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Cannabis and Nausea: What You Need to Know

One of the most common physical discomforts that people complain about is nausea. Almost everyone has experienced this unpleasant feeling at one point or another. Nausea is defined as a sensation of unease that is usually centered in the upper stomach area, and largely described as an involuntary urge to throw up or vomit. However, a person can also experience nausea without vomiting.

Nausea is what doctors would call a “non-specific symptom.” This means that there is usually not one particular cause for nausea that can be pinpointed. Nausea can be caused by a lot of factors and situations, among them: motion sickness, dizziness or vertigo, low blood sugar, pregnancy, or hypoglycemia. Other diseases and medical conditions can also cause nausea, such as gastroenteritis (due to food poisoning), migraine, or tension headache.

Patients undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy and dialysis usually report experiencing nausea. Those undergoing extreme emotions or distress—such as anxiety, disgust, shock, or depression—also seem to experience nausea as a related discomfort. There are even individuals who feel nauseated when encountering certain scents or being subjected to strong, flashing strobe lights.

Medical Cannabis for Treating Nausea

A hot topic of discussion these days is the use of medical marijuana or cannabis to fight nausea. A lot of people who suffer prolonged or chronic nausea have reported immense relief from their condition with the help of medical cannabis. Nausea now joins the long list of diseases and ailments that marijuana purportedly treats or addresses.

While there is no solid scientific evidence yet by way of formal academic studies on the effectiveness of medical marijuana against conditions such as nausea, anecdotal evidence is quite compelling that is has led to a strong and consistent demand for this alternative type of treatment. Many users feel that medical marijuana—being derived from natural sources such as plants—is a safer and more sustainable alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and prescription medication.

Currently, in the United States, 29 states along with the District of Columbia already have some form of legislation that allows possession and use of medical marijuana in varying degrees. The US joins a growing global community where medical cannabis is increasingly being embraced. At present, marijuana for medical purposes is already legal in countries such as Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. 

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How Cannabis Works

Cannabinoids are the key component of the marijuana or cannabis plant that possess therapeutic properties. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that work with the cannabinoid receptors found in the cells of the human body. In turn, these cannabinoid receptors comprise the ECS or endocannabinoid system of the body, which covers the central and peripheral nervous systems. The ECS is responsible for physiological functions and processes such as appetite, mood, pain, and even memory.

By consuming cannabis, the natural endocannabinoid system of the body is enhanced, and proper physical condition and well-being is achieved. Cannabinoids extracted from plants such as marijuana are dubbed phytocannabinoids, as opposed to synthetic cannabinoids that scientists are able to concoct in laboratories and dispense as pharmaceutical drugs. There are as many as a hundred types of cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, but those that are relevant for human consumption are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is the psychoactive substance that is responsible for the famous “high” that marijuana users experience. This kind of effect helped boost the recreational use of marijuana. However, psychoactive reaction is desirable and beneficial for certain diseases and medical conditions. In general, though, CBD is generally more sought after for its curative and therapeutic properties. 

Using Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis products that provide a good balance between THC and CBD offer a good start to those who want to try out this alternative mode of treatment. Medical cannabis comes in many forms, each with their own advantages. There is not one way to consume or utilize medical cannabis as it really depends on the particular needs and goals of the individual seeking treatment. Traditionally, cannabis can be smoked using the plant’s dried leaves and flowers rolled up in paper or lit up in a pipe.

Note that in this method of consumption, THC is activated by the heat applied to the cannabis. As such, smoking marijuana achieves the so-called “high” or psychoactive state. Alternatively, there are liquid products such as cannabis oil or cannabis tinctures that are more versatile. These can be smoked as well with the aid of devices such as vaporizers, or they can even be incorporated into food. Medical cannabis also comes in familiar forms of mainstream medicine, such as pills, tablets, and even suppositories.

It has been found that ingesting cannabis through food is the most ideal way of absorbing its effects more potently, as it is directly metabolized by the liver. Thus, those in need of quick as well as constant and long-term relief from their ailments utilize this method of medical cannabis intake. Liquids such as cannabis oil are also easier to calibrate and dispense, and are thus preferred by a lot of users.

Research And Studies Show That Cannabis May Be Able To Help With Nausea

Starting on Medical Cannabis Regimen

Aside from nausea, at present medical marijuana is also being used to treat diseases such as chronic pain, depression, migraine headaches, and even cancer. The reputation of medical cannabis as a “miracle” treatment is further reinforced by the fact that it contributes to an overall sense of well-being. Thus, medical marijuana is increasingly being used to address conditions such as insomnia, obesity, epilepsy, and many more. Another good thing about medical cannabis is that it is suitable for both kids and adults.

Before deciding on medical cannabis treatment, make sure to consult a doctor or healthcare professional for proper guidance. Be sure to understand all the potential benefits as well as any risks, and weigh them carefully. Understanding the interaction between cannabis and nausea is still being developed, but by many indications, it is a promising proposition indeed especially for those who are suffering from this debilitating medical condition.