Cannabis contains a variety of compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of compound which are now used to treat medical conditions. Studies are still underway and there have been claims that CBD helps with nausea.
Nausea and vomiting can occur as symptoms when one is diagnosed with an acute or chronic condition, they may include:
- Radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (RINV)
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV)
- Chronic disease
- Cancer-associated nausea and vomiting
- Palliative care
- Post-operative nausea and vomiting
Most of the research suggests that CBD is most beneficial for patients suffering from cancer symptoms. CBD is a non-psychotic drug and consuming it does not make one ‘high’ which is a common misunderstanding among people. On the other hand, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has psychotic components that make a person feel ‘high’.
There are not enough studies to show that medicinal cannabis can be used to treat symptoms like nausea and vomiting. However, there are guidelines that need to be followed by prescribers while prescribing medicinal cannabis to patients.
They must consider the risks and benefits involved with registered cannabis. Moreover, there is a paucity of evidence for the use of medicinal cannabis for nausea and vomiting. There are small bits of evidence that show medicinal cannabis go along with chemotherapy and other medications. However, there is still no data to support the duration of the dosage.
Patients may face side effects like dizziness, europhia, gastro-intestinal disturbance, somnolence, which may impact the overall aims of therapy. GPs should closely examine all the side effects that patients and must be moted. It is important to note that each patient will react differently and hence must be managed differently.
How effective is medicinal cannabis?
The role of cannabis for nausea and vomiting can be classified into two sections:
- As a primary endpoint: complete control of nausea and vomiting, complete control of nausea and complete control of vomiting.
- As a secondary endpoint: the subjective experience of appetite, nausea, patients preference for medicinal cannabis vs comparator (in cross-over trials).
Even though there are limitations to this data, benefits are suggested in CINV. however, one should take note that there is no consistency in reports for curing nausea and vomiting.
There is still no data on the amount of CBD one consumes to treat nausea and vomiting. However, doctors recommend that one should start with a small dose and this should not be mixed with any other medications. If one feels any side effects they should immediately contact their GP for further guidance.
Tolerance of treatment
24% of patients who smoke medicinal cannabis withdraw due to a lack of tolerance to the method. Patients who received medicinal cannabis were more likely to withdraw from clinical trials due to a lack of efficiency
Ways to consume CBD
There are various forms in which CBD can be consumed. Different people prefer different ways to consume it.
CBD can be consumed by taking tinctures and oils by mouth using a dropper. These need to be first put under the tongue, hold for few seconds and then swallow. Some prefer swallowing a whole capsule or any other oil, chew or gummies.
What are the possible side effects?
While not everyone will face side effects as they can tolerate them but there are still many patients who try this for the first time and may face some side effects such as:
- Appetite changes
- Weight changes
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