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Why does cannabis worsen my orthostatic intolerance and head pressure?

Discussion in 'Treating POTS and Orthostatic Intolerance' started by Tutti frutti, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Tutti frutti

    Tutti frutti New Member

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    Moderation note:
    The legality of cannabis for medical and recreational use varies by country, in terms of its possession, distribution, and cultivation, and how it can be consumed and what medical conditions it can be used for.

    Members considering cannabis use are advised to ensure that they are familiar with the laws relevant to their region.



    I was curious to know if anyone has any idea why cannabis worsens my orthostatic intolerance and intracranial pressure issues? E.g. increased sympathetic overdrive, head pressure, brain fog, reduced social ability, decreased spatial awareness/balance and increased visual disturbance. I've read about it significantly helping some people with intracranial hypertension. So I was thinking this negative reaction could be indicative of a low pressure syndrome? It gets significantly better within 10-15 mins of lying supine. Any ideas would be appreciated. Happy Sunday! :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2019
    mat likes this.
  2. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think the only problem I get is sleepiness and inability to follow things on TV. I would probably have difficulty following a conversation too, but I don't often attempt those live anyway after using cannabis, or indeed at other times since my worsening 3 and a half years ago. But I have high blood pressure, and don't think I have orthostatic intolerance or intracranial pressure.

    Visual disturbance isn't that unusual on high doses of cannabis!

    Maybe someone else can help? Welcome anyway!
     
  3. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In my youth I was a regular cannabis user. And I got orthostatic intolerance, dizziness/ightheadedness, brain fog, visual disturbance, very poor balance/coordination etc, pretty much every time I took it - they're pretty standard side effects. Personally I wouldn't have thought that they indicate anything more than that you've taken cannabis, probably a little too much.
     
  4. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Keep in mind that in addition to the two main chemicals, THC and CBD, there are hundreds of compounds interacting and adding up to the overall effect. Cannabis isn't cannabis the same way alcohol is alcohol. There is a huge variation of effects between strains that go from sleepy to energetic buzz.

    There are also people who react differently to the same strain and your reaction may change over time. So basically a lot of variability that is not at all helped by the fact that clinical research was forbidden until very recently and so still has very few answers. There are thousands of strains out there, though probably only a much smaller subset of categories that most belong to.

    It's hard to determine that without good classification, which is not an option outside of a legal market, but also because the prices vary enormously so that strains that could have some good benefits could be 2-3x as expensive as others. Medical dispensaries will have all the information and fewer of those headaches, but obviously a maligned non-disease is not particularly popular on the whole prescribing cannabis thing.

    The why has not been answered yet, research is just getting started. But if you have the ability to select, I highly recommend leafly.com, which has been gathering user reports for several years and can help eliminate the strains that you react badly to. Lots of people badly react to some strains the way you do and a lot of the feedback incorporates that.

    I noticed that it seems to have expanded and now has a shop so it asks you for information but you can just select whatever if you just want to browse the strains information.
     
    MeSci likes this.
  5. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I love weed but it has a very strong effect on many of my symptoms. The effect it has on my musculoskeletal system is profound. It's like all the areas I have had problems with come online. Sometime it has a positive effect, but other times it has made me feel really stiff, sore, and uncomfortable.

    It also usually amplifies my tinnitus and can give me visual disturbances similar to those I get when really fatigued/ in PEM. For these reasons I am not a frequent smoker.

    I have no idea what is going on, but I do feel like the endocannabinoid system has a role to play in my illness.
     
  6. Joeblow604

    Joeblow604 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm not sure why or exactly what it does but it will worsen my OI after the initial stimulating effect wears off. It does raise the heart rate at first. I don't have a BP monitor so can't say for sure what it does to BP but I do have already low BP and it does make that feeling worse. Hard to stand up without losing blood to head.

    @rvallee offers some great information. I'd like to add that once you do find a strain that does work for you keep in mind that depending on batch or how that strain was grown can also effect the final outcome of how it works for you. Generally Purple Kush helps me, but I normally buy from a very meticulous private grower and if I buy the same strain from a dispensary 9 times out of 10 it will not have the same effect. My grower explained that these days most larger commercial growers are interested in the most yield, least amount of light and fertilizer and the shortest growing time possible to maximize their profit so end up with an inferior product.
     
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