Treating Chronic Nausea and Vomiting with Cannabis

Anyone who has ever dealt with debilitating nausea and vomiting knows how disabling it can be. Nausea is a symptom or a side-effect of a number of conditions, and when it hits, it can be crippling. Unlike other symptoms or side-effects of illness, nausea is all-encompassing and takes over the entire body. 

The good news is that there is a wonder product on the market today that offers proven relief from chronic episodes of nausea and vomiting. This product is medical marijuana, also known as CBD. If CBD is known for anything, it’s the alleviation of these debilitating symptoms. 

To learn more about how cannabis works inside the body to alleviate nausea, and the best strains to try, just keep on reading. 

A Physiological Overview of Nausea and Vomiting

Systematic studies show that cannabis is exceptionally effective at offering relief from chronic nausea caused by a number of conditions, but most commonly, cancer. Not only this, but it works as an appetite stimulant in many patients, which in itself, speeds up recovery and can have a life-saving effect. 

But what exactly is nausea and what seems to cause it? 

Quite simply, nausea is a protective action in the human body. It’s a defense mechanism that has an underlying therapeutic effect — even though it does not feel like it at the time. Also known as emesis, the body responds with nausea and vomiting as a means of protecting the body if you ingest or digest a harmful substance. 

With many people suffering from illness or disease, emesis is often a reaction to certain drugs which are foreign and therefore viewed as ”harmful” to the body. Its natural reaction is to want to expel these substances from the body. 

Some common causes of nausea also include: 

  • Head injury
  • Severe migraine 
  • Viral and bacterial infection 
  • Gastrointestinal issues 
  • Appendicitis
  • Hepatitis 
  • Chronic pain 
  • Pregnancy and hormonal fluctuations 
  • Toxins 
  • Emotional and psychiatric disorders 

In terms of physiology, what is happening inside the body when you feel nauseous? There are three systems that work together and play a role in how nausea plays out. They include the brain, the central nervous system, and your GI (digestive) system. 

Anti-vomiting medication has been developed to target the nauseating effects of serotonin when it’s released in excess in the body. This medication encourages receptors in parts of the brain and GI tract to bind with serotonin to counteract feelings of nausea. 

But how does cannabis help with all of this? Read on to find out. 

Cannabis and Nausea: Is It Really Effective? 

While there is a good amount of research on the effects of marijuana for nausea in cancer patients, it’s not only beneficial for those undergoing chemotherapy. 

CBD is beneficial because of how it interacts with serotonin receptors in the body to regulate serotonin levels. Serotonin plays a big role in the feelings of nausea because of how it’s linked to your mood and general sense of well-being. 

It’s worth noting, however, that CBD with a relatively high THC content is far more beneficial in treating emesis than other lower-THC forms of CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. When used in combination with CBD compounds, it’s exceptionally good at alleviating nausea and vomiting. 

Not only this, but these cannabinoids help to stimulate the appetite, as mentioned earlier. When struggling with chronic nausea and vomiting, this is a great help in restoring a normal eating pattern, energy levels, and overall recovery from illness. 

With regards to chemotherapy-related emesis, there are two FDA-approved drugs derived from synthetic cannabis. They are available on the market at present, known as Nabilone and Dronabinol.

How Does Cannabis Combat Nausea?

Unlike other symptoms or side-effects of illness and disease, nausea is an overall sensation, regulated by the central nervous system. It’s also created by the body’s endocannabinoid system — a system comprised of neurotransmitters that regulate a myriad of functions. Some of these include your mood, memory, appetite, sensory detection, fertility, and more. 

Cannabis helps to combat emesis by targeting it at the source within the endocannabinoid system. It reacts with receptors within this system, disputing signals to the brain that induce feelings of nausea. 

Cannabis contains hundreds of different cannabinoids that benefit the human body because of how they react with our own endocannabinoid system. CBD and THC are just two of them that target nausea and vomiting. 

It’s important to remember that cannabis only blocks the sensation of nausea within the body, it does not resolve the underlying issue, illness, or disease. 

You Don’t Have To Get High To Combat Nausea 

As you may or may not know, THC is the compound in cannabis that makes you feel ”’high”, due to its psychoactive properties. For someone dealing with chronic nausea on a daily basis, you might not want to experience this side-effect. Your only priority may be to feel as ”normal” as possible to live out your day-to-day life. 

The good news is that you don’t have to take a CBD product that’s high in THC to alleviate your nausea and vomiting. CBD is still a very potent cannabinoid that offers these therapeutic effects by interacting with the body’s 5-HT1A autoreceptors.

However, it’s widely known that THC and CBD work together as the most effective form of emesis relief. In short, they work best as a team. If you are wary of ingesting a CBD product with THC levels, you can start off with a low ratio of CBD to THC. 

Otherwise, you can start off with a pure CBD product and assess how effective this product is at alleviating your nausea. Within 30-minutes of ingestion, you should have an answer. If it’s not effective, you can start off with very low levels of THC and work from there. 

Tips for Tapering Your THC  

Okay, so let’s say you’ve tried out a THC-free product, but it has done very little to alleviate your emesis. It’s important to remember two things about marijuana products: 

  1. Cannabis is a form of marijuana that is naturally high in THC 
  2. Hemp is a form of marijuana that is naturally low in THC, but high in CBD 

So, before you choose a marijuana product, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right derivative.  If you’re interested in trying out a pure CBD to start, stick to hemp-derived CBD products. If you’re want to taper up your THC usage, you’ll want to experiment with cannabis-derived products. 

Yes, hemp and cannabis are essentially the same plants. But cannabis contains levels of both CBD and THC, so this is the best product to try for emesis relief because the two work hand-in-hand together. 

Some tips for trying out THC: 

  • If you’re tried it before and didn’t like the effects of THC, start off with the smallest possible THC dose
  • You don’t need to consume an entire product for nausea relief, you only need 5mg of edible THC or less (micro-dosing)
  • Remember that the overall goal is to feel better, and not ”high” 

Bear in mind that a cannabis product with high levels of THC can actually have the opposite effect of emesis relief. In some people, the effects of THC can induce nausea. So start off small and slow and use micro-dosing as your rule-of-thumb. 

What Are the Best CBD Products for Nausea? 

There is a huge range of CBD products on the market today, but all these products fall into one of three major categories of CBD: 

  • Full-spectrum CBD which combines both CBD and THC compounds (only about 0.3 percent THC) 
  • Broad-spectrum CBD contains multiple forms of cannabinoids, but no THC 
  • CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, it contains no other cannabinoids 

When it comes to relief from nausea and vomiting, it’s best to start with a CBD product that makes you feel good. The last thing you want is a product to make you feel worse.

If you’re completely new to CBD consumption and wary of trying THC at first, then go with a broad-spectrum product as a test run. You can also try out a CBD isolate for a more potent hit of CBD. If neither of these products offers any relief, you want to opt for a full-spectrum CBD. 

How To Choose Good Quality CBD Products 

This is a huge part of how effective a product is at alleviating your symptoms. You have to do your homework and make sure you are purchasing a high-quality, reliable product. 

Ultimately, the product criteria you should keep in mind includes safety, quality, and transparency. You want to look for these qualities in each product, too: 

  • The manufacturing company provides proof of third-part testing, specifically in a lab that is ISO 17025-compliant
  • The product is made from locally-grown hemp (in the U.S.)
  • When trying a full-spectrum product, it must not contain more than 0.3 percent THC
  • The CBD product must pass all tests for heavy metals, mold, and pesticides 

Aside from this, it’s also wise to look at the company’s certifications and how they manufacture their products. Take other ingredients into account, too. If they contain compounds such as peppermint and ginger, this is an added bonus to help alleviate nausea. 

You should also do some research on the company’s overall reputation and whether they are a trusted brand. 

How To Consume CBD for the Best Nausea Relief 

There are a few tried and tested methods of consuming CBD for fast and effective relief from emesis. And when you feel like death warmed up, you want to find relief as quickly as possible. 

While smoking a CBD product is one of the oldest forms of consumption, it may not always suit those struggling with nausea. You might not be able to stomach the pure taste of cannabis. However, it does offer the most immediate relief. 

So, if smell and taste are off-putting to you, your next best option is vape inhalation. Most cartridge-based vape pens are smoke and odor-free, so it’s a win-win.

Vape inhalation is also a great option if you’ve never smoked before and you’re completely new to CBD products. It’s also pretty low-cost. 

CBD Edibles and Beverages 

Edibles and beverages are a brilliant option if you don’t like the idea of smoking or simply want to protect your lungs. They are also great-tasting and very discreet. 

However, the effects are not as immediate because your digestive system must process the edibles, and the CBD before it enters your system. So, in short, it will take far longer for you to feel relief from your symptoms. 

When trying out CBD edibles, you want to start with a small dose at first, such as 5mg of both THC and CBD. You will most likely feel the effects after 45-90 minutes, post-ingestion. It’s super important to wait for at least 45-minutes to assess how feel and whether you need to ingest more. 

Keep this rule-of-thumb in mind: start low and go slow!

You can find edibles in the form of mints, fruit chews, gummies, hard candy, and even chocolate. While beverages range from CBD-infused sparkling waters, nano water, cloud water, green tea, and even cold-brew coffee. 

CBD Tinctures and Sprays 

Tinctures (drops) and sprays (sublingual) are another set of ideal options if you want fast-acting relief from nausea. They are taken under the tongue, while the body absorbs the effects at a rapid rate due to the density of blood vessels near the skin in your mouth. 

Whether you choose a tincture or sublingual, these products are water-based, mixed with alcohol, glycerine, or natural, oil-based solutions. They come in small bottles with an eyedropper applicator or a spray bottle. 

The most common dose to start off with is also between 5-10mg of both THC and CBD. You’ll need to keep the solution under your tongue for about 60-seconds before swallowing. This is also an effective way of ensuring you’re taking in the right dose for your needs. 

Find an Untapped Source of Cannabis Knowledge 

If you’re plagued by chronic nausea and vomiting and want to find an effective solution that does not depend on pharmaceuticals, then cannabis is your best option. Not only is it quick and effective, but it’s an affordable, discreet option to help you get your life and health back on track. 

Want to learn more about cannabis? Whether you’re interested in cannabis products, strains, how to market your cannabis products, or even investing in weed stocks, check out the rest of this site for more.