Cannabidiol (CBD) has a lot of people in the health world kind of freaking out — in a good way. It looks like this chemical, which is derived from the cannabis plant (but does not make you high), has some serious medicinal benefits. So can CBD help with nausea? Early research does look promising.
Although there isn't a ton of research on the medical uses of cannabis, probably because it was illegal for so long and everything, there is some medical research about CBD and nausea. In general, it looks like CBD may help treat nausea in chemotherapy patients, as noted by a 2011 study in the British Journal of Pharmacology. Because chemo patients often experience debilitating and distressing bouts of nausea, this is a particularly positive finding. Granted, the researchers who conducted this study did have to find a way to tell when rats felt nauseous, which is apparently pretty tricky.
Thankfully, firsthand accounts from human patients who used CBD to treat nausea are also promising. For instance, one physician undergoing nausea-inducing chemotherapy sessions was surprised by the efficacy of a CBD treatment. "It worked faster, better, and more completely than any of the prescriptions my oncologist gave me," said Laura in Project CBD. (Please note that her particular treatment also included THC, which does have an intoxicating effect.)
What about the particular form of nausea that pregnant women know so well, morning sickness? After all, some pregnant women are using marijuana to treat morning sickness, as noted in Romper. Why not CBD? Well, although the medical research about CBD on humans appears to be gaining traction, it looks like there's still an abundance of caution when it comes to CBD and moms-to-be. In general, the consensus seems to be something along the lines of better safe than sorry. "So far, there is potential in terms of the other therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana, but there’s just not sufficient data for pregnant women,” said Dr. Talitha L. Bruney, medical director for the Comprehensive Family Care Center, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Montefiore Health System, in Brit+Co. Because there's still a lack of data, it's safest for pregnant women to avoid experimenting with CBD for nausea and morning sickness treatments.
How about people with more run-of-the-mill nausea problems? That gross sensation in your stomach can make everyday life so unpleasant. For the most part, it looks like there's predominantly anecdotal evidence about the efficiency of CBD as a nausea treatment. But there is some official recognition, too. As it turns out, 19 states have approved the use of medical cannabis for nausea treatment in particular, as explained by the ECHO Connection. This cannabis does of course contain CBD, which potentially helps to calm the feelings of nausea. If this is an avenue you'd like to pursue, work with your doctor (and the laws of your state) to come up with a potential treatment plan. You just might be on the cutting edge of the newest nausea treatment out there.
Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding CBD are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.