CBD for Nausea: What to Know
Kirsten Thornhill |
Does CBD Help with Nausea?
A large portion of research surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) and nausea focuses on its benefits for people with serious health concerns, as nausea and vomiting may often be side effects of chemotherapy treatment, for instance.
CBD may help quell nausea because of its interactions with hormone receptors in the body. Serotonin, for example, is a regulatory hormone that influences how you feel — namely, your mood and general sense of well-being.
While CBD may play a part in reducing nausea, researchers have suggested that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis, does more of the “heavy lifting” when it comes to helping with nausea and vomiting. Also, a combination of CBD and THC may provide relief from nausea in humans enduring chemotherapy.
What is Nausea?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “Nausea is a feeling of illness in the stomach that makes you think you are going to vomit.”
However, nausea and vomiting are not illnesses, but symptoms of other health concerns, such as vertigo, food poisoning, overeating, concussion or brain injury, blocked intestine, infection, and so on and so on.
In very intense/severe cases, nausea and vomiting can sometimes be symptoms of more serious health ordeals such as liver disorders, central nervous system failures, brain tumors, and certain forms of cancerous conditions.
In a physiological sense, nausea is caused by a toxic agent that gets detected by a neuron circuit in the brainstem. This often leads to vomiting as a way to “purge the body” out of that toxin.
However, that doesn’t mean people get nauseous only after ingesting toxic substances. For example, motion sickness and morning sickness don’t involve a toxic agent; these can often result from hormonal and neurological changes in the body (rightfully so).
Nausea can also be triggered by psychological factors such as anxiety, stress, and depression.
Common Remedies for Nausea
There are common remedies/strategies you can implement in order to help alleviate nausea.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, humans experiencing nausea should do the following:
- Drink ice-cold drinks
- Eat bland foods; avoid spices
- Steer clear of fried, greasy, or sweet meals
- Eat smaller portions
- Don’t mix cold and hot foods
- Drink beverages slowly
- Avoid exercise after eating
- Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating
- Keep a diversified diet and include foods from all food groups to avoid allergies
The Cleveland Clinic also has some tips for treating vomiting:
- Increase your fluid intake; drink large amounts of clear liquids (gradually)
- Ensure you’re well-rested
- Temporarily stop taking all oral medications; they can upset the stomach and worsen vomiting symptoms
Aside from these short-term lifestyle choices, humans often use medicines such as Pepto Bismol, Dramamine, and Kaopectate to relieve nausea. If you’re afraid of the potential side effects of these medications, you can try a popular, organic, holistic alternative — enter: CBD oil.
Let’s see how CBD may ease or prevent nausea and vomiting.
What is CBD?
CBD is the medical short term for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, also known as the hemp or marijuana plant. As a naturally occurring compound commonly used in oils, salves, and tinctures, it aims to provide a feeling of relaxation and calmness. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this compound won’t get users “high”.
CBD oil can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp plants. When CBD is derived from the hemp plant, there may be 0.0% - 0.3% THC present. However, CBD oil derived from the marijuana plant may have 0.3% THC or greater present.
CBD for nausea has become of increasing interest for humans of all ages, not to mention the potential health and wellness benefits that it may influence including improved sleep, mood, and well-being.
What Effect Does CBD Have on Nausea?
Cannabinoids, in a general sense, may play an essential role in assisting with nausea and vomiting.
A 2014 review of scientific progress regarding CBD from the European Journal of Pharmacology suggested that cannabis has potential to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting from a variety of causes. Thus, this may reveal an important role for cannabinoids and their receptors in the mitigation and or regulation of nausea.
Evidence from prior investigations have also demonstrated that CBD can control nausea by acting on the serotonin receptors in the brain. Furthermore, CBD may decrease the release of serotonin, which results in weaker stimulation on the vomiting controls in the brain. With the help of CBD, serotonin in our system may become “balanced” and, thus, making it a great help to manage vertigo-induced nausea.
The anti-emetic properties of CBD are also linked to its influence on the CB1 cannabinoid receptors. These receptors occur in the brainstem, where both THC and anandamide are used. Studies have shown that increased production of anandamide, which is the CB1 agonist, relieves the feelings of nausea and reduces the urge to vomit. However, anandamide tends to quickly break down in the presence of the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) enzymes.
According to studies on animal models, CBD may block the FAAH enzymes and thus make anandamide more available for the body. The same may be applicable to when we humans consume a ratio of THC:CBD.
THC “tricks” your brain into thinking there’s more anandamide to use, whereas CBD extends the life of this endocannabinoid and blocks the sites of CB1 receptors that respond to the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD and Nausea: What the Research Says
Interestingly enough, the American Cancer Society (ACS) includes cannabinoids on its list of drugs for managing nausea and vomiting at home. The ACS suggested that cannabinoids are helpful in cases where regular anti-nausea and vomiting drugs don’t work.
To date, there are currently two synthetic cannabis-derived drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting: Nabilone and Dronabinol.
A 2002 study published in Neuroreport concluded that cannabidiol may interfere with nausea, suggesting that cannabinoids, without psychoactive effect, may have therapeutic value in assisting with chemotherapy-induced nausea.
A 2011 research paper published in the British Journal of Pharmacology indicated that the anti-emetic effect of cannabinoids have been shown [in animals] that were capable of vomiting in response to a toxic substance.
In a 2016 report in Pharmacology, researchers investigated the acute administration of THC or CBD on nausea and demonstrated that individual doses of CBD were effective.
Why Use CBD for Nausea?
CBD can be either vaporized, smoked, or ingested as drops or edibles. When it comes to nausea, CBD hemp oil, applied sublingually, may be the best option.
Utilizing CBD via a dropper method may be beneficial in numerous ways, such as:
- CBD oil is sourced from hemp plants, so it has little to no THC present. There isn’t enough THC in hemp plants to make users “high” or “stoned”. It gives you the health benefits of cannabinoids without the psychoactive side-effects.
- CBD oil is extracted with state-of-the-art CO2 processing and thus, yields a clean and potent product with all the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals of the source.
- CBD oil can be easily absorbed, since it gets into the bloodstream via a special membrane under the tongue, it starts to act within 15-30 minutes after ingestion.
CBD dosage for nausea can vary greatly from human to human. Here, at Nanocraft CBD, we highly encourage starting off low and slow, gradually increasing your intake until you can feel a desired effect.
Are There Risks or Side Effects?
Research published in The Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests that most humans will find no trouble in taking CBD, however, there is a chance you may experience side effects, such as:
- weight changes
- appetite changes
CBD for Nausea: Final Thoughts
Before you take CBD for nausea, talk to your healthcare provider. CBD can interact with certain medications, so it’s a good idea to be open and honest with your physician.
It’s also worth having a chat with your doctor if you’re interested in trying CBD for nausea and vomiting. There may be other medications or strategies you can try first.
Until then, stay diligent in your CBD education and research navigation route!
*DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.
Content Writer | Physiologist | ResearcherKirsten is currently a second-year PhD student studying Health Sciences at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) in Provo, Utah, specializing in Human Physiology. She is a Research Assistant at RMUoHP in the Human Performance Lab, the Assistant Coordinator for Science and Health at Utah Valley University (UVU), as well as a Research and Development Writer for Nanocraft CBD. She is passionate about the influence of cannabis and CBD in sport as well as the benefits of lifetime movement on health and wellness.