Fainting from Cannabis | Medical Marijuana Side Effects – marijuanadoctors.com

Updated on January 29, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

“While medical marijuana offers several benefits to patients, such as pain relief, it also poses several side effects, like many other medicines available today. One side effect some patients have experienced when using medical weed is fainting.

Additional Side Effects of Medical Marijuana

For medical marijuana physicians, the goal is to ensure you’re receiving treatments that offer you the maximum benefit. Because of that, they weigh the potential side effects of medical marijuana for your condition and consider your medical history to predict how you may respond to medical weed.

In some cases, you and your doctor may decide to incorporate medical cannabis into your treatment plan because of its side effects. People with insomnia, for instance, have benefited from using medical weed in the evening, as it can cause drowsiness.

How Does Medical Weed Cause Fainting?

Fainting from medical weed is caused by several factors, including:

  • Blood Pressure: One of the cannabinoids found in medical cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a vasodilator, which means it expands your blood vessels — this is one reason patients with high blood pressure use medical pot. That decrease in blood pressure, however, can cause an increased heart rate and, in some cases, fainting.
  • Administration: When you smoke or vaporize medical marijuana, you feel the effects faster. In comparison, edibles and oils need more time to take effect. So, if you smoke medical cannabis, you may experience a sudden drop in blood pressure, which can surprise your body and result in fainting.

While standing doesn’t affect how medical weed interacts with your mind, it can make you more prone to fainting.     . . . . ”

Source: Fainting from Cannabis | Medical Marijuana Side Effects

Why Does a Single Hit of Weed Make Me Faint? – By Emily Wicks – VICE

“One night in 2005, at a party at my house, two things happened: I had a single toke from a joint, and a friend introduced me to her new boyfriend. For most people this confluence of events would be no problem, but my body was not having it. As my friend’s boyfriend dribbled on about his adventures in Peru, his fluffy hair began to morph and swirl. The more it swirled, the more I wanted to vomit. Then his voice started piping down through a tiny hole in the roof, then… nothing. It was lights out. That was the first time it happened, but soon enough it became apparent that this was my fate. I could not inhale marijuana—not even a little bit, not even sans alcohol—without blacking out. But why? Is my constitution so delicate, just a whiff of weed requires its total shut-down?”

One of the only studies conducted on this phenomenon was published in 1992. Researchers from Duke University gave ten healthy men a strong joint to smoke while standing up, and reported that six participants felt “moderate” to “severe” dizziness. Those who experienced severe dizziness also showed marked decreases in blood pressure, which went as low as 60 mmHg.

The standing-up part is key because it indicates weed could bring on something called orthostatic hypertension, low pressure caused by the movement or position of the body.

“Marijuana can cause quite profound lowering of blood pressure, and cause users to faint as not enough blood gets to the brain,” confirms Dr. Andrew Mongomery, a general practitioner. “A lesser lowering of blood pressure may lead to a sense of dizziness without actually passing out, [although] the biological mechanisms underlying this are highly complex and incompletely understood.”

Source: Why Does a Single Hit of Weed Make Me Faint? – VICE

Can CBD Really Do All That? – The New York Times

“When Catherine Jacobson first heard about the promise of cannabis, she was at wits’ end. Her 3-year-old son, Ben, had suffered from epileptic seizures since he was 3 months old, a result of a brain malformation called polymicrogyria. Over the years, Jacobson and her husband, Aaron, have tried giving him at least 16 different drugs, but none provided lasting relief. They lived with the grim prognosis that their son — whose cognitive abilities never advanced beyond those of a 1-year-old — would likely continue to endure seizures until the cumulative brain injuries led to his death.

In early 2012, when Jacobson learned about cannabis at a conference organized by the Epilepsy Therapy Project, she felt a flicker of hope. The meeting, in downtown San Francisco, was unlike others she had attended, which were usually geared toward lab scientists and not directly focused on helping patients. This gathering aimed to get new treatments into patients’ hands as quickly as possible. Attendees weren’t just scientists and people from the pharmaceutical industry. They also included, on one day of the event, families of patients with epilepsy.

The tip came from a father named Jason David, with whom Jacobson began talking by chance outside a presentation hall. He wasn’t a presenter or even very interested in the goings-on at the conference. He had mostly lost faith in conventional medicine during his own family’s ordeal. But he claimed to have successfully treated his son’s seizures with a cannabis extract, and now he was trying to spread the word to anyone who would listen.”

How to Win a War on Drugs – by Nicholas Kristof – NYT

“Decades ago, the United States and Portugal both struggled with illicit drugs and took decisive action — in diametrically opposite directions. The U.S. cracked down vigorously, spending billions of dollars incarcerating drug users. In contrast, Portugal undertook a monumental experiment: It decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001, even heroin and cocaine, and unleashed a major public health campaign to tackle addiction. Ever since in Portugal, drug addiction has been treated more as a medical challenge than as a criminal justice issue.

After more than 15 years, it’s clear which approach worked better. The United States drug policy failed spectacularly, with about as many Americans dying last year of overdoses — around 64,000 — as were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined.

In contrast, Portugal may be winning the war on drugs — by ending it. Today, the Health Ministry estimates that only about 25,000 Portuguese use heroin, down from 100,000 when the policy began.

The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 percent before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal’s drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark — and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S.”

 

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT

Hooray and hallelujah! Thank you Nicholas Kristof for an excellent reporting on a magnificent story. Some of us have been arguing for decriminalization and legalization for over thirty years. Our arguments have fallen on the rocks of doubt. Even my cousin George, like Nicholas, worried for decades that the idea was bad, because logically, the death rate might rise before it fell, and be therefore politically unpopular, maybe even wrong.

But the data from Portugal is game changing. It is irrefutable proof that the US war on drugs is a miserable failure compared to the Portuguese model, half-baked as it is. It still has the most important components, decriminalization for users, and a massive public health initiative to help people who are sick with the disease of addiction. And behold, it costs roughly 5% of what our complete failure of a policy costs. “$10 per citizen per year” (in Portugal), versus “$10,000 per household over a decade” in the US.

I have for years argued that the statistics and history of legalizing alcohol, after the end of prohibition, prove that legalization of addictive drugs will reduce crime, and deaths, and the destabilization of governments, especially if partnered with a Marshall plan to help addicts get off their addiction, or learn to maintain it safely. In this report of the Portuguese model, one paragraph after another, is proof of of the argument.