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Does Medical Marijuana Help Patients with Nausea?

Cannabis works inside the body to make the endocannabinoid system work. Endocannabinoids are low-saturated neurotransmitters that work with both CB1 and CB2. They work with both cannabinoid receptors in the body. Endocannabinoids are also made by the body. Make sure you read our guidance on endocannabinoids if you want to know about how all this works.

Endocannabinoids can be agonists, which means they can make neurotransmitters in the body feel more excited. They can also be antagonists, or “inhibitors,” and lower the levels of a certain neurotransmitter in the body, which can make you feel bad. Important: The psychoactive element of cannabis, 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could be an agonist or antagonist of the CB1 or CB2 receptors, depending on how much you eat of the drug. Cannabinoid (CBD) is an antidote to THC, which means it does the opposite of what THC does.

So, in larger doses, THC makes the CB1 receptors in your body that control emesis, or vomiting, work. This happens when you take more THC. Furthermore, Cannabinoids in the digestive tract slow down digestion, which is the opposite of what they do in the brain to help people not feel sick.

Using Medical Cannabis to Treat Nausea

Australia’s Department of Health says that cannabis with a lot of THC is better for nausea than CBD-only products. A condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome can happen when people use too much cannabis for a long time. This condition causes people to keep vomiting until they stop using it, which can lead to dehydration and other problems.

The dorsal vagus nerve controls vomiting and nausea in humans, so if you smoke to deal with nausea, you should choose a high-THC cannabis plant flower. Another good idea is to use a vaporizer if the patient is afraid that smoke is bad for them. Vaping or Smoking may have more health risks, but it’s not clear if they are the same.

It takes about an hour to 2 hours to get the effects of medical cannabis if you eat it or drink it, and it lasts longer in your body. Many patients may prefer to inhale marijuana for instant relief and a quick end. When you take medical marijuana by mouth, it can be more challenging to make sure you get the right dose. But it can also deliver cannabidiol (chemical substances found in cannabis) without having to smoke or vape.

Marijuana for nausea: Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Antiemetics, or anti-nausea medications, don’t always work for people who have a lot of severe nausea. They work better for people who don’t have a lot of nausea.
  • Stabilizes the intestines.
  • Improves appetite.

Cons:

  • Depression or dysphoria
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations 
  • Mouth feeling dry 
  • Paranoid delusions 
  • Tiredness 
  • The risk of cyclic vomiting syndrome increases with higher doses

There are many reasons why you should talk to your doctor before using marijuana for medical reasons like nausea and vomiting. It might not be effective for you or it might interact with other medicines you are taking. Nausea and vomiting have a wide range of possible causes and could be a sign of a more serious problem, so it’s important to see your doctor first. Seek help if you keep vomiting or if it’s not under control.

Using cannabis to treat chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting

Cannabis is thought to be a good treatment for nausea caused by cancer, as well as nausea and vomiting caused by other medicines. There is new research showing that cannabinoids, even prescription-based ones, work better than other medicines to help people who have cancer get through their treatment. For people who have chemotherapy that makes them sick more often, marijuana may not even be more efficient than anti-nausea drugs at relieving their symptoms. However, if other medicines haven’t helped your symptoms, you should still try this one.

Studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is involved in nausea. Cannabinoids, such as activating the endocannabinoid system, can raise the levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide in people who have motion sickness or who have had anesthesia, according to a 2016 review of the research. If you look at the animal studies that back up this evidence, though, they haven’t been tested in humans yet.

A study found that cannabis may be able to help cancer patients who are afraid they will be sick. People get this kind of nausea when their severe nausea from chemotherapy isn’t properly treated. When they go back to the hospital for more treatment sessions, they get sick again because they have a habit of getting sick when they see the clinic. Researchers think that cannabis might be able to assist this group of people.

There are some products out there that say they can cure cancer, but they haven’t been tested in clinical trials. It’s better to walk away from these. Despite the fact that products containing high concentrations of THC and CBD oil derivatives are being marketed as prospective cancer cures, it is important to keep in mind that all these items have not been checked. There are many possible side effects to these products, and they could even make your condition worse.

Medicinal cannabis has been shown to help people with cancer, both as a single treatment and in combination with other treatments. If you want to learn more about how cannabis can help people with cancer, please check out our cancer page.

Cannabis as a treatment for HIV-related nausea

Many people who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prescribe medications to stop the virus from hurting their bodies, but then they have side effects from taking these medicines, as well. They are called protease inhibitors, and they are very good at keeping people from getting sick. They also make people sick with nausea and vomiting which is very similar to what happens when people get chemotherapy.

In people who have HIV, studies show that medical marijuana and dronabinol can help with nausea and a condition called “wasting syndrome,” which causes people to lose a lot of weight. They gained 3.5 to 3.9 percent of their weight when they took more cannabis or dronabinol. This is something which conventional nausea medications have never been shown to help.

Dronabinol is a drug that has been shown to help some people, but there needs to be more research into how it works.

Check out our page on HIV/AIDS.

Prescription cannabis-derived nausea medicines

Marijuana-derived and synthetic cannabinoid medications are effective in treating nausea. The first two are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These medications work by binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which reduces nausea.

Dronabinol

  • For successful treatment of chemotherapy-induced vomiting and diarrhea, cancer-related nausea and vomiting, and HIV-related nausea and vomiting, you need to use medicines that are safe for you to take.
  • Synthetic THC content.
  • Orally taken as a capsule.
  • The evidence from studies is of low to moderate quality.
  • Its effectiveness has been compared with antiemetics or anti-nausea medications used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Nabilone

  • For cancer-related nausea and vomiting, HIV/AIDS-related nausea and vomiting, and nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
  • Synthetic THC content.
  • Orally taken as a capsule. 
  • Many studies have been found to be of poor quality or moderate in strength.
  • It has been demonstrated to be more successful than traditional antiemetics or anti-nausea medicines (antiemetic).

Nabiximols

  • It also aids in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as increasing appetite in cancer sufferers. 
  • THC and CBD ethanol extracts are combined in a 1:1 ratio to create an extract.
  • This is a spray that absorbs oromucosal or through the cheeks in the mouth.
  • There is insufficient evidence to indicate that it may be used to control nausea and vomiting, but it was found to be as efficient in the examined and completed research.

Levonantradol

  • For treating nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
  • It is injected into muscles.
  • The quality of evidence from analyzed studies is low to moderate.
  • Controlling vomiting and nausea is insufficiently supported by evidence. 

Before you use medical marijuana, you should talk to your doctor about nausea treatment. Everyone responds to medications differently. There may be a medical marijuana doctor on Digidrs’s platform who can help you determine how much cannabis you should take to keep your nausea at bay, as well as answer any questions you have about the psychoactive nature of the drug itself.

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

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