Can CBD Help With Nausea?

Can CBD Help With Nausea?

Before we dive into the heart of the matter, an explanation of CBD is in order for anyone who is not familiar with it.

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, a naturally occurring chemical in Cannabis Sativa plants. These plants include marijuana and hemp, both of which contain CBD.

Unlike its fellow component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a high and in fact, has many potential health benefits including helping with nausea. Taking CBD for nausea may be an effective option, whether you deal with occasional stomach aches, or you suffer from nausea all the time.

CBD has lots of great properties, and it may be able to help ease your nausea and help you feel better overall. Keep reading to learn more about CBD for nausea.  

What is nausea?

Nausea is simply awful. It’s a stomachache that can cause a loss of appetite, vomiting, and other symptoms as well. Often, nausea brings the overwhelming urge to vomit which can be accompanied by a lot of stomach discomfort.

One moment you are okay and going about your business, and in the next moment your stomach is churning, and your mouth is producing excess saliva.

Your next course of action is to frantically search for a bathroom to empty the contents of your stomach.

We’ve all been there. Not fun.

This condition can be occasional and short-term, or it can be a chronic condition that lasts longer. If you suffer from nausea a few times a week or more often, it is probably greatly affecting your quality of life and general health.

When you are dealing with persistent nausea, it’s nearly impossible to be productive. You may also start to deal with other health conditions such as dehydration or malnutrition if you vomit often and cannot hold down food or water.

What causes occasional nausea?

Short-term nausea is a protective mechanism of the body to get rid of toxins or dangerous substances in the body.

One example of this is food poisoning. Just about everyone has had experience with eating undercooked or contaminated food. You may vow to never eat that dish ever again thanks to your uncomfortable experience of hanging out next to the toilet all night afterward. (I’m still not a fan of rotisserie chicken…)

In this case, nausea is a response in your body that helps you to quickly get rid of the food before it causes serious illness. Fortunately, food poisoning nausea doesn’t usually last very long.

Woman suffering from nausea sitting beside toilet.

What are the common causes of chronic nausea?

When nausea is persistent and occurs often, it may be called chronic nausea. There are a lot of different conditions that can cause nausea. A few of these include:

Gastroparesis

This is a condition in which food stays in the stomach longer than it should and it causes your stomach not to empty properly.

As the word suggests, Gastroparesis is the paralysis of the stomach, due to damaged nerves.

The cause of this condition is not known but is sometimes a side effect of some medicines, it can also occur after surgery or it can develop as a complication of diabetes.

One of the main symptoms of gastroparesis is nausea and vomiting.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

GERD is commonly known as heartburn because it causes a burning sensation in the chest. It also causes acids from your stomach to enter the esophagus.

It happens when the ring in the esophagus that keeps the contents of your stomach from returning to your mouth and throat does not close properly.

Many people suffer from heartburn often, and when acid reflux happens more than twice a week, it is known as GERD.

Cancer treatments

One of the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation is nausea and vomiting.

This interferes with the patient’s ability to eat and is often accompanied by other symptoms like bloating, stomach pain, and general weakness.

This is in addition to the mental and physical drain that comes from fighting such a serious illness.

Peptic ulcers

Peptic ulcers are sores that form in the lining of the stomach and small intestines and are characterized by stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. It has two main causes.

1 pylori bacteria – These bacteria occur naturally in the human body and they are found in the mucus that lines the stomach and duodenum. They produce an enzyme known as urease whose job is to neutralize stomach acids.

It is not known why these bacteria cause ulcers in some people while in the majority, it does not.

Overuse of nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – These are the most commonly used drugs, taken for common ailments like inflammation, pain, and fever. However, these medications may cause stomach discomfort. 

Anxiety disorder

Feeling anxious is a normal human reaction to stress but when it becomes all-consuming and lasts for months, then it becomes a disorder.

Anxiety disorder interferes with everyday life by causing the sufferer panic attacks and an inability to cope with normal demands of life.

Researchers don’t know exactly what causes anxiety, but they think it could be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Symptoms of anxiety include insomnia, dizziness, high blood pressure, confusion, and nausea amongst others.

Migraines

A migraine is a medical condition that causes severe headaches and is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise. 

Migraines can last hours or even days depending on the severity.

It’s not known what causes migraines, and treatments are usually over-the-counter medicines that can have adverse effects when used consistently.

How does CBD work on nausea?

More and more people are turning to all-natural alternatives to help manage chronic conditions such as nausea.

A lot of research has been done on the usefulness of CBD on nausea and many of the results show that CBD may potentially help to reduce and regulate nausea and vomiting.

CBD may help curb nausea and vomiting by interacting with serotonin receptors. These receptors help with mood, sleep, memory, and other functions.

Woman with nausea and headache.

What are the benefits of using CBD for nausea?

Using CBD for nausea relief may be a good option to consider. CBD holds a lot of health benefits and may be able to reduce the severity of nausea you experience.

Management of pain in cancer patients

A lot of cancer patients initially start off by taking CBD to curb nausea but they notice the added benefit of pain relief.

Cancer can range from being painless or having mild pain and in other cases, the pain can be severe and dilapidating.

Pain in cancer patients can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:

The spread of cancer to other parts of the body can cause cancer patients to experience pain. This could be bone pain, pain in the nerves of the spinal cord, surgical pain, or pain from the treatment itself.

In addition, the medications many patients are prescribed can cause severe nausea as well. Chemotherapy is notorious for causing stomach discomfort and loss of appetite. CBD may be able to ease these symptoms to make cancer patients more comfortable.

Stimulating appetite

CBD has been documented as having the added benefit of boosting the appetite. Many of the medical conditions and diseases which cause nausea also affect the sufferer’s appetite, leading to weight loss.

In addition to helping curb nausea, some people who take CBD report an added advantage of an increased appetite.

CBD may promote heart health

CBD has inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help reduce risk factors associated with heart diseases.

While the most important thing when it comes to heart health is a healthy lifestyle and diet, the fact that CBD being taken for nausea may have a positive effect on heart health is a big plus.

Depression

Chronic disorders and illnesses carry with them mental health issues like depression.

Many of the drugs prescribed for depression come with the risk of addiction, insomnia, sexual dysfunctions, and other side effects.

Research has shown that CBD may be an effective non-toxic treatment for depression without many of the risks that accompany other medications.

How to take CBD for nausea

It is important to speak to your healthcare provider before taking CBD as it can react with certain medications. CBD is generally safe, however, it is best to be cautious.

There are several methods of CBD delivery, and each method depends on the reason for taking CBD.

For nausea, you want to pick the method with the fastest absorption so that you feel relief quickly.

With that in mind, CBD oil drops and sublingual tinctures are very effective as they bypass digestion and are absorbed under the tongue and into the bloodstream.

For dosage, there’s no one size fits all with CBD, so it’s best to start on a low dose and then increase over time.

What are the side effects of using CBD for nausea?

Although CBD is considered safe for most people, there are a few potential side effects you should be aware of. A few of these include:

Interactions with medications

A major concern of CBD is how it will interact with the medication that you are currently on. That is why it is imperative to consult your doctor or healthcare provider and inform them of your intention to use CBD.

Issues for pregnant women

Not enough research has been done on the side effects of taking CBD for expectant or breastfeeding mothers. It is therefore important to speak to your health provider and let them guide you on other alternatives you can use to control nausea while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Blood pressure

CBD can act as a blood thinner that may lower your blood pressure. For someone who has a history of blood pressure issues, it is best to consult your health care provider for safe alternatives.

Fatigue and lightheadedness

CBD has been shown to regulate sleep and thus can cause some people to feel fatigued. A lot of the time, these two side effects are caused by taking too high a dose of CBD. If this is the case, it is advisable to reduce the dosage.

Other minor side effects of taking CBD for nausea include a dry mouth, reduced appetite, and diarrhea.

Most of the other side effects are mild and most people don’t experience side effects at all. 

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