Does Cannabis Help Vertigo (or Should You Avoid It)?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

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Vertigo is not a condition itself but rather a symptom of a more significant problem.

Vertigo is often characterized by feeling off balance as if the environment is moving around you. Episodes of vertigo typically last hours or days, with some extending as long as weeks. Vertigo can be overwhelming, so it’s important to investigate the condition that may be causing it.

Some estimates state that almost 40% of adults will deal with vertigo at least once during their lives, with women being slightly more likely to experience it than men. Because vertigo can be caused by a variety of problems, medical providers run various tests, such as blood tests and imaging, to diagnose it.

A variety of treatments are available for vertigo, though which one is selected typically depends on the cause of the dizziness. Some reliable medications can help with the symptoms of vertigo, and physical therapy is another option that can help individuals restore their sense of balance.

And, with medical cannabis use on the rise, a growing number of vertigo patients are asking their doctors if cannabis has a place in their daily routine.

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What Causes Vertigo?

Vertigo falls into one of two categories: central and peripheral vertigo. A neurological problem causes central vertigo, whereas peripheral vertigo is attributed to the inner ear. 

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is one of the most common diagnoses that people receive when experiencing vertigo symptoms. Related to inner ear function, most people with this diagnosis experience dizziness when they rapidly change positions.

Neurological changes – such as a stroke or brain tumor – can also cause vertigo, but this is not common, and vertigo alone is typically not sufficient cause to believe an individual has experienced a dangerous neurological event.

If you’re someone who uses cannabis, then you may be wondering… Can weed cause vertigo? The answer to this question is complicated.

There isn’t yet enough research to confirm a link between cannabis use and vertigo. However, many people do report that dizziness and a loss of balance can result from cannabis use. This suggests that the feeling of vertigo can be induced by cannabis. In order for a clear answer to be found, more research needs to be conducted to understand how cannabis interacts with the vestibular system.

Vertigo Signs & Symptoms

It’s typically quite simple to tell if you’re experiencing vertigo. Many people describe vertigo as a feeling similar to motion sickness, and it can result in similar symptoms:

  • Feeling as if the environment is spinning
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, consider reaching out to a doctor. Vertigo can be symptomatic of both minor and severe conditions, so it’s best to get a medical opinion. Additionally, these symptoms can also result from other conditions.

There are some conditions that more commonly lead to vertigo. Possible conditions include:

How Cannabis May Help Alleviate Vertigo

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If you’re experiencing dizziness or other symptoms as a medical cannabis patient, you may wonder… Does cannabis help vertigo? Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to that question.

Cannabis use and vertigo may be correlated, as there are endocannabinoid receptors present within the audiovestibular pathways.1 Research has demonstrated that acute THC intoxication may cause dizziness and vertigo.2 However, dosage and method of consumption likely play a significant role in whether or not cannabis can induce vertigo. 

Because cannabis can affect motor skills and balance in some users, it is not typically recommended as a treatment option for vertigo. However, it may help with some of vertigo’s effects, such as nausea and vomiting.1 Still, there isn’t enough evidence to declare with certainty whether cannabis may cause or help alleviate vertigo.

Everyone reacts differently to cannabis. Because of this, it’s important to think about your individual health and consult with your doctor if you believe cannabis could be an effective option for dealing with vertigo. However, if you’ve previously experienced loss of balance from cannabis use, it’s unlikely to be an effective way to get relief from vertigo.

Legality and Doctor’s Recommendation

To determine if your state considers vertigo to be a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, check out our Laws & Regulations section for the medical cannabis rules for your state.

If your state recognizes vertigo as a qualifying medical condition, you can seek a doctor’s recommendation to get your medical card. 

How NuggMD Can Help

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NuggMD is the nation's leading medical marijuana technology platform, serving patients in 20 states and growing. We’ve connected over 1,000,000 patients with their new medical marijuana doctors face-to-face via our state-of-the-art telemedicine platform. 

We believe that every human being has the right to explore the benefits of medical cannabis and are fully committed to helping each patient explore all of their options in their journey to wellness. For further information on whether you qualify for medical cannabis, select your state.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis & Vertigo

Does the method of cannabis consumption (edibles, smoking, etc.) impact dizziness? 

While this depends on the individual, dosage likely plays a more significant role in causing dizziness than the method of consumption. For most people, consuming a higher amount of cannabis will mean you’re more likely to experience a state similar to vertigo.

If I have vertigo, should I stop smoking cannabis? 

This is a decision best left to you and your doctor. In order to understand if marijuana and vertigo are correlated, it may be necessary to eliminate cannabis for a certain period of time.

Can cannabis topicals cause vertigo? 

Many people find that non-intoxicating cannabis topicals don’t lead to vertigo. If you’re experiencing vertigo after using a topical, consider if there might be other factors involved.

Resources

  1. Guerra J, Naidoo V, Cacabelos R. Potential effects of cannabinoids on audiovestibular function: A narrative review. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2022;13. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.1010296
  2. Smith PF, Ashton JC, Darlington CL. The endocannabinoid system: A new player in the neurochemical control of vestibular function?. Audiol Neurootol. 2006;11(4):207-212. doi:10.1159/000092588

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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Whether you’re a cannabis connoisseur or thinking of becoming a first-time medical marijuana patient, our network of doctors will listen to your needs and give you an honest opinion about whether they think cannabis can help.

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