Users notice significant relief and find that the benefits increase over time.
Scientific evidence of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis continues to expand, confirming what many have discovered over the years through experimentation and accumulation of anecdotal evidence.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) found that when people who experienced nausea consumed a natural cannabis flower, they experienced at least some relief within five to 60 minutes.
What is Nausea?
Nausea is a relatively common condition. Nevertheless, it is often difficult to treat with known methods such as herbal remedies and prescription drugs.
Most conventional antiemetics have fairly mild side effects, but also provide limited relief in treating nausea and are not effective for all patients. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure show little evidence of dangerous side effects, but also offer limited effectiveness.
The findings of the study
The UNM investigation reported not only immediate relief of symptoms, but also a reduction in nausea over the following hours.
The survey found that 96,4 percent of the study group reported relief from nausea within an hour. “Despite increasing clinical concerns about cyclic vomiting or hyperemesis syndrome (also excessive vomiting) in cannabis users, nearly all users experienced relief,” said study author Sarah Stith, an assistant professor at UNM.
To get an idea of how cannabis use affected nausea, researchers used a mobile app so that patients could report the intensity of symptoms in this app. The study was based on data from 2.220 cannabis self-administration sessions, recorded by 886 people using the Releaf app.
User feedback showed an average symptom improvement of 3,85 points on a scale of zero to 10 just moments after consumption, with increasing relief over time, according to test subjects' statements.
Although cannabis is already used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea, its effectiveness in other forms of nausea has not been well studied. There are common causes of nausea, ranging from food poisoning, motion sickness, emotional stress, gastrointestinal disorders, chemotherapy and pregnancy, the university reports.
In addition, there are no studies on the exposure time and how the lighting varies based on certain product characteristics.
“Researchers did find that flowers and concentrates gave faster and more relief than edibles or certain solvents. In addition, 'vaping' provided less relief than consuming cannabis through a joint or pipe,” says the university.
The results also had something to say about the difference between the end product of the indica plant and the sativa plant. “Products labeled cannabis sativa and 'hybrid' outperformed products labeled cannabis indica,” researchers note.
Perhaps most surprising to researchers were the findings surrounding THC† “THC, usually associated with recreational use, appeared to improve treatment in consumers with cannabis, while CBD, more often associated with medical use, actually resulted in less symptom relief,” as studied by associate professor Jacob Vigil.
Despite the findings, researchers issued some warnings about using cannabis to treat nausea. “There is concern that its effectiveness compared to conventional options could lead to high-risk populations, such as pregnant women and children, taking up cannabis,” Stith said.
“And the long-term effects of cannabis and its effects on development are an important issue in the existing literature on the medicinal use of cannabis in general,” added Xiaoxue Li, of the university's economics department.
Researchers propose that future studies should focus on long-term symptom relief, the risks of medicinal cannabis consumption, and potential interactions between cannabis and other substances in specific patient populations.