One of the most popular medical uses of cannabis is to treat nausea and increase appetite. Nausea can arise from a variety of sources including motion sickness, migraines, chemotherapy treatments, food poisoning, low blood sugar and more. The source of nausea within the body can be somewhat complex as it’s both a physical and psychological condition. Since cannabinoids can ease pains in the body while affecting the state of mind, oncologists and researchers have found that cannabis is one of the most effective nausea treatments available today.
A 2011 study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology “demonstrates that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system regulates nausea and vomiting in humans and other animals.” These findings also show that “cannabinoids may be especially useful in treating the more difficult to control symptoms of nausea and anticipatory nausea in chemotherapy patients, which are less well controlled by the currently available conventional pharmaceutical agents.”
Cannabis has proven itself as the number one choice for many cancer patients in assuaging the pain and side effects associated with chemotherapy. For these patients, the anti-emetic properties of the plant are enhanced by additional relief from pain and depression. While there are conventional anti-emetic pharmaceuticals available, none seem to be as effective as cannabis. Dr. Donald Abrams, chief oncologist at UCSF, has stated that cannabis “is the only anti-nausea medicine that increases appetite”, and in a 2014 poll of U.S. physicians, 82% of the oncologists agreed that cannabis should be offered as a treatment option.
5 Best Strains to Ease Nausea
The best method of ingesting cannabis to ease nausea is smoking or vaping, which provides immediate and effective relief. Edibles on the other hand, must travel through the digestive system and liver, which takes more time to feel the effects and may not agree with an upset stomach. The most effective anti-emetic strains have a significant amount of THC present to ease both the body and mind. Following is our round-up of the top five strains to treat nausea:
The infamous Northern Lights is a pure indica strain with 16–21% THC. Often used to treat anxiety, insomnia and lack of appetite, the high THC content provides a powerful body high, knocking out any pain or nausea. Very relaxing and sleep-inducing, it’s best ingested in the evening hours, when you’re at home.
Super Lemon Haze
This sativa-dominant hybrid of Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze has a citrusy scent and flavour that enhances the anti-emetic effects of the cannabis. With 17–22% THC content and a significant presence of the terpene limonene, this strain offers upbeat, energetic effects, making it ideal for daytime treatment of nausea, depression and anxiety, when you need to ease your stomach and stay active.
Also known as Lavender Kush, this strain is named after its floral scent. An indica-dominant hybrid of Super Skunk, Big Skunk Korean and Afghani Hawaiian, the THC levels reach up to 27%, making this a very potent strain. With deeply relaxing effects on the body and euphoric effects on the mind, this strain is often used to treat gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, and anxiety and depression.
White Fire OG
A hybrid blend of Fire OG and The White, this sativa-dominant hybrid is often used to treat patients with cancer, depression and appetite loss. The high levels of THC (22–28%) make this potent strain very effective at increasing appetite and relieving pain, but the effects are upbeat and social enough to use during the day. New users will want to ease into the experience and be careful not to consume too much too fast to avoid anxiety that may come from having too much THC.
This indica-dominant hybrid of Blueberry and Sour Diesel has a significant but slightly lower THC content (15%) than the other strains on the list. Blueberry Diesel is a moderate strain, providing a relaxing, euphoric feeling without being overwhelming. With a sweet blueberry scent and flavour, it’s perfect for nausea relief, increasing appetite, and relieving pain and stress.