Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) have found 96% of people using cannabis to treat nausea experience relief within an hour.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, drew on data from 886 people self-administering cannabis 2,220 times and recording it via the Releaf tracking app.
It examined the effects of cannabis on nausea symptoms from five minutes to one hour after consumption and found it resulted in an average symptom improvement of nearly four points on a 0 to 10 scale soon after use, with increasing benefits over time.
Author and assistant professor at UNM’s economics department Sarah Stith said: “Despite increasing clinical concerns regarding cyclical vomiting or hyperemesis syndrome in cannabis users, almost all users experienced relief.”
Although its effectiveness for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea is widely recognised, the use of cannabis for nausea in the general population remains under-researched, with no studies on time-to-relief or the impact of different product types.
In the UNM study, flower and concentrates resulted in faster and greater relief than edibles and tinctures, while among combusted products, joints delivered greater symptom relief than consuming via a pipe or vaporizer.
Among consumers of flower, THC was more effective than CBD in reducing symptoms.
Co-author and associate professor at UNM’s psychology department Jacob Vigil said: “Perhaps our most surprising result was that THC, typically associated with recreational use, seemed to improve treatment among consumers of cannabis flower, while CBD, more commonly associated with medical use, actually seemed to be associated with less symptom relief.”
While a common symptom of conditions including food poisoning, gastrointestinal disorders, motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy, nausea is often difficult to treat using conventional therapies ranging from herbal remedies like ginger to prescription pharmaceuticals.