Nausea can arise from various conditions, including chemotherapy treatment for cancer. It will eventually dissipate in most cases, but 0.6% of the population experience chronic, unexplained nausea.
Regardless of the cause of your nausea, finding relief can boost your quality of life. But does weed help with nausea? This hot-button issue is part of the emerging science supporting medical cannabis for symptom relief.
In this guide, we answer, “Does marijuana help with nausea?” and, if so, “Is marijuana good for nausea?
Can Cannabis Help With Nausea?
Scientific evidence regarding the benefits of cannabis continues to grow, which confirms what many have claimed for years. In short, marijuana for nausea has proven to be highly effective at relieving symptoms and offering immediate relief.
Overview of Research Studies
Unlike some of the other benefits of medical marijuana, the impact of weed on nausea has been proven repeatedly. It’s why the Australian Department of Health now actively recommends medical cannabis for nausea treatment over CBD-only products, which remains the policy of many US state medical bodies.
In particular, a new study conducted by the University of New Mexico discovered that 96% of individuals experienced nausea relief when consuming cannabis flower and concentrates. As well as reporting a statistically significant drop in nausea symptoms, patients also experienced an improvement in their condition within five minutes.
However, studies have also demonstrated that the correct amount of THC is required to enjoy symptom relief. High-THC flower is the most effective option because it directly stimulates the dorsal vagus nerve, which controls the human vomiting response.
Types of Cannabis Products Used For Nausea Relief
Cannabis products for nausea focus on providing immediate relief. Unfortunately, edibles are considered less effective because they take much longer to act inside the body. As mentioned in the New Mexico study, the most efficacious cannabis products for nausea relief are cannabis flower and concentrate with high levels of THC.
However, there are several medications derived from the cannabis plant that can be effective. If you live in a state where medical weed is still illegal, you may want to consider the following medications:
- Marinol – An FDA-approval oral capsule designed to treat cancer-related and HIV-related vomiting.
- Cesamet – The only other FDA-approved oral capsule containing synthetic cannabis, Cesamet has been noted for being more effective than traditional anti-nausea drugs.
- Nabiximols – Treats cancer-related nausea and improves appetite in patients.
- Levontradol – Directly injected into the muscles, this pharmaceutical is designed for chemotherapy-related nausea.
Unfortunately, all four medications have received little relevant study, with most efforts classified as poor quality. Despite this, two have been FDA-approved, even though they only offer low to moderate benefits.
This is precisely why medical cannabis is a massive breakthrough for nausea relief.
How Does Cannabis Help With Nausea?
Does weed help nausea? We know it does, but scientists are still learning about the interactions between these natural cannabinoids and terpenes and the body’s mechanisms. What is clear is that the center of the action is within the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Explanation of the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is your body’s way of regulating itself. Your endocannabinoid system tells your body when it has received enough stimuli, such as pro-inflammatory signals and pain.
This regulation occurs through endocannabinoids, which are manufactured by the body. Despite the similarities, human-made endocannabinoids do not resemble the cannabinoids found in cannabis in any way.
In cannabis circles, the most essential action performed by the endocannabinoid system is the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Still, it is necessary to know that it does so much more than that.
Interaction Between Cannabinoids and Receptors in the Body
Cannabis directly interacts with the receptors in your body by activating the endocannabinoid system. It helps to increase and decrease the presence of particular neurotransmitters in the body. Does THC help with nausea? Well, in the case of THC, it increases the effect felt by the CB1 and CB2 neurotransmitters.
Mechanisms By Which Cannabis Can Alleviate Nausea
The heart of nausea control is the activation of CB1 receptors found within the dorsal vagus complex. This nerve is responsible for controlling feelings of nausea and triggers vomiting. CB1 receptors are also responsible for slowing down digestion within the gastrointestinal tract. These actions work in conjunction with the brain to prevent nauseating sensations.
Risks and Side Effects of Using Cannabis for Nausea
Like any substance, it is vital to note the potential side effects. This section explores some of the negatives of using medical weed for nausea.
Short and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis Use
Euphoria, relaxation, and heightened sensory perception are known sensations of smoking weed. However, not every effect is beneficial. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, some of the potential short and long-term effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome at high doses
Note that there are no guarantees you will experience all or any of the above effects of smoking cannabis to combat nausea. What matters when incorporating medical marijuana into your treatment is that you consult with your doctor first.
Safety Concerns With Cannabis Use
Sadly, the continuing federal prohibition of cannabis means the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cannot accurately assess the benefits and risks of cannabis use.
However, the Canadian Government has provided science-based advice on cannabis. As well as highlighting some of the adverse side effects above, they have also recommended against cannabis use by pregnant and breastfeeding women.
In most cases, doctors will also recommend against using cannabis if you take certain medications or suffer from mental health conditions like bipolar or schizophrenia due to the risk of induced psychosis. In fact, cannabis is involved in 50% of psychosis and schizophrenia psychosis cases.
Possible Drug Interactions With Cannabis
Adverse drug interactions are always possible, as with any medication. Cannabis is no exception to this, according to Sharp HealthCare, with potential drug interactions, including:
- Sedatives – Amvien and Benadryl
- Antidepressants – Prozac and Zoloft
- Pain Medications – Vicodin and Percocet
Cannabis also interacts with some anti-anxiety medications, anticonvulsants, and anticoagulants. Patients already taking prescription medication should first confirm they are not at risk of a harmful drug interaction.
Methods of Consumption and Dosages for Cannabis Use for Nausea
As mentioned in the above studies, specific products and dosages perform better than others. Here is a short breakdown of how to extract the most potential from medical weed for nausea.
Overview of Different Methods of Consumption
Cannabis may be consumed in various ways, but the three primary options are inhaling, taking cannabis orally, or using topical applications. These may be achieved through products like:
- Cannabis flower
- Cannabis oil
- Gravity bongs
Does weed help nausea in the same way if smoked vs. taken orally? Not necessarily because oral cannabis products may take 30 minutes to two hours to kick in, whereas a tincture or joint is instant.
Factors Affecting Dosages for Nausea Relief
Everyone is different. A first-time patient will typically receive little more than 2.5 mg of THC if unfamiliar with the sensations of consuming cannabis. In all cases of nausea, the best way to consume cannabis is to smoke it to provide immediate relief.
Some of the factors that will influence the correct dosage include:
- Experience with cannabis
- Severity of symptoms
- Other health conditions
With many factors determining the correct dosage, it underlines the importance of speaking to your doctor before taking cannabis to overcome nausea.
Consult Texas 420 Doctors to Help Alleviate Nausea
So, does weed help nausea? Research has consistently supported marijuana as a safer, healthier alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals in many respects. The same principle applies to nausea, with cannabis relieving symptoms faster and more effectively than existing anti-nausea medications.
Contributed and published by: Texas 420 Doctors
Published Date: December 14, 2023