Question about motion sickness and weed
April 19, 2012 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Is it normal that I feel the same unpleasant effects after smoking weed for the first time as I do when I get motion sick?

I tend to get motion-sickness from air travel, and occasionally from car travel as well. I got car-sick during a trip to the airport last week, and though I took some non-drowsy Dramamine in hopes that I would prevent further motion sickness during my flight, it was no use--motion sickness still got to me. Motion sickness is such a strange feeling for me, but I'll try to describe it: I feel a bit shaky and weak, as if my blood sugar is low, even though I know I've eaten enough, and it persists even after I've eaten a big meal. This sensation is really disorienting, and I don't feel like doing anything because of it--I went to bed when I arrived at my destination, and when I woke up the next morning it wasn't completely gone, so I ended up sleeping more that afternoon.

Fast forward to two days ago, when I smoked weed for the first time. I only took one small hit and then a bigger hit. It didn't feel like it affected me that much, minus some lightheadedness, but the next day I experienced the same low blood sugar feeling, and I forced myself eat although I didn't have much of an appetite. I took a return flight home yesterday, made sure that I took two of that non-drowsy Dramamine as a preventive measure, and it still made me very drowsy--I lay in bed/slept on and off for five hours once I got home.

Today, I am still experiencing that unnerving shakey/weak/low-blood-sugar sort of feeling, and again, I don't feel like doing anything because of it. I know pot makes you feel lazy, but I don't know if I'm experiencing the regular pot-induced laziness, or if it's because of feeling ill from air travel. My mind also feels hazy, as if I haven't slept really well (which, considering my drowsiness yesterday, I don't believe is the actual case). So I have several questions: Is it normal for me to feel this way after smoking for the first time? Is it possible that the weed and Dramamine/effect of air travel are working together to make me feel the way I do? This feeling will eventually go away, won't it?

Finally, why do weed and motion sickness both have this effect on me, and what can I do to mitigate it?
posted by dean_deen to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would talk to a doctor...taking two puffs two days ago should have no effect on you at this point. I would focus more on the motion sickness issue.
posted by virginia_clemm at 10:58 AM on April 19, 2012

The sleepiness and mind haze are exactly the symptoms I get when I take "non-drowsy" Dramamine.
posted by contraption at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2012

I think that considering both the motion sickness and Dramamine which made you sleepy but didn't affect the motion sickness, you can take the weed out of the equation. Two tokes may (unlikely, but may) have contributed to feeling hazy the morning after, but that's about it.
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yep, griphus is right: this is not the pot, this is the travel and medication.
posted by Specklet at 11:06 AM on April 19, 2012

fwiw i had a freaky-freak 48-72 hours after my first time; but maybe neither of us is normal.

Finally, why do weed and motion sickness both have this effect on me, and what can I do to mitigate it? Not smoke weed, and stay offa boats!!! But seriously it sounds like your chemistry was already discombobulated and you sequed a separate incident of motion sickness into it. What I'm trying to say is you're thinking of this as all one event when perhaps it is two? Please consciously re-hydrate, and maybe take something with extra zinc in it like an airborne.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 11:12 AM on April 19, 2012

I would have a doctor take a look at your blood pressure. I know people for whom smoking has caused fainting, and whatever mechanism causes that may also be interacting with how your body is reacting to motion. IANAD, but I have a feeling that the dramamine or weed may somehow be exacerbating an existing condition. All in all, knowing what I have heard/experienced, the combination of factors here [weed/motion sickness/low-blood-sugar-feeling/light-headedness] is just saying to me "BLOOD PRESSURE". Sorry I can't articulate this better, but just get your blood pressure checked out.
posted by lovableiago at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Get some sleep, you'll be fine.
posted by empath at 11:15 AM on April 19, 2012

Oh, this is only somewhat related but this thread talks about the physiological effects of pot and might provide some insight.
posted by lovableiago at 11:15 AM on April 19, 2012

It is uncommon but not unheard of for first-time pot smokers to feel a bit seasick when smoking. (The pot-induced laziness you've heard of happens while you're high, not a day or two after the fact.) This is the first I've heard of anyone feeling any kind of effect from marijuana two days after the fact, though, except after long-term frequent use.

Is there any chance your low-blood-sugar feeling is caused by... low blood sugar? I never remember to eat properly on travel days, especially when my sleep cycle is thrown off as well...
posted by ook at 11:25 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Many years ago I had a bad reaction to dramamine and to smoking weed so stayed away from both. I also had a bad reaction to scopalamine in labor with my first child, unmedicated childbirth for the others.

I recently tried Bonine for motion sickness in flight, and it worked great, for the first time I could look out the window at the lights while we landed. I had never heard of Bonine but my son said it worked for him so I tried it. No desire to smoke anything at this late date in life:-)
posted by mermayd at 11:26 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

You tried a new recreational drug, took some meclozine on top of it (which is still known to cause drowsiness, even if it's used in "non-drowsy" motion sickness meds), and then flew on an airplane. You've been pretty rough on your poor brain the last few days. I personally would not go to the doctor's over this, but instead would simply put myself on light duty for a day and a half or so, would eat whatever food I felt was most likely to make me feel better (miso soup), and would wait to see if it got better or worse. I betcha it'll get better.

As far as the motion sickness, maybe you should look into some other medications you could use to help stave it off. I like ginger, actually. It's one of those alternative medications that actually has some clinical backing, and it doesn't give me gross side-effects like drowsiness or mind fog.

As far as the pot, well, it affects people differently. Some people just don't like it. The effects are different enough for different people that if you want to keep trying it you should just be careful about your intake and try a few different variables like different strains of weed, different times of day, with/without tobacco and/or alcohol (hint: without), with different amounts/types of food and drink (try eating some but not a lot of something relatively healthy and light, and drink plenty of water), things like that. Nobody can tell you what will work for you, maybe nothing will work. It's kind of a crapshoot. You're unlikely to hurt yourself trying but if you keep having bad experiences then it's probably just not for you.
posted by Scientist at 11:32 AM on April 19, 2012

This is the first I've heard of anyone feeling any kind of effect from marijuana two days after the fact, though, except after long-term frequent use.

For what it's worth--and this is probably not relevant here, unless this was two tokes of mind-melting chronic, which it sounds like it wasn't--I'm a very-infrequent smoker, and I often experience a mild all-over body buzz for 12-48 hours after having either great stuff or more-than-a-little regular stuff. Never been able to explain it, but it's a pretty reliable effect for me.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:43 AM on April 19, 2012

How far did you travel? You might have a bit of jet lag! Make sure you're not dehydrated too.
posted by mareli at 11:47 AM on April 19, 2012

It isn't the weed. Travel plus non-drowsy dramamine will take the sauce right out of you.
posted by hermitosis at 12:06 PM on April 19, 2012

I forgot to mention that I've taken Dramamine before without effects this severe. Even the original formula stuff would wear off once I'd slept a few hours. And the flight itself was very short--only 1.5 hours--so I don't think I'm jet lagged. But I guess reactions to medication change over time, no?

And now that some time's passed, I think it would be more accurate to characterize my current state as feeling really sleep deprived, as opposed to feeling low-blood-sugar-y. I guess that's where my apathy has come from all along; I just didn't notice it right away.
posted by dean_deen at 12:40 PM on April 19, 2012

Wrong weed. Sounds more like a non-smoker reaction to tobacco. It was mixed with tobacco, right?
posted by w0mbat at 2:30 PM on April 19, 2012

The first time I smoked pot I got the same feeling I get when I get motion sickness. A few times after that when I smoked way too much of that good shit I got the same feeling. Haven't had that feeling after smoking in five or six years though, but boy this question brings me back! The motion sickness feeling after smoking the first time or when you smoke too much chronic as a newb, is not uncommon. But you get that feeling right after you smoke, like within 5-150 minutes. So, like everyone is saying - it's not the weed.

Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) and meclozine (Bonine, Dramamine - less-drowsy formulation) effect me differently depending on a lot of variables. Including time of day, how much caffine I've had, how much sleep I've had, and what kind of motion it is that's making me sick. Dramamine works for short car rides (under 40 minutes) but for planes and boats I find that meclozine works best. Boats are really bad for me so I usually use meclozine and SeaBands. Depending on my overall state I find that the drowsiness is pretty variable but meclozine gives me the least trouble in that regard.
posted by OsoMeaty at 4:46 PM on April 19, 2012

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