Why Does Cannabis Make Me Faint?
Smoking weed may sometimes result in undesired side effects like dizziness. We explore why this happens and what it means for the average cannabis consumer.
There are a few unpleasant short-term side effects cannabis users may experience at one point or another. The majority seem to manifest in the inexperienced consumer, gradually dissipating as individuals become better acquainted with the sensation of being high and their tolerance rising.
One such unpleasantry is getting dizzy after you smoked. It can happen even to the most experienced of smokers. In some extreme cases, this dizziness can catapult itself into a full-blown “green out” – a term depicting the classic momentary loss of consciousness after inhaling a particularly strong hero dose of weed.
But not everyone hits the bong like there is no tomorrow. Many simply get dizzy even after a few tokes from a shared joint. But rest assured, this is perfectly benign. The truth is, cannabis does not directly make you dizzy.
EVEN THE MOST EXPERIENCED SMOKER MAY GET DIZZY
Dizziness is a sensation caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. Cannabis does lower blood pressure, as well as engorge the brain’s vascular system. By doing so, it creates a sort of double whammy effect.
Cannabis influences the bloodstream in many ways. In addition to causing an overall reduction in blood flow (aka pressure), the brain is all of a sudden able to hold more blood, slightly reducing the rest of the body’s circulating volume, and therefore causing an extra drop in pressure.
Have you ever felt dizzy from suddenly standing up after a long period of sitting down? The sudden jolt of going from sitting or prone position into fully erect vertical stance will cause very strong back pressure in your veins. Quite literally, the force of gravity momentarily causes your circulation to halt, making you immediately lightheaded. You do not need to be high for this to happen, but weed certainly does play a part in heightening the experience, as the psychoactive nature of THC does modulate your senses.
The exact same thing can happen while under the influence of alcohol, although at lower levels, alcohol reacts more like a stimulant than a depressant. But it is a usual affair for someone particularly intoxicated to stumble over.
I FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO DIE
This is a common thought inexperienced cannabis users may have post-toke. We could call it a classic newbie bad trip. Cannabis is not lethal, but a bit of anxiety followed by dizziness can trigger a paranoid state fueled by fear – in this case, fear of the unknown – which could escalate into a panic attack.
Let us break the news, that it’s all in your head. When this happens, it just means you were overwhelmed by the sensation of being high, and a negative thought process took over.
HOW CAN I PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING?
Being lightheaded, woozy, losing your balance, or even flat out fainting because of cannabis is not dangerous at all (as long as you don’t hit your head). On the other hand, if you frequently experience this when you smoke, we strongly suggest trying a completely different strain from another lineage and compare. If you frequently get dizzy even without consuming weed, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
It is very common for some individuals to experience strong anxiety from indica strains while feeling perfectly in tune when enjoying a sativa. On the contrary, many people do not like sativas as they feel paranoid and head-locked, and prefer the more sedative body high of an indica. Some find their Holy Grail in a hybrid. As it stands now, CBD-rich strains are increasingly being used to mediate the intense psychoactive effects of THC.
The real trick here is to experiment as much as possible. Start slow, and do not let peer pressure ruin the experience for you. If you find yourself couch-locked, stretch your limbs and move around a bit before standing up to slightly pump your vascular system.
Have some snacks handy; not only for the munchies, but sugar and salt will increase blood pressure. Stay properly hydrated. More often than not, the good side effects of weed will remind you of these last two. In fact, mild dehydration is a transversal social phenomenon that causes a plethora of symptoms, with low blood pressure being one of the main ones.
Finally, if you do get dizzy – do not freak out! It happens to everyone, with or without weed. The sensation should subside relatively quickly. Grab ahold of something or sit back down, take a couple of deep breaths, do not let negative thoughts invade you – and within seconds, you will be good as new, and still equally high.Some people may get dizzy or lightheaded when high. We explain why this happens and what to do about it.
Why Does Marijuana Make Me Dizzy?
Monday September 28, 2015
A nyone who’s ever experienced a bout of dizziness shortly after consuming marijuana knows how uncomfortable it can be. And, though the symptoms of marijuana-induced vertigo usually subside in just a few seconds, the experience can be scary enough to prompt someone to avoid cannabis in the future.
Perhaps a better approach would be to protect against another dizzy spell or at least reduce the likeliness that it will happen again. To do this, we have to understand what’s happening with marijuana-induced vertigo.
Why does marijuana make me dizzy?
Vertigo, or the sensation of dizziness or a loss of balance, can be caused by a number of different things – inner ear problems, sensory nerve disturbances, migraines or anxiety, for example – but finding an accurate correlation between marijuana and vertigo has yet to be discovered.
Nevertheless, we know that THC causes dizziness for many users, with around 1/3 reporting severe symptoms. Some speculate the cause is related to a drop in blood pressure which slows the body’s ability to recover after an abrupt position change. Typically, blood pressure rises briefly after standing to compensate for gravity. When THC causes a drop in blood pressure, gravity can get the better of us, causing the dizzy sensation that so many have come to know.
Another theory is based on THC’s ability to modify sensory perception (our ability to perceive different sounds, sights, scents and other sensations). Typically, sensory nerves allow our brain to perceive our surroundings and modify our behavior accordingly in order to maintain balance. When these sensations are modified, our brains can have difficulty compensating quickly thus causing us to lose our balance or otherwise become disoriented.
Finally, extreme cases of anxiety can cause feelings of dizziness or disorientation. Though anxiety itself is psychological in nature (it occurs in the mind), it can have very real physical consequences such as increased heart rate, erratic breathing, fatigue and insomnia. Combined, these symptoms can cause disorientation as a lack of oxygen combines with weakened neurological processes. The results: a dizzy head and a confused mind, which can unfortunately be exacerbated by too much THC.
So how can I protect myself from marijuana-induced dizziness?
Though there is no sure-fire way to protect against marijuana-induced vertigo, there are some steps you can take to help reduce your chances of getting it. To start, remember to consume marijuana slowly, paying close attention to the dosage and potency of your product. This will help avoid over-consumption which can lead to marijuana-induced anxiety and potentially vertigo as well.
You should also try to remember to move slowly, especially when switching from a reclined to upright position. Remember that your body may take a few extra seconds to make up for the gravity pulling you back down so pace yourself by sitting up slowly.
Finally, remember that the sensations you’re feeling while high are only temporary. Colors may be brighter, sounds more vivid and edges more crisp, but such will only be the case for a few hours. Should dizzy sensations persist for more than a few days, it is important to consult your doctor as more serious issues may be at play. Though THC can remain in the body for multiple days, severe dizziness should not be the result.
Marijuana can cause the body to do some crazy things. Though many of the marijuana’s side effects are considered pleasant, others (like vertigo) are not. Protect yourself from marijuana-induced dizziness by understanding just what’s causing it.Anyone who’s ever experienced a bout of dizziness after consuming weed knows how uncomfortable it is. Today, find out why you experience marijuana-induced vertigo. ]]>