Vertigo and Medical Cannabis Treatment
Vertigo is defined as the feeling of being off-balance or dizzy, according to WebMD. It is usually caused by injury or disease of the inner ear, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease, or vestibular neuritis.
While the option of surgery or canalith repositioning (which moves fluid from inner ear canals) exists, medical cannabis also proves to be an effective treatment for vertigo as it is similar to a condition of motion sickness.
Vertigo Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
While vertigo has no known direct cause, it is a symptom of Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear disorder that brings on nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. The Mayo Clinic reports that vertigo can also be caused due to an injury involving the neck or head, migraine headaches, strokes, brain tumors, or even medications that damage the inner ear. The main symptom of vertigo is dizziness, as well as nausea and vomiting.
For many, signs of vertigo are not consistent, coming and going at any time.
When it comes on, a sufferer will feel off-balance for up to a minute before slowly feeling normal again. The positioning of the head is one reason vertigo is triggered, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There are many potential treatments for vertigo, but many patients are resistant to anything but surgery. Medications such as antibiotics and steroids are the first line of treatment. Physical therapy to strengthen the organs of the inner ear, called vestibular rehabilitation, is recommended for patients with vertigo who do not respond to medication. Canal positioning or surgery is commonly recommended for treating vertigo and is only considered if the first line of treatment fails. The surgery entails blocking the portion of the ear that causes dizziness with a bone plug.
Leveraging Cannabinoids for Relief for Vertigo Treatment
While medical cannabis itself cannot treat vertigo directly, it can assist patients with relief from symptoms of the condition. For example, the 2018 study “Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-Analysis” published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology found that administering CBD oil on a consistent basis helped ease participants’ dizziness.
Using medical cannabis after an episode can also help reduce the sufferer’s anxiety and help them calm down.
The same properties that make medical cannabis an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients make it an effective treatment for the symptoms of vertigo.
A preclinical study titled “Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids” published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011 notes that “cannabinoids, including CBD, may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments” and that previous research suggests that “manipulation of the endocannabinoid system regulates nausea and vomiting in humans and other animals.”
For all noted reasons and more, medical cannabis addresses some of the most common vertigo symptoms as it does with other ear diseases and disorders that are literally throwing sufferers’ lives off-balance.