10 minute read

CBD For Nausea & Vomiting

10 minute read

CBD is gaining popularity for specific health and wellness conditions. One popular reason people are using CBD is for nausea and vomiting. CBD, also called cannabidiol, is a chemical extracted from cannabis plants (hemp or marijuana). But, CBD doesn’t get you high, the high often associated with cannabis and marijuana is from a different chemical: THC. Plus, an official report1 published by the World Health Organization states that CBD is safe and has “no adverse public health risks.”

The scientific evidence supporting using CBD for nausea is growing and the existing research shows strong potential. In this article, we will explore the evidence for how CBD can help ease nausea and reduce vomiting.

Woman with nausea holding a heating pad on her stomach

Understanding Nausea

Nausea is often described as an unpleasant feeling inside the stomach that can often be followed by vomiting. Nausea is not a disease itself but rather a symptom that is non-specific and can originate from many causes, both external and internal. The body reacts with nausea and vomiting as a defense mechanism. While this reaction is miserable in the short-term, it can help protect the body from some illnesses and viruses. But what if the nausea or vomiting is frequent, reoccurring, or not associated with an illness? Let’s explore some of the popular reasons that nausea can occur:

Stomach & Abdominal Conditions

Several abdominal conditions have nausea as the primary symptom. Some of these possible conditions include: stomach irritation, food contamination, irritation of the intestinal lining, overeating, stretched or blocked stomach, constipation, and gastroenteritis.

Morning Sickness

Vomiting that typically accompanies nausea is one of the most common side effects associated with pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50% of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting. The nausea during pregnancy is often termed ‘morning sickness’. But this title is often misleading because morning sickness can happen at any point throughout the day and can also occur as a reaction to a particular smell or taste.

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness can cause people to feel sick while travelling in a train, car, boat or by air travel. CBD for car sickness is said by many users to be effective as it is useful in calming the body and mind while traveling.

Psychological Reactions

Several psychological reactions can lead to feelings of nausea. In some cases, people can feel nauseous by seeing other people vomit. While other people can feel nauseous due to stress. Anxiety is one of the most commonly found psychological factors that leads to nausea.

Medication Side Effects

Vomiting and nausea are some of the common side effects of prescriptions and medical therapies. For some critical conditions the medication is crucial and there are no alternatives that do not have nausea as a side effect. One such example is chemotherapy, which is used by almost 4 million individuals to battle difficult diseases. In these cases, people can often turn to CBD to manage the medication-induced-nausea while the medical therapy continues to manage the original condition.

woman holding her stomach in pain

Evidence for using CBD For Nausea

Mild nausea is typically managed with over-the-counter products (Pepto Bismol, Dramamine, Kaopectate and others) or changes in lifestyle. But, when it is commonly reoccurring people may use prescribed medications or search out alternatives, such as CBD.

CBD may be recommended to people who suffer from frequent nausea by friends or family who have experienced their own relief with CBD. In addition to these personal stories, it is important to evaluate and understand what the medical and scientific research is telling us about CBD for vomiting and nausea:

  • A 2019 scientific review2 states that “cannabidiol extracts are being used increasingly in the general population for many non-FDA approved indications, frequently including nausea and emesis.” 
  • A 2019 study3 concluded based on the existing evidence from numerous trials that cannabinoids were beneficial in appetite stimulation and improvement of nausea, 
  • A study4 designed to describe the use of cannabinoids by adolescent and young adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) found that the most common perceived effects of use was on sleep quality, nausea, and increase in appetite. 
  • A preclinical study5 found that CBDA potently reduced nausea-induced reactions in animals, even at low doses and enhanced the anti-nausea effect of a low dose of ondansetron (a prescription drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting). 
  • A 2011 study6 concluded that “Preclinical research indicates that cannabinioids, including CBD, may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments.” 
  • A 2014 article in the European Journal of Pharmacology7 confirmed, “Cannabis has long been known to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting from a variety of causes.” 
  • An inactivated form of CBD, known as Cannabidiolic-acid  (CBDA) shows promise in one study8 for nausea and vomiting. What is particularly interesting is its sited potential use in anticipatory nausea, for which no specific therapy is currently available. 
nauseous woman about to vomit

How Does CBD Reduce Nausea & Vomiting

Early medical findings suggest that CBD reduces nausea and vomiting by moderating the body’s response to stimuli. CBD indirectly regulates the body’s endocannabinoid receptors as compared to binding directly to the receptors (as THC does with the CB1 and CB2 receptors). This allows CBD to manage and run interference on the mechanics that cause nausea and vomiting. More specifically, research suggests that CBD produces its anti-emetic/anti-nausea effects by indirect activation of a set of receptors (somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors) in the brain (specifically the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus). 

In addition, CBD’s effects on reducing nausea have been attributed to its influence on serotonin receptors (7), so that there is less stimulation on the vomiting triggers in the brain. This has also been shown to ease anxiety, which can help individuals to manage the stress of chronic nausea.

While considerable evidence demonstrates that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system regulates nausea and vomiting It is important to note that not all chemicals from the hemp and cannabis plant are showing the same effects. In fact, one study on CBG (cannabigerol) shows that it can cancel out and prevent the anti-nausea and anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) effects of CBD. Based on these results it is recommended that people turning to CBD for nausea or vomiting relief use a CBD isolate product (THC Free) rather than a full spectrum product which has trace amounts of other cannabinoids. 

Final Thoughts on CBD

As you can see, there is strong evidence starting to be released about using CBD to help with nausea and vomiting. If your life is frequently effected by these symptoms it may be a good time to start exploring CBD as an alternative. If you are interested in buying CBD, visit our online store for US Hemp Authority Certified products. Products with pure CBD (no THC or other cannabinoids) are a great place to start, and you can add our most popular products to your cart with a single click below.

Written by:

Alex Zorniger

Alex is an employee at Daddy Burt Hemp Co. He studied nutrition, the environment, and entrepreneurship at Tufts University before joining the Daddy Burt team. Alex has a passion for helping people learn about the constantly evolving Hemp industry.

Reviewed by:

Bob Estes

Bob is the founder and CEO of Daddy Burt Hemp Co. Bob has quickly become an authority and expert in the hemp & CBD industry.

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