Let’s take a moment to talk about one of the least pleasant sensations imaginable: Nausea. Nausea is difficult to diagnose: It can stem from food poisoning or some other digestive issue, be the result of motion sickness or a drug or alcohol overdose, or it can be triggered by medications, such as those used in chemotherapy. In other words, any number of things can make you feel nauseous, and when you do, you’ll probably do anything to make it go away.
Fortunately, there’s hope from a potentially unexpected source: Marijuana. We’ll share what we know about using marijuana for nausea, along with recommendations for the best strains for nausea that may be able to give you fast relief when you need it most!
Best Strains for Nausea: The Science
What underlies nausea? Both nausea and its common effect—vomiting— are related to the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter (or signaling compound). Serotonin helps us to regulate our mood and happiness, among other things. One of those other roles is to produce the feeling of nausea.
That’s where marijuana might help. Research indicates that cannabis interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain and the gut, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing its production. This effect appears to correlate with dosage, a good reminder that one should always consult with a medical professional before using marijuana to treat any health concerns.
The regulatory effect of marijuana on nausea is supported by clinical research, in addition to a good deal of anecdotal evidence supporting this claim.
But as you’re well aware, not all marijuana is the same. How do you determine which is the best strain for nausea? For that, we have to look deeper
Best Strains for Nausea: The Concept of Cannabinoids
As you likely already know, cannabinoids are the major “active ingredients” in marijuana. The two most abundant ones are THC and CBD. THC produces the marijuana plant’s euphoric “high,” while CBD imparts at most a very mild “buzziness” or gentle cerebral stimulus.
Different marijuana strains contain different ratios of the two major cannabinoids. Whether a given strain is a good match for nausea comes down to how you react to THC’s distinctive psychoactivity.
For instance, if you don’t mind the “high,” that euphoria tends to help increase feelings of well-being, thus reducing the unpleasant sensation of nausea. On a deeper level, research shows that THC reduces the urge to vomit by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
On the other hand, some of us find THC distracting or even unpleasant. Can CBD help? As it turns out, some research suggests that CBD may be even more helpful for nausea than THC, especially at low doses. And CBD’s chemical precursor—CBDA—is more effective than either CBD or THC at taming nausea. Unfortunately, it’s currently difficult to source CBDA, although some enterprising producers are working on ways to make this cannabinoid more readily available. We’ll keep you posted on that front.
Best Strains for Nausea: Specific Recommendations
As we suggested a moment ago, it’s helpful to gauge your tolerance for THC. If you find it pleasant or soothing, moderate doses of high-THC strains may help alleviate nausea. Here’s a starter list of some strains to try:
This potent high-THC strain is known for a piney, peppery and earthy aromas. It exerts a powerful euphoria and a noted sense of uplift, but exercise caution: Too much may leave you feeling glued to your couch!
One of the most popular strains for medical use, “Sour D” is known for its classic uplifting and stimulating characteristics. This popular strain is also recommended for numerous other uses, including increasing appetite, fighting migraines, and mitigating depression.
A legendary sativa-dominant hybrid, Blue Dream imparts a gentle euphoria, creative inspiration, and overall relaxation. One reason it’s popular for medical use is that it provides strong relief of symptoms without imposing noticeable sedation.