Anything from a flu infection to eating the wrong type of food can make you feel sick and nauseous, prompting the urge to throw up. Fortunately, the feeling usually passes quickly. But what if you’re affected by nausea for days, weeks, or even longer? This deceptively common condition can make life miserable for basically anyone. Nausea is a constant presence, which can stop you from eating as much as you should. Long-term nausea, as caused by chemotherapy for instance, has made many people turn to cannabis for relief.
What Causes Nausea?
In essence, nausea and vomiting are very useful mechanisms. They help you body to protect itself, and signal potential health or dietary problems. Throwing up is a useful way of purging pathogens and hazardous substances. In normal circumstances, the mechanism serves its purpose to make sure you’ll feel better soon. If symptoms persist, you should always consult your doctor. Nausea can also be a symptom of more serious underlying health conditions.
Potential causes of nausea include:
- Motion sickness;
- Ear infection;
- Gastrointestinal issues;
- Bacterial or viral infections;
- Medication side-effects (including chemotherapy);
- Liver conditions;
- Psychiatric conditions;
- Stress and anxiety.
As you can see, nausea can have many different causes. Nausea itself can make you feel absolutely miserable, bit moreover, it can damage your health if it keeps you from eating (properly). That makes it all the more important to take the symptoms seriously and address the issue.
How Nausea Works
It is striking that we know more about the mechanism of vomiting works than about how nausea works. Nausea is a complex phenomenon involving the brain, the digestive tract, and the peripheral nervous system. Nausea is thought to be connected with serotonin production and its ability to bind to receptors. These receptors are located in the brain and throughout the digestive system.
Cannabis To Counter Nausea
As you may know, cannabis is grown for all sorts of medicinal applications. The compounds found in cannabis have properties that can counter nausea. THC appears to be particularly effective in this regard. THC is the main psychoactive cannabis component. Research demonstrates that it affects CB1 receptors found in certain areas of the brain, enabling it to reduce nausea and restore appetite. Previous studies had already indicated the usefulness of THC. In 1988, a study conducted at Georgetown University found that of 36 patients involved, 23 noticed how it helped relieve nausea and the urge to vomit. By contrast, a commonly used drug called prochlorperazine only managed to reduce symptoms in 1 out of 36 patients.
Cannabis contains other cannabinoids that can help against nausea, however. CBD, which has no psychoactive properties, affects cells that release serotonin. At lower doses, it can help counter both nausea and vomiting. CBDA (the acid form of cannabidiol acid) is a cannabidiol precursor which is itself created from CBGA. CBDA has even greater affinity for serotonin receptors than CBD or THC. Animal studies have show that this cannabinoid acid can be very effective against nausea; perhaps more so than any other cannabinoid. CBDA is most common freshly harvested cannabis plants that are rich in CBD.
Another cannabinoid known to be quite effective against nausea is THCV. Although this compound is present in much smaller concentrations than THC, you’ll still find THCV percentages in our strain descriptions to help you choose. A point for consideration, though, is the fact that THCV can also suppress appetite, making it less ideal for cannabis against nausea to improve caloric intake.
Cannabis Terpenes Against Nausea
Besides cannabinoids, many experts select their favourite weed strains based on their terpene content. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found throughout the plant kingdom. They account for much of the flavour and scent of cannabis, and so far, more than one hundred have been discovered in marijuana. Cannabis terpenes known for their effectiveness against nausea include myrcene and limonene. You’ll find these in some of our best-known strains, such as those listed further down this blog.
Nausea Caused By Chemotherapy
Nausea caused by chemotherapy is a different order of magnitude than its regular variants. Patients describe its effects as devastating, intense, and extreme. Nausea usually sets in within 24 hours of therapy commencement. Some medication is available to counter the symptoms, but this is not effective for all patients. However, cannabis can also be used to counter this type of nausea with considerable success. Israeli researchers studied the effectiveness of cannabis for CINV (Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting). This study showed that 18mg THC (oral administration) caused total remission of nausea symptoms and vomiting in children undergoing chemotherapy.
Two synthetic cannabinoids, dronabinol and nabilone, were approved for use against CINV by the FDA as early as 1985. Since then, a total of 30 clinical studies have demonstrated these synthetic cannabis compounds to be more effective against nausea than traditional medication.
Should You Use Cannabis For Chemotherapy Nausea?
Cannabis is a time-tested natural nausea remedy that may also prove useful in case of chemotherapy. However, there are three important factors to consider when deciding whether to use cannabis for this purpose:
- The cannabis consumption method used;
- Strain selection;
- Interactions with chemotherapy medication.
Cannabis can be used in various ways, including smoking, vaping, or taking edibles, capsules, or tinctures. Each consumption method has benefits and drawbacks. Smoking marijuana, for instance, produces the fastest effects (almost immediately upon inhalation).
The particular strain used makes a difference, too. Sativa strains tend to give more of an energetic buzz, which makes them more suited for daytime use. Indica strains, by contrast, have relaxing qualities that can make you sleepy, making these more appropriate for treating nightly nausea episodes. Hybrid strains that combine both types of genetics offer a mix of these qualities.
Cannabinoids can influence the effects of certain types of medication, which is another factor to take into account. THC and CBD can cause concentrations of certain drugs to increase or decrease, changing their effect in the process. Interaction with medication is most likely in case of oral consumption (i.e., capsules, edibles, tinctures and similar products). Inhaling cannabis (by vaping or smoking) circumvents most of these issues, as does cutaneous application (salve or patches).
Still doctors generally consider cannabis safe to use, even when combined with chemotherapy. This has been done around the world for years, and anecdotal evidence has been mounting ever since.
If you intend to use cannabis against nausea, you could experience significant relief. Always choose a strain that suits your needs, however, and use the most effective method. In case of chemotherapy or other severe medical conditions, always make sure to consult your doctor on using cannabis. They have the expertise to help you consider potential interactions with medication and dosages.
Our Top Strains Against Nausea
You’ll only find the very best cannabis seeds in the Amsterdam Genetics collection. Anyone growing cannabis for medicinal purposes will find the finest genetics here, including against nausea. You’ll find two of our top recommendations below.
Top Strain #1: Fatkid’s Cake
If THC is the most effective cannabinoid against nausea, then Fatkid’s Cake has you covered. In the right grow conditions, THC content can peak at nearly 30%. If the strain’s name doesn’t get your appetite going, the considerable indica content will see to that: this strain is famous for its heavy munchies effect. Moreover, these seeds contain plenty of myrcene potential, and this particular terpene is known for its effectiveness at combating nausea.
Do take care with this strain if you’re inexperienced, as it pack quite a punch: moderate consumption is the way to go. In addition, Fatkid’s Cake can make you quite slow and drowsy, so this is not the best choice for a busy day.
Top Strain #2: Lemon Ice
Lemon Ice is a sativa-dominant cannabis hybrid with interesting characteristics for fighting nausea. As the name suggests, its citrus scent is caused by limonene, the second terpene renowned for its nausea relief potential.
In contrast to Fatkid’s Cake, the sativa credentials of Lemon Ice are more likely to result in a productive mental energy boost than a sleepy body high. If nausea is keeping you from completing your daily chores, this is a better cannabis candidate to try.
Find The Perfect cannabis Strain Against Nausea
Nausea can be hard to pinpoint, and even harder to contain. Fortunately, growing cannabis to counter nausea isn’t hard to do at all. Our grow blogs give anyone the knowledge and tips to get started. Our web store is the place to be for the very finest genetics, including strains against pain, depression, insomnia, and more!