Nausea and Medical Marijuana

How Medical Marijuana Can Help With Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and Medical Marijuana- Nausea and vomiting covers a broad spectrum and can be caused by numerous conditions ranging from chemotherapy to morning sickness to alcoholism. Many medications are also known to cause nausea and vomiting.

The causes of vomiting differ according to age. For children, it is common for vomiting to occur from a viral infection, food poisoning, milk allergy, motion sickness, overeating or feeding, coughing, or blocked intestines and illnesses in which the child has a high fever.

Usually, vomiting is harmless, but it can be a sign of a more serious illness. Some examples of serious conditions that may result in nausea or vomiting include concussions, meningitis (infection of the membrane linings of the brain), intestinal blockage, appendicitis, and brain tumors.  Another concern is dehydration.

Traditional Marijuana

The most common pharmaceutical prescriptions for nausea and vomiting are Dolasetron, Granisetron, Ondansetron and Palonosetron and Methylpredisolone. Side effects often include headache, diarrhea and trouble sleeping.

Medical Marijuana and Nausea

The most effective known cannabinoid treatment for treating nausea and vomiting is THC. Synthetic cannabinoids dronabinol and nabilone have also been documented as effective. Research has shown effective management of nausea through a dose of 10 milligrams per meter squared of THC being administered orally two hours before, and four, eight, 16 and 24 hours after chemotherapy. In anecdotal findings, patients have reported relief with strains such as Chemdawg, Super Lemon Haze and Afgoo.

We followed patients with a medicinal cannabis license to evaluate the advantages and side effects of using cannabis by cancer patients…

All cancer or anti-cancer treatment-related symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, mood disorders, fatigue, weight loss, anorexia, constipation, sexual function, sleep disorders, itching, and pain had significant improvement.

Nausea was also one of the earliest focuses of modern-day cannabis research, beginning with animal studies in the 1970s. Positive evidence of its cancer applications led oncologists to investigate its effect on chemotherapy-induced nausea through the development and testing of synthetic THC pills.

Medical marijuana is an effective way to treat nausea.  Usually only a small amount of cannabis is needed.  Most only require a few puffs of smoke or a small amount of vaporized gas from marijuana.  It does not have other side effects and it will not only treat the nausea but it will probably increase their appetite as well.

How to Medicate

There is a large body of clinical trials and anecdotal evidence that shows the oral ingestion of cannabis extracts and edibles, as well as the smoking and vaporizing of cannabis to be effective in treating nausea and vomiting.

Vaporizing or Vaping

If you don’t like the idea of smoke there is the option to vaporize. Vaporization does not use combustion to heat the medicine. Unfortunately there is some confusion out there about vaporizers. There are now hundreds of vaporizers to choose from. There are three basic types: pen, hand-help, and tabletop. The differences are in price, portability and size. Some vaporizers claim to be able to vaporize plant matter (flowers), wax and oils. Some can only do concentrates, some only oil. The most important difference is the method used to heat the medicine. There are basically two methods (with hybrids on the way)- conduction and convection.

True Vaporizing is done by convection, where air is heated, and in turn the hot air turns the medicine a to vapor which is then inhaled. Conduction Vaporizing happens when a hot element (metal plate, or bowl) touches the medicine. The medicine is placed directly in a metal or ceramic bowl or chamber that is heated which then heats the medicine and the smoke is inhaled. This is still combustion, and not truly vaporizing. This is closer to dabbing but with a much cooler heating element.


The benefit from smoking as a route of administration is instant action and the ability of the patient to self titrate the dose needed for relief.

What’s Best for my Lungs?

The cleanest method to inhale medicine is true or convective vaporizing. It is better for your lungs since there is no burning or combustion.

The Patient

The majority of research on cannabis and nausea has been related to patients going through chemotherapy. Here, significant evidence exists that proves cannabis not just as effective, but also featuring no serious side effects.

In a 2015 study published by the United Patients Group, they concluded:

There is strong evidence that the cannabinoids naturally produced in the body play a role in suppressing nausea in normal circumstances, and intake of cannabinoids in medical marijuana during episodes of nausea can also effectively relieve symptoms…  Inhaled medical marijuana achieves superior results in reducing nausea and vomiting over synthetic alternatives.

As to why this works, the study stated that “The body absorbs medical marijuana quickly because it is similar to the cannabinoids the body naturally produces. More cannabinoids are absorbed in inhaled from than in ingested form since the body attempts to metabolize any ingested medication before absorption.”

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