Does Cannabis Actually Help with Nausea?
My father passed away three years ago after a battle with cancer of the bladder and kidneys. We were on a family trip to the Oregon Coast the summer before he passed and he asked me to drive him to the ‘pot store’. On the way he was doubled over in pain and thought he was going to throw up. I went into the store and bought some fine Oregon weed for him to smoke, which he did in the car before we went back to the AirBnB. Worried, I was monitoring his every move at this point. Within seconds of smoking a bowl, he was fine. His pain was gone, or at least that is how it appeared. I was amazed.
A Year Later
Having witnessed that, a year later I was stuck on the couch with a bad stomach bug. It was so bad my wife and kids left me there to tough it out as they went to the zoo. The pain in my gut was not fair and I couldn’t release any of it. My body was shut down. I felt like I could puke, but then that didn’t seem a reality either. I suddenly remembered the two Seattle Bubble Works joints I had purchased and stumbled out to the garage to grab them. They were the Mystery Machine strain, which is infused with bubble hash. I wasn’t sure how much to smoke, thinking it might make me even more queasy. So I took about three hits from the joint.
Instantly I felt better. I wasn’t 100% better, but pretty darn close. The nausea was gone, as was the pain (for the most part) in my belly. I didn’t have to sit in a funny position anymore to avoid the pain, and wasn’t just willing to lie down and go to sleep. The Mystery Machine had me wanting to do something, but I knew that something had to be tame, so I decided to watch a movie – a legendary movie at that, Bohemian Rhapsody.
For the next two hours the home sound system was pumping and I was sitting up at attention, enthralled in one of the best movies I have ever seen. Shortly before all that, I was prone, and sick. The only variable? The addition of cannabis to the mix. Obviously I am not a scientist, but I do have eyes and ears and a brain that still remembers stuff, and I think the answer to the question in the headline is obvious.
If you need a research study authored by a respected organization to believe what my anecdotes have shown, then consider a study published by the University of New Mexico in April of 2022. It showed that, “using Cannabis results in an average symptom improvement of nearly 4 points on a 0-10 scale just moments after consumption with increasing benefits over time.”
The research proved that the majority of patients who use cannabis to treat nausea experience relief. More than 96% of the study’s respondents reported nausea relief within one hour of use. The study was based on data mined from over 2,220 self-administration cannabis sessions (smoking flower and edibles) that were recorded by 886 people using a mobile app called the Releaf App, which is designed to help users manage their cannabis consumption.
According to the study’s co-author, Jacob Vigil, an associate professor in the UNM psychology department, “perhaps our most surprising result was that THC, typically associated with recreational use, seemed to improve treatment among consumers of Cannabis flower, while our CBD, more commonly associated with medical use, actually seemed to be associated with less symptom relief.”
That is somewhat surprising, as is the fact that the study found that sativas and hybrids outperformed indica in terms of reducing nausea, and good-old-fashioned joints like the one I smoked pre-Bohemian Rhapsody provided greater symptom relief than a regular pipe or a vaporizer.