Study findings suggest that the vast majority of patients using cannabis as a treatment for nausea likely experience relief within a relatively short time span.
By Javier Hasse
Scientific evidence around the therapeutic benefits of cannabis continues to pile up, confirming what many had found out through years of experimentation and accumulation of anecdotal evidence.
Now, a new study conducted by team of researchers at the University of New Mexico found that cannabis flower and concentrates are effective in providing relief for the symptoms of nausea. The study reviewed data collected via the Releaf App and found that more than 96% of individuals in the study reported symptom relief. In fact, subjects disclosed a decrease in nausea severity by almost 4 points on visual analogue scale from 0-10 within an hour of consumption.
Interestingly enough, symptom relief became statistically significant after only 5 minutes, and continued to increased over time.
“Our results show that cannabis is used to treat nausea with a high rate of effectiveness,” said Sarah See Stith, an economics assistant professor at UNM who co-led the study alongisde Jacob Vigil, psychology associate professor at UNM.
However, she warned, “concerns exist that its effectiveness relative to conventional options may induce high-risk populations, such as pregnant women and children, to consume cannabis.”
Nausea is a relatively common ailment. Nonetheless, it is often difficult to treat using conventional methods like herbal remedies and prescription pharmaceuticals.
Most conventional antiemetic products have fairly mild side effects, but also tend to offer limited relief for treating nausea and are not effective for all patients. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure show little evidence of dangerous side effects, but offer limited effectiveness.
Prior to this study, the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) had already included cannabinoids in its list of the strongest available agents for chemotherapy-induced nausea. The UNM study confirmed that cannabis is an effective and fast-acting treatment for feelings of nausea.
The Study In Detail
The study, titled “The Effectiveness of Common Cannabis Products for Treatment of Nausea,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.
It observed 2,220 cannabis self-administration sessions reported anonymously by 866 people who tracked their cannabis use for managing nausea in the Releaf App.
The findings suggest that the vast majority of patients using cannabis as a treatment for nausea likely experience relief within a relatively short time span.
It should be noted, however, that the level of effectiveness varies according to the characteristics of the products consumed.
- The most effective products for immediate relief appear to be cannabis flower and concentrates, labeled as C. sativa or “hybrid.”
- Joints were associated with greater symptom relief compared to pipes or vaporizers, although the gap narrowed over time.
- High THC / low CBD ratios were generally associated with greater symptom relief in a short period of time, such as 5 minutes.
- Those characteristics were less relevant closer to the hour mark.
“It’s great to provide data that helps validate anecdotal claims that have been around forever regarding the efficacy of cannabis to manage and control one’s nausea,” concluded Keenan Keeling, CEO of MoreBetter Ltd., the company behind Releaf App. “However, with the wide range of conditions that can cause nausea, it’s clear that more studies and data are needed and we look forward to contributing to these efforts.”