Over 90 percent of nausea patients who self-medicate with cannabis products report that it is effective at relieving their symptoms, according to data published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of New Mexico, College of Pharmacy assessed the effects of cannabis on nausea symptom intensity in 886 subjects over a three-year period. Study participants self-administered cannabis at home and reported symptom changes in real time on a mobile software application.

Ninety-six percent of subjects reported symptom relief following cannabis administration. Participants, on average, experienced a reduction in their symptom intensity of -3.85 points on a 0 to 10 visual analog scale. Most participants began experiencing statistically significant relief within five minutes of cannabis inhalation. Flower preparations containing higher percentages of THC and lower percentages of CBD were rated most efficacious. 

“The findings suggest that the vast majority of patients self-selecting into cannabis use for treatment of nausea likely experience relief within a relative short duration of time,” investigators concluded. “Future research should focus on longer term symptom relief, including nausea-free intervals and dosing frequency; the risks of consumption of medical cannabis, especially among high-risk populations, such as pregnant women and children; and potential interactions between cannabis, conventional antiemetics, other medications, food, tobacco, alcohol, and street drugs among specific patient populations.”

Oral THC, in the form of dronabinol, has been FDA-approved as an anti-emetic agent since the mid-1980s.

Using similar methods, UNM researchers have previously reported that cannabis exposure is associated with real-time reductions in migraine symptomspain intensitystressdepressive symptoms, as well as improvements in sleep.

Full text of the study, “The effectiveness of common cannabis products for treatment of nausea,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

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