My stomach bubbles and I feel a lump in my throat. Maybe a little high and hot. A big glass of cold water and a lying position are on my mind. You probably don’t dare to close your eyes, lest your head start spinning. It is nausea, the body’s natural important protection and cleansing mechanism, which seems to be a familiar feeling to everyone! In this article, we’ll explore nausea, the endocannabinoid system behind it, and For CBD oil as a nausea reliever.
What causes nausea?
Nausea is an intense disgusting feeling that can be caused by almost anything. It may be triggered by a smell, excessive spinning, seeing something disgusting, medicine, stress , alcohol, spoiled food, headache, pregnancy or, for example, noise, but basically nausea starts in the nucleus accumbens of the brain, which is responsible for the body’s involuntary reactions such as sneezing, nausea and breathing. (1)
Nausea is the body’s way of reacting to various bacteria and viruses (1). So it is an important function that always has a message. Some people are more prone to vomiting than others, but eventually everyone vomits when the stomach bug hits!
Symptoms of nausea
The symptoms of nausea are clear, although they can be different depending on the situation and the person. Sometimes it is accompanied by stomach ache or headache and vomiting, but symptoms can also include weakness, dizziness, a lump in the throat, upset stomach, cold sweat, thirst, or some combination of these. (1)
Vomiting disease is a general name for various diseases that cause nausea and vomiting. Vomiting diseases include symptoms caused by viruses and bacteria, which include diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Norovirus circulates during the winter, rotavirus, which is rarer today in small children, and sometimes vomiting is also caused by rarer bacteria such as Salmonella and coli. In most cases, vomiting goes away in a few days. If it is accompanied by bloody diarrhea, severe deterioration of condition, unconsciousness, very high fever, severe dehydration, etc. or the symptoms do not seem to go away, it is worth seeing a doctor to check that it is not a situation that requires immediate treatment, especially if it is a child. (2)
Symptoms of vomiting sickness
The symptoms of emesis are clear. It usually starts with stomach pain or sudden vomiting. Depending on the patient, some are more prone to diarrhea and others to vomiting, but the underlying purpose is to empty the intestines and body of unwanted bacteria or viruses as efficiently and quickly as possible. Sometimes the illness is also accompanied by fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and muscle pains. (2)
Contagion of vomiting sickness
Stomach disease is transmitted by droplet infection and through contact. It catches on really easily, especially among children. Good hand hygiene and careful wiping of door handles and table surfaces prevent the spread of infections, but it is practically impossible to avoid an epidemic, especially in schools and kindergartens. The incubation period for vomiting sickness is 12 hours to a few days. (2)
Nausea of pregnancy
Pregnancy sickness is a common, almost every woman’s pregnancy symptom, which is also called morning sickness. Typically it starts in the early weeks of pregnancy and ends around week 12, but for some it starts practically right after conception and ends when the baby is born. This less frequent, very strong and life-threatening nausea is called hyperemesis. The cause of it, or morning sickness in general, is not known and there is no medicine or treatment for it. (3)
When examining people suffering from hyperemesis, it was found that at least there was no fluctuation in the levels of the most common endocannabinoids, and there did not seem to be anything special in the functioning of the receptors. (4)
About one fifth of people experience motion sickness on car and plane trips. The topic has also been studied to some extent from the point of view of the endocannabinoid system, and it has been found that especially the endocannabinoid anandamide levels vary between asymptomatic and sick people. Differences have also been observed in 2-AG (2-arachidonylglycerol) levels; in those with motion sickness, those levels were low and remained constant, while in asymptomatic travelers, 2-AG levels increased during the trip. (5)
Motion sickness affects the function of the related endocannabinoid system. Enhancing its communication could be a potential treatment for individuals who do not respond to currently available treatments. (5)
Motion sickness is considered to be the result of intense brain-gut interaction in a stressful situation and this interaction is regulated by the endocannabinoid system. (5)
Nausea occurring as a side effect of disease treatment
Many diseases include nausea as an unpleasant side effect, which often occurs without vomiting. Often, the nausea in question is the result of either drugs or treatments, such as strong painkillers or chemotherapy used to treat cancer.
Research focused on chemotherapy and cannabinoids in particular has been done extensively, and both synthetic and natural cannabinoids such as THC and CBD have been found to be effective chemotherapy-induced nausea relievers, both in the light of research and user experience.
You can read more about the effect of cannabinoids related to cancer and chemotherapy here , but it should be mentioned that a few synthetic cannabinoid preparations and exogenous cannabinoids have shown to be very significant nausea reducers for chemotherapy induced nausea! (6)
The endocannabinoid system and nausea
The endocannabinoid system balances the body and tries to keep vital functions functioning as well as possible. It affects everything in the background and is therefore also involved in the regulation of nausea.
In animal experiments where the endocannabinoid system has been blocked from functioning, it has been noticed that blocking it promotes nausea. In animals whose poisoning reaction is vomiting, the reaction has been successfully stopped by the power of cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids protect against nausea, e.g. by cooperating with CB1 and 5-HT receptors. (7)
An anandamide-degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH), has been found in brain regions involved in vomiting and has been shown to have antiemetic effects. Anandamide’s anti-nausea effects appear to be mediated through activation of the CB1 receptor. (8)
The CB1 receptor is mainly found in the brain, also in the nucleus accumbens, where nausea originates. It is involved in the regulation of nausea and vomiting reflex. (4,6)
The cannabinoid system closely interacts with serotonin receptors. There are seven 5-HT receptors and they are named 5-HT1, 5-HT2, 5-HT3, etc.
The 5-HT3 receptor in particular seems to be the receptor influencing the occurrence of vomiting and nausea, and its cooperation with cannabinoids is behind the anti-nausea effect. (4,7,8)
Activation of the 5-HT1A receptor prevents the release of serotonin and thus ultimately also prevents nausea. (4,7,8)
CBD relieves nausea
CBD (cannabidiol) has been found to relieve nausea. Due to the strong nausea associated with chemotherapy and its difficult treatment, it was decided to study the antiemetic, i.e. nausea-relieving, effects of cannabinoids. (4,7,8)
CBD is both an anti-nausea and anti-emetic cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabinoids have been on the list of drugs allowed to relieve nausea in North America since 1980.
CBD has an anti-nausea effect by adding anandamide amount in the nucleus accumbens of the brain by inhibiting the activity of the FAAH molecule that disperses it. (4,7,8)
The findings suggest that both CBD and its acid precursor CBD-A are both effective anti-nausea relievers, with CBD-A being slightly more effective (4). In the medicinal use of hemp, an essential consideration is the synergistic effect (Entourage effect ), which is based on the view that the best benefit from the effects of hemp can be obtained when all the active substances obtained from the plant are used.
Many herbs and plants relieve nausea
Many herbs such as chamomile, peppermint, ginger, lemon balm, fennel and licorice root relieve bad feelings. The combination of honey and lemon has also been found to reduce nausea and can easily be added to herbal drinks to enhance the combined effect. An upset or recovering stomach can be soothed and nourished with grated raw carrot, and apple or apple-carrot-ginger juice is also good.
Finding a suitable eating rhythm is a significant prevention of nausea. Small portions of something cool, light food such as yogurt is light and easy for the body to digest, and they sometimes relieve nausea, even over a long period of time. Similarly, calm breathing at the onset of nausea may prevent vomiting. Being in the fresh air can also make you feel better!
Nausea is one of the most common side effects of medications and various treatments such as chemotherapy. Nausea significantly affects the quality of life, and the life of someone who constantly suffers from it can be really challenging and depressing. Nausea during pregnancy can stop life completely for a while, and people who get motion sickness often organize their lives so that they don’t have to travel too long distances, at least backwards or in a car without air conditioning….
The endocannabinoid system and CBD as a nausea reliever have been studied a lot, and according to user experiences, it is an effective and gentle form of treatment to prevent various types of nausea!
- Mustajoki P.. 2021. Duodecim Health Library. Nausea and vomiting. https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk00054. Referred on 01/08/2022
- Health house. Stomach disease can cause both vomiting and diarrhea. https://www.terveystalo.com/fi/tietopaketit/vatsatauti/. Referred on 01/08/2022
- Hyperemesis RY. What is hyperemesis?. https://hyperemeesi.fi/fi/tietoa-hyperemeesista/mita-hyperemeesi-on/. Referred on 01/08/2022
- Rock EM and Parker L.. 2016. Frontiers. Cannabinoids As Potential Treatment for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2016.00221/full. Referred on 08/01/2022.
- Chouker A., Kaufmann I., Kreth S., Hauer D., Feuerecker M., Thieme D., Vogeser M., Thiel M. and Schelling G.. 2010. Plos one. Motion Sickness, Stress and the Endocannabinoid System. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0010752. Referred on 08/01/2022.
- Darmani N.. 2010. Mechanisms of Broad-Spectrum Antiemetic Efficacy of Cannabinoids against Chemotherapy-Induced Acute and Delayed Vomiting. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034105/. Referred on 01/08/2022
- Taylor B, Mueller M and Sauls RS. 2021. Cannaboinoid Antiemetic Therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535430/. Referred on 01/08/2022
- Parket L., Rock E. and Limebeer C.. 2011. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165951/. Referred on 01/08/2022