.