Can CBD Treat or Prevent Nausea Symptoms?
Nausea is an awful, uneasy sensation in the abdomen. It’s usually associated with the urge to vomit. So many factors may contribute to nausea ranging from very mild cases to severe illnesses. Research shows that cannabinoids like CBD and THC can be an effective nausea remedy. Cannabinoids are being used to successfully treat nausea once it has developed and also to help prevent anticipatory nausea.
What Causes Nausea?
Basically, nausea is the urge to vomit. In many cases, the sensation can be debilitating and result in vomiting. Though nausea is mostly caused by stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis), there’s a wide range of conditions that can cause nausea, including:
- chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- food poisoning
- morning sickness
- severe pain
- motion sickness
- Crohn’s disease
- premenstrual syndrome
Both nausea and vomiting play a vital role in defense by rejecting the digestion and or ingestion of potentially poisonous substances. The sensitivity of the vomiting reflex and nausea can be activated easily, resulting in additional problems and negatively impacting the patient’s quality of life. For instance, nausea and vomiting can prevent prolonged use of medications intended to treat serious conditions.
For patients with cancer, nausea can develop after radiation treatment or chemotherapy. Additionally, they can experience what is called anticipatory nausea. If a patient has fallen sick a number of times after treatment, then the sights, smells, or even the sound of the treatment is enough to trigger a nauseous sensation.
Inability to control nausea can result in alterations in chemical balance in the body, changes in mental health, dehydration, loss of appetite, and malnutrition. It can also cause prolonged hospital stays, difficulty in handling daily activities, and depression.
Research: How Cannabinoids Can Manage Nausea
Previous studies have shown that nausea can indeed be controlled by cannabis. Most effective are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The reason is that both activate the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), although THC much more so than CBD. Activation of this receptor suppresses the vomiting reflex. Research has shown that the efficacy of CBD in producing anti-nausea effects could also be attributed to its indirect activation of the somato-dendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors located in the brainstem. (CBD often works indirectly with many receptors in the ECS.)
For patients whose nausea is caused by chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, cannabis also relieves this debilitating symptom. Studies have shown that hemp-derived cannabinoids reduce conditioned rejection and nausea induced by chemotherapy.
In 1985, the FDA approved two synthetic forms of THC — nabilone and dronabinol — for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). About 30 clinical trials have been carried out since then. These trials have proven that cannabinoids are more effective in the treatment of CINV compared to the conventional dopamine receptor antagonists.
Dronabinol and Nabilone work by inhibiting the interaction of dopamine and serotonin, both of which have a relationship with CINV, at receptor sites. Some of the endocannabinoid receptors in the body lie within the emetic (vomit-causing) reflex bodies, making them a promising target for the management of CINV. Nausea and vomiting are regulated by the dorsal vagal complex in the brainstem. It coordinates communication between signals in the blood (just like it happens in chemotherapy) and the neurons that trigger nausea and vomiting. The gastrointestinal tract and the dorsal vagal complex have endocannabinoid receptors, and all have shown to possess anti-emetic (nausea-stopping) responses when the receptors are activated by THC.
What Is CBD Oil?
Legal CBD is hemp-derived. Hemp CBD oil is extracted from cannabis that contains .3% THC or less, which is how a hemp plant is defined. The reason is because this level of THC is non-intoxicating and is the amount legislators were comfortable with legalizing.
CBD oil is extracted from hemp flowers —sometimes from the leaves and stalks as well, which is known as hemp fibre biomass. But quality CBD oil is extracted from the flowers.
Hemp is a cannabis plant, which we’ve defined above by its low amount of THC. It is high in CBD, which is most abundant in the flowers, followed by the leaves and stalks.
CBD oil can be isolate, distillate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum. Full spectrum CBD is includes a range of beneficial whole plant hemp actives — such as, cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential fatty acids, and more.
Additional Therapeutic Effects of CBD
CBD for Preventative Health Benefits
Because CBD is an antioxidant and has neuroprotective qualities, some people take it to prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases.
A 2018 review of clinical and preclinical studies in Frontiers of Pharmacology determined that CBD plays a protective role in treating and preventing such diseases as Parkinson’s and MS.
You may have heard someone you know say CBD didn’t work for them. Not all CBD is created equal. To learn more, read our article on what makes CBD oil effective.
CBD for Anxiety
According to a report in Neurotherapeutics, CBD oil shows promise in the treatment of various anxiety disorders.
In 2018, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published the finding of a survey that showed 62 percent of CBD users used it for medical purposes. At the top of the list? Pain, anxiety, and depression.
Learn more about what CBD to take for anxiety here.
CBD for Pain and Inflammation
CBD has an inhibitory effect on the COX enzyme that plays a key role in mediating inflammation and pain. COX- 2 particularly encourages inflammation in the body. It is the target for many anti-inflammatory drugs including NSAIDs. When the receptor for COX is occupied, the inflammatory cascade is blocked and inflammation does not take place.
In one 2016 study, CBD reduced pain and inflammation behavior in rats with arthritis. Another report has found that short-term use of CBD improves spasticity in MS patients. This 2008 review takes a look at several scientific studies, which together reveal that CBD shows “great promise” in the management of pain.
For pain and inflammation, we recommend Ananda Hemp CBD and Puffin Hemp Liposomal CBD.
Learn more about what CBD to take for pain and inflammation here.
CBD for Insomnia
In a very recent published case study from 2019, a majority of patients with anxiety-related insomnia experienced improved sleep with CBD. Out of 72 patients, anxiety scores decreased in 57 patients within the first month, and sleep scores improved in 48 patients in the first month.
Another case report outlines how CBD successfully treated the pediatric anxiety and insomnia of a severely abused ten-year-old girl with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pharmaceuticals meds had provided some relief, but they were not lasting and came with major side effects.
CBD was able to provide sustained relief to the 10-year-old, for both sleep and anxiety, and proved, with clinical data, to be a safe form of treatment.
Learn more about what CBD to take for insomnia here.
If you would like to know more about how CBD will make you feel, read our article on Nature’s Breakthrough.
What Kind of CBD for Nausea?
To manage nausea symptoms, you can take the form of CBD that works best for you. The fastest acting forms are liposomal CBD, sublingual tinctures, and smokeable or vapeable CBD hemp flower. However, other oral forms are available like tinctures you ingest or softgels, which can be taken regularly to keep a constant level of full spectrum CBD in the system at all times. We recommend a combination of both. See our article on CBD forms for a thorough breakdown of how these work.
Dosing CBD for Nausea
Figuring out the best dosage can be tricky at first, because CBD can affect people differently. You can find our recommended guidelines for dosing CBD in this article. Remember, it’s always best to start low, go slow, and add from there. There’s never been a fatal overdose of CBD, and some diseases, like epilepsy require great doses of it — much more than you would require for nausea — and it is still well-tolerated. But taking more CBD than you need can make it less effective overtime. Best to find the sweet spot for treating your symptoms and stay the course, until you need more.
Cannabinoids Improve Quality of Life
The results are in; cannabinoids are a safe, natural nausea remedy. But we’ve just scratched the surface on all the possible treatments and preventive health benefits of cannabinoids. We believe cannabis still has an untapped wealth of benefits to offer humanity. Our body’s ECS proves that we are naturally designed to receive and benefit from these naturally occurring chemicals.
The Nature’s Breakthrough educational resource is just one of the ways The Hemp Haus practices its sincere commitment to and passion for educating people about CBD and helping them find the right, high-quality product based on their needs.
Where to Buy High-Quality CBD Products:
For pain, insomnia, anxiety, and more …
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- Nausea and vomiting. (2014, September 4). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nausea/basics/definition/sym-20050736.
- Nausea and vomiting – adults. (2013, October 13). MedlinePlus. Retrieved from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003117.htm.
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- Sharkey, K.A., Darmani, N.A., and Parker, L.A. (2014). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. European Journal of Pharmacology, 722, 134-46.