Cannabis for Nausea and Vomiting

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

One of the well known healing properties of cannabis is its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, something that is especially useful for cancer or HIV/AIDs patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Patients experiencing nausea or vomiting don't have much of an appetite, so cannabis' ability to stimulate appetite is also beneficial in targeting nausea and vomiting. While pharmaceutical medications have evolved over time to effectively target nausea and vomiting symptoms, they are generally much more expensive than marijuana and often carry negative side effects that marijuana does not. 

Whaxy stresses the need for more research, but says the studies that do exist show indica strains that contain a lot of the terpene myrcene are especially effective in reducing nausea and stimulating appetite. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology analyzed the effects of the cannabinoids THCV and CBDV in rodents with toxin-induced nausea. The author, concluded both cannabinoids “may have therapeutic potential in reducing nausea.” A review of these studies also suggested THC was able to stimulate appetite in cancer and HIV/AIDS patients.

Another study from the Michigan Department of Health in 1982 looked at 165 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who sought to alleviate nausea and vomiting. The participants were divided into groups, one using cannabis and the other using the pharmaceutical drug Torecan. Patients could elect to switch to the other group if they found their treatment ineffective. Of those receiving cannabis, 90 percent continued its use. Out of the 23 patients who received Torecan, 22 opted to switch to cannabis instead. "The study concluded that 71 percent of the patients who received cannabis reported no vomiting and only moderate nausea following chemotherapy treatment."

In today's cannabis culture, there are a wide variety of methods for consuming cannabis, but not all are recommended for patients suffering nausea and vomiting. Edibles are not the preferred method for combatting these symptoms because of the time it takes to take effect. Vaporization is great because of the rapid onset of relief and it is a healthier option than smoking, but for those with respiratory illnesses as well, this method is not ideal. Luckily, for those who need quick relief but do not want to inhale their medication, tinctures or pills are available. 

Visit Whaxy for a deeper look at cannabis and nausea and vomiting, including anecdotal testimonies, an array of clinical studies, and a list of recommended strains for combatting these symptoms.