Updated on December 7, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical marijuana is like other medications in that it can cause a series of side effects. Even though some are common and others rare, they’re critical to understand 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 a medicine if they feel its benefits outweigh its side effects — medical weed 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.
A comprehensive understanding of why medical weed causes dizziness is not yet available — however, as medical marijuana becomes legalized across the U.S. and other countries, research efforts may reveal complete answers on the how and why.
Right now, researchers believe dizziness is the result of the following:
Another factor that’s often associated with feeling dizzy after using medical weed is familiarity. Those who have been using medical cannabis for an extensive period tend to not 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 pot’s effects.
When you feel dizzy, you may notice these symptoms:
If you begin to feel dizzy, try sitting down somewhere until your symptoms ease.
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, including:
To avoid or manage dizziness from medical marijuana, your physician may recommend the following:
It’s essential to note that your physician may suggest different adjustments, as well.
While many physicians and patients find the benefits of medical weed outweigh the side effects, every case is different. If you’re experiencing dizziness when you use your medicinal pot, it’s essential to schedule an appointment with your medical marijuana doctor to discuss your treatment plan, medical history and personal preferences.