Throwing Up Your Hands: Nausea & Medical Marijuana
Bleh. Got your face in the toilet bowl a lot these days? Sorry.
Maybe you’re going through chemo or radiation. Maybe you have AIDS and you’re on medications to help you cope. Or maybe you suffer from chronic nausea for some unknown reason.
Either way, you feel like throwing up throughout the day, and oftentimes, you actually do.
That sucks. It’s just no way to live. You wish there was some way out of this constant, nagging, even debilitating symptom. Aren’t you going through enough?
You’ve tried some of the medications prescribed for emises — the feeling of impeding vomiting. But none work very well for you.
You know that this kind of vomiting can last over a period of days. In some cases, the emesis is so severe that it even results in esophageal tears. Due to the vomiting and lack of appetite, severe dehydration and weigh loss is normal. But you don’t want it to be your normal.
Enter medical marijuana. Studies have proven that medical marijuana makes for an effective antiemetic (anti-nausea) medication. For people suffering nausea from chemotherapy or radiation treatment, smoking marijuana relieves the nausea symptoms quickly. In addition, people are able to eat — and keep food down — which in turn combats weight loss and muscle wasting. And voila — you’re able to get on with life much better, with lower stress and improved sleep.
Usually, only a small amount of cannabis is needed to provide relief from nausea. Most people only require a few puffs of smoke, or a small amount of vaporized gas, from marijuana. And the positive rub? No ill side effects.
An Institutes of Medicine report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, (1999) concluded: “In patients already experiencing severe nausea or vomiting, pills are generally ineffective, because of the difficulty in swallowing or keeping a pill down and slow onset of the drug effect. Thus an inhalation (preferably not smoking) cannabinoid drug delivery system would be advantageous for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea.” A 2008 University of London study, Medical Marijuana Cannabis Cultivation, reported the same results.
In fact, these studies go back 40 years already: In 1975, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a double-blind study on the effects of orally-ingested tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on nausea and vomiting. According to the study, “No patient vomited while experiencing a subjective ‘high.’ Oral THC has antiemetic properties and is significantly better than a placebo in reducing vomiting caused by chemotherapeutic agents.”
Another common experience of nausea, of course, is during the first 3–4 months of pregnancy. But that’s uncharted territory, whose side effects are unknown, and therefore we don’t recommend medical marijuana at present during pregnancy.
If you, or someone you know, suffers from nausea due to cancer treatments, AIDS, or other chronic illness, medical marijuana might be the solution. If you live in a state that has legalized medical marijuana, check out your local medical marijuana dispensary for details on mode of ingestion and dosage for nausea.
Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on June 5, 2016.