The amount of relief depended on the type of marijuana consumed and how. The researchers found despite the conventional idea that CBD dominant strains are best for medical intervention, they concluded that hybrid strains with a balance of THC more often used for recreation along with common recreational methods (smoking a joint or pipe) yielded reports of greater symptom relief.
Nausea can be a symptom of a wide variety of rare and common diseases, including chemo-induced nausea and cyclic vomiting syndrome
, which is characterized by episodes of nausea and vomiting that last from hours to days. These episodes can be quite debilitating, but most patients have no symptoms outside of episodes.
However, while most of these patients reported relief using cannabis, the drug can potentially trigger the disorder cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Too much marijuana can have real consequences
. Each year 2.7 million frequent smokers experience the syndrome, a disease causing nausea and vomiting as well. However, the rare illness can be treated by simply quitting the substance.
Author Sarah Stith, an assistant professor at UNM, said, “Despite increasing clinical concerns regarding cyclical vomiting or hyperemesis syndrome in cannabis users, almost all users experienced relief.”
An App Gives Insights
The reasearchers produced the findings using the data on 886 individuals who used the Releaf App to manage their personal cannabis consumption. They partook in 2,220 self-administered sessions on the app, where they detailed their symptoms and their intensity and duration in real time, informing researchers of any patterns or changes. The records on the app allowed for the researchers to measure the effects of the plant on how intensely the person feels symptoms.
They found the patients reported an improvement of 4 points on a scale of 1 to 10 just after consumption, and for most, symptoms only improved, with 96% reporting relief an hour after use.
While they don’t completely understand what processes make cannabis so effective, it’s not completely surprising, as phytocannabinoids from the plant imitate the modulation activity of endocannabinoids that are naturally present in all humans. Coauthor of the study, Jacob Vigil from UNM, said
The extent of nausea relief experienced by the study sample varied across product characteristics with flower and concentrates outperforming tinctures and edibles. Products labeled as Cannabis sativa and “hybrid” outperformed products labeled as Cannabis indica. Among combusted products, joints were associated with greater symptom relief than consuming via a pipe or vaporizer. The study further examined the effects of THC and CBD among consumers of cannabis flower.
“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,” Vigil said.