Cannabis (Marijuana) for dizziness, nausea or headache.
Marijuana is one of the most popular recreational drugs worldwide, and is the #1 illegal drug in the US (followed by cocaine). It is estimated that in the US, about 13.5% of the population uses it every year. (Zhang, 2019) As medical marijuana has become legal in many countries as well as about half of the states in the USA, it is now possible to discuss its use for treatment of common conditions such as dizziness, nausea and headache.
Cannabis is a generic term used for drugs produced from plants belong to the genus Cannabis (i.e. marijuana). Cannabis is not a single substance but rather is a mixture of up to roughly 60 compounds. Some of them, like THC (d-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), are psychoactive, and most others are not.
Prescription forms of cannabinoids include:
|Name||Constituents||FDA approval||Legal under federal/state laws|
|Marijuana||THC, CBD, others||No||No/Yes|
|Dronabinol (Marinol)||THC||Yes||yes/yes, was schedule I in 1971, but FDA indications suggest there i an accepted use.|
|Nabilone (Cesamet)||Synthetic cannabinoid||Yes||Yes/yes|
|Nabiximole (Sativex)||Oral spray mix of THC and CBD||No||No/no — available as of 2015 only in FDA approved clinical trials|
What is in Cannabis ?
According to Fife et al, Marijuana is a plant of the species Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica, and contains many chemical compounds. THC is the chief psychoactive component, while CBD (cannabidiol) has minimal or no psychoactive effects. Other cannabinoids without psychoactive properties include cannabigerol and cannabinol. THC can be measured in the blood, while carboxy THC is detected only in the urine. Hemp, made from the stem of the plant, contains only traces of THC. There are several strains of cannabis, mainly differentiated by the their psychoactive properties. “sativa’ is more stimulating. “indica” is more calming. “hemp” has low or absent THC.
A single dose of cannabis can be detected in the urine for 12 days. Thus someone who is involved in an auto-accident 10 days after using cannabis, could theoretically be cited for “DUI”.
One would think that it might be possible to use a non-psychoactive cannabinoid for a medical purpose, without running into issues with mental status. Nevertheless, due to the odd status in the US where research on cannabis has been suppressed by the government, we know little about the non-psychoactive components of Marijuana. We do not know, for example, if they cause cancer (just an example).
What does Cannabis do the brain ?
Rather astoundingly, Cannabis appears to activate specific endocannabinoid receptors, mainly in the CNS. There are two main cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. According to Baron (2018), CB1 is found mainly in the CNS. CB2 is more numerous in the peripheral tissues.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a partial agonist of CB1 (more so than CB2).
Cannabidiol (CBD) has no psychoactive properties, does not attach to CB1 or CB2, but functions as a noncompetitive antagonist at CB1.
The details of what it does to the brain are being worked out and are presently the subject of considerable controversy. While there are claims that cannabis reduces cognitive function, a recent study published in JAMA psychiatry, analyzing 69 studies, suggested that there is only a very small effect after 72 hours (Scott et al, 2018)
Possible indications for Cannabinoids
As of 2015, Fife et al (2015) summarized their conclusions regarding utility of Cannabis in neurological disorders.
There was evidence for effectiveness in spasticity, central pain in MS. Nabiximols was thought to be “probably effective” in reducing bladder spasms (this drug is also used to treat nausea, see below). In movement disorders such as tremor, Huntington disease, and dopamine related dyskinesias, it was thought either ineffective or unknown. For Epilepsy, as of 2015, it was unknown.
THC (brand name Dronabinol) has been extensively studied with placebo controlled trials for nausea. A similar drug called Nabilone is also available. Both of these have been approved by the FDA for treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Another substance called “Nabiximol” is not currently FDA approved for nausea, but it is licensed in other countries and appears to be similar.
McGeeney (2012) suggests that anecdotal evidence suggests that they “are used” by patients for migraine, including as an abortive, and for cluster headache. Baron (2015) also suggests that there is some evidence for a good effect in migraine. As there is some evidence for an effect in chronic pain, one would anticipate a positive effect also in chronic migraine. Thus evidence is currently extremely weak.
According to Baron (2018), a chemical called anandamide inhibits dilation of blood vessels, modulates CGRP, and cortical spreading depression. CB1 also inhibits pain responses. We consider this also anecdotal.
Vertigo and Dizziness
There are presently (in 2015) no studies of cannabis for treatment of dizziness, and dizziness appears to be more of a side effect than a therapeutic target (Grotenhermen et al, 2012). Smith (2006) suggested that there are cannabinoid receptors in the central vestibular system. More studies are needed.
We have had heard from our patients that they have sometimes had a good response to a non-mind altering component of cannabis (CBD). In theory, this might be related to the anti-seizure effects of some components of cannabis. At this date (early 2018), these are just anecdotes.
Products that we have been told were helpful are “Charlotte’s Web”, “Watermelon Pucks”, and “Anandahemp 200”. The first is CBD oil, and can easily be ordered from the internet. The second contains some THC, and is not as readily available. As noted above, THC is approved by the FDA for treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and thus it is not surprising that “Watermelon Pucks” might be helpful in some people with dizziness. To be very clear, I am not advocating for these products, but I am simply transmitting what patients are telling me.
Legal status of cannabis in Illinois.
As of 2019, cannabis is scheduled to be available for recreational use by early 2020. Presently, In Illinois, the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program requires physicians to certify the diagnosis of a debilitating condition or terminal illness for a qualifying patient seeking to apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card. Whether or not a physician chooses to provide a written physician certification is up to the health care practitioner. More information is here: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/physician-information
According to Fife et al (2015), the system used in Illinois is the usual one used to handle the odd situation where the Federal government states that licensed physicians cannot legally prescribe herbal marijuana (although they may prescribe nabilone or dronabinol). Physicians can document that the patient has a medical condition that justifies the use of marijuana under that state’s law. Patients then may proceed to acquire the marijuana, under the particulars of the laws of their state. Nevertheless, certain institutions, including the Department of Veteran affairs, may have policies banning physicians from discussing medical marijuana with their patients.
Note that THC can be detected in the urine as long as 12 days after a single “dose”. This means that in Illinois, should one be involved in an auto accident, it is theoretically possible to be cited for DUI, 12 days after ingesting a small amount of medical marijuana.
Qualifying conditions for cannabis in Illinois:
An individual diagnosed with one or more debilitating conditions is eligible to apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card. The qualifying patient must obtain a written certification from a physician specifying their debilitating condition, unless they are a veteran receiving health services at a VA facility. Veterans must submit one year of medical records from the VA facility where they receive services. Effective January 1, 2015, the Act was amended to include eligibility for children under age 18 and to add seizure disorders to the list of debilitating conditions. On June 30, 2016, the Act was amended (Public Act 099-0519) to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a debilitating condition and to allow persons diagnosed with a terminal illness to apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card. The Act is effective until Jan, 1, 2020.
Qualifying patients must be diagnosed with a debilitating condition, as defined in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, to be eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card in Illinois.
On this list, conditions that might cause or be associated with dizziness include Arnold-Chiari, Cancer, Hydrocephalus, MS, myoclonus, and TBI. Neither migraine nor intractable nausea are included here.
Cannabis for dizziness, nausea and headache
CBD Tincture for Vertigo
Vertigo is a frustrating medical condition to suffer from, as the symptoms you experience can make it challenging to accomplish your daily tasks. Patients may experience a wide variety of symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. These can make it tough to go about your day as you experience the world shifting around you. There are numerous treatments available for vertigo, including CBD oil and tincture. Let’s spend some time learning about vertigo and the treatments available so that you can obtain the best possible treatment for your specific situation.
In this post you’ll learn
Causes of Vertigo
Numerous illnesses can trigger vertigo. Vertigo can also appear as a symptom of another illness or anxiety, fatigue, stress, or pregnancy. If you are experiencing vertigo regularly, it’s best to visit your physician for a full workup so that they can help you determine the root cause of your symptoms. Then you can decide on the best ways to treat the condition that you’re experiencing.
These conditions can trigger vertigo:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo. It isn’t related to a more serious issue and is vertigo related to your head’s position and how quickly you change it. You may find that you develop vertigo symptoms when you sit up quickly, lean over the side of a bed, or need to bend down to pick something up off the floor. There’s no precise reason for BPPV, but it is sometimes associated with a blow to the head, damage to your inner ear, or migraines. A specialist will help you determine the causes of your specific condition and what the best methods are for treating it.
Meniere is an inner ear disorder that causes repeating episodes of vertigo. The symptoms may start in one or both ears and can include hearing issues, tinnitus, or imbalance. Medical treatment helps those who’ve been diagnosed with this condition to feel more comfortable. A physician can help you determine if this is the underlying cause of your vertigo.
Vestibular Neuritis is a disorder that affects the main nerve of the inner ear. If the nerve becomes swollen due to inflammation or infection, it can lead to issues with balance. Patients may experience vertigo and dizziness. A professional can help you determine the underlying condition that is causing the inflammation, as well as work with you to develop a treatment plan to treat the inflamed nerve.
Often, when an individual is dealing with the numerous issues that make up vertigo, they use that simple phrase to describe all of the included related issues. However, vertigo is a syndrome that consists of numerous symptoms. These can be treated with medical rehabilitation, surgery, medication, and natural remedies like pure CBD. Your doctor can help you decide which treatment options are best for you to manage your vertigo symptoms. These can include the following:
- Sweating: You may find that you’re sweating far more than usual when you’re experiencing vertigo.
- Nausea: Nausea and upset stomach are both common during vertigo.
- Vomiting: You may find yourself vomiting, especially during severe episodes of vertigo when it feels like the room is spinning.
- Ringing in the Ears: Hearing ringing sounds in one or both ears is common during these episodes.
- Hearing Loss in One Ear: You may find that you cannot hear out of one of your ears.
- Balance Issues: You may find it difficult to sit, stand, or walk, as it feels as if the room is shifting or spinning around you.
- Trouble Focusing Your Vision: You may have difficulty narrowing your field of vision to focus on a specific thing.
- Feeling as If the Room is Spinning: You may feel as if the entire room is rotating quickly around you.
- Dizziness: You may find that you’re feeling incredibly dizzy.
You may not feel all of these each time you experience vertigo, but there’s a solid chance that you’ll experience several on the list each time. These symptoms can be managed with medication or treatment, but CBD oil can also dramatically improve your condition.
Ways to Treat Vertigo
If you’re suffering from vertigo, it can dramatically affect your day to day life. Effective treatment can make it far easier to get through the day, and may even make the issues that you’re experiencing go away entirely. There are numerous ways to manage vertigo, including the following:
- Vestibular Rehabilitation: This is a program based on exercises, that is designed to help improve the symptoms that you’re experiencing. It alleviates nausea, dizziness, and balance issues, with repeated practice. Your doctor can recommend a therapist that can help you with vestibular rehabilitation so that you’ll feel better over time.
- Surgery: Several surgeries can be performed to help individuals who are suffering from ongoing vertigo. If you’re experiencing these symptoms and have not received any relief from less invasive treatments, a doctor may recommend that you be evaluated for ear surgery to help improve your balance and eliminate your symptoms. Surgical options will, of course, depend on the specific diagnosis.
- Medication: Medications that suppress the inner ear’s activity alleviate the symptoms of vertigo that you’re experiencing. A medical provider may prescribe medication, depending on your specific condition.
- CBD Vertigo: In many cases, CBD oil help heal vertigo. CBD is from the cannabis plant but has an imperceptible amount of THC and will not cause intoxication. These oils and tinctures can be used to alleviate symptoms and may help you treat your vertigo in much the same way that medical marijuana would, but without the feeling of being high.
Benefits of Using CBD for Treatment for Vertigo
There are numerous benefits of using cannabinoids to treat vertigo. Individuals who opt to utilize CBD experience very few side effects yet can manage their pain, anxiety, and vertigo. The benefits of using this all-natural treatment include the following:
No THC to Bind to CB1 and CB2 Receptors
CBD has almost no THC, so you won’t feel intoxicated when you use it to manage your vertigo. Instead, you’ll be able to use CBD oil to feel less stressed, as well as to control your dizziness and vomiting. CBD tinctures and oils are a great way to help manage vertigo symptoms so that you can feel dramatically better fast.
Dizziness is one of the worst physical symptoms to experience. It makes it difficult to get through the day, as you can’t walk, move about your home, or complete your daily tasks. CBD tincture can help you control this symptom so that you can get back to your usual routine.
Manage Nausea and Vomiting
CBD oil is a wonderful way to help control nausea and vomiting. If you’re experiencing these symptoms due to your vertigo, this all-natural treatment may help you feel more at ease, eliminating this symptom so that you can be more comfortable.
Studies have shown that CBD oil may be a healthy way to treat a variety of conditions, including vertigo. The human body is uniquely designed, and there are numerous ways to control the negative experiences that are connected with vertigo. If you’re experiencing these medical conditions, cannabidiol CBD can be a wonderful way to make sure you feel significantly better. Learn more about this unique treatment and how it can medical CBD oil can help you, today.
Vertigo is a frustrating medical condition to suffer from, as the symptoms you experience can make it challenging to accomplish your daily tasks. Patients may