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CBD As a Nausea Reliever and Antiemetic

  • CBD offers some patients a safe and effective treatment for nausea
  • How CBD acts as an antiemetic to reduce vomiting
  • Studies on CBD as an antiemetic and nausea reducer
  • Best ways to use CBD to relieve nausea and reduce vomiting
  • Best Hich-CBD hemp strains for nausea


Can CBD be used to relieve nausea and reduce vomiting? The answer is that it depends on who you are (your body makeup) and why you’re nauseous. While CBD has been show to help many patients deal with nausea, for some it’s not an option.

Nausea, defined as the “the urge to vomit,” is how our bodies warn us of potentially toxic food (often associated with sense of smell) or force us to expel an offending meal. However medical patients suffer from chronic nausea caused by sickness and/or treatment

Hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) has gained a solid reputation as an anti-nausea treatment as well as an antiemetic (prevents vomiting) and is fast becoming a mainstream remedy for those conditions. 

Some over-the-counter medications may help with nausea relief, they but don’t necessarily treat the triggering disorder. Many conventional nausea medications can cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches, constipation, dizziness, mood swings, and insomnia.

CBD, by comparison, is known to be relatively side-effect-free and to alleviate the underlying conditions that cause nausea. 

Before we continue, it’s important to point out that CBD and other ingredients in CBD-infused products affect each individual differently and there are countless formulations of CBD oils and edibles. While some patients will find relief with a particular CBD product, others might find that the same product makes nausea worse. So do your due diligence when searching for CBD products for treating nausea. 

What causes nausea?

Nausea is not a disease unto itself, but the result of ailments related to the digestive system. One would think that the stomach is responsible for that “sick to your stomach” feeling but they would be incorrect. 

When irritated by food, drugs, or internal conditions, nerve endings in the duodenum (tube between the stomach and intestines) compel the nervous system, brain, and gastrointestinal system to make a unanimous decision to evict any toxic substance. The stomach must comply, first with the sensation of nausea, then with vomiting.

In addition to nausea-inducing conditions such as chemo, medications, and food sensitivities, there are several other conditions that cause nausea. They include migraines, seizures, ear infections, motion sickness, bacterial or viral infections, pregnancy, and even emotional disorders, among others.

Recent studies indicate that a dysfunctional or depleted human endocannabinoid system may play a role in inducing nausea. The ECS is responsible for the regulation of endocrine and neural functions. According to research, supplementing out own natural endocannabinoids (the ones we make) with CBD and other phytocannabinoids (produced in plants) may drastically reduce the urge to vomit in some patients.

How does CBD help relieve nausea and vomitting?

Studies have shown that there is a direct link between the areas of the brain regulating nausea and vomiting and the body’s innate endocannabinoid system.

It has been determined that CBD prevents nausea by influencing the production and uptake of endocannabinoids in the brain and spinal cord. CBD is also known for its anxiety and stress relieving qualities, which can help manage chronic nausea and the associated discomfort.

Terpenes are another active compound found in hemp flowers. (Hemp is legal cannabis without the intoxicating compound THC.) Terpenes are aromatic oils that give cannabis its unique aromas and flavors. Two terpenes in particular offer powerful anti-nausea effects. 

Limonene has a distinct citrus-like aroma. Limonene has been used for millenea to relieve nausea. 

Caryophyllene also helps tame nausea for some patients. It has a hoppy (beer-like) flavor and aroma. 

To be clear though, everyone’s chemistry is different and some people may not respond well to these or other terpenes. In fact, two somewhat rare conditions, cannabinoid hyperemesis and cyclic vomiting syndrome are thought to be caused by terpenes in some cases. 

Studies on CBD as an antiemetic

In a publication titled: Cannabinoids: the lows and the highs of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, the anti-nausea effects of CBD were discussed, particularly during chemotherapy. Cannabinoids appeared to reduce vomiting and nausea by actually reducing the release of serotonin from certain cells in the small intestine, which normally would induce a vomiting reflex. 

The study focused specifically on CBD and its role in alleviating other side effects of chemotherapy including pain, loss of appetite, and toxicity. The authors were unanimous in their declaration that, Despite remaining one of the most widely abused drugs worldwide, Cannabis sativa exhibits remarkable medicinal properties.” 

In another report titled: Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, the authors discussed the long-held theory that cannabis is beneficial in alleviating nausea and vomiting from various causes. They determined through their investigations the important role of cannabinoids and their receptors in regard to the regulation of vomiting and nausea. 

When the endocannabinoid system was discovered, it was also determined that the “production of endogenous cannabinoids acting centrally were responsible for regulating both nausea and vomiting.”

And, finally, a recent publication from the European Journal of Pharmacology concludes:

“In humans and animal models, plant-derived cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and endocannabinoids inhibit emesis [vomiting] evoked peripherally or centrally with drugs or natural stimuli. Cannabinoids block both acute and delayed emesis. We believe that the endocannabinoid system has the potential to be used for the treatment of nausea and likely as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of emesis, particularly delayed emesis, where current therapies are limited in their degree of efficacy.”

How CBD is used to treat nausea

The wonderful thing about CBD is that anyone in the U.S. can buy CBD online — no need for a medical marijuana card. And a seemingly endless array of CBD products are available. 

These are the most used CBD delivery methods:

  • Smoking CBD-rich hemp flower is the fastest way to achieve relief from nausea, as it enters the bloodstream almost immediately and the effects are long-lasting. But remember, smoking smakes some people nauseous.
  • Vaping CBD flower or CBD oil is less invasive and less likely to cause nausea but is almost as fast-acting as smoking. Vaping, like smoking, may cause nausea in some patients.
  • CBD edibles are an easy way to consume CBD. However, it may take up to 90 minutes for patients to feel any effects, although the effects can last for hours. Edibles, too, may not be the best option for some people if food in general makes them nauseous. However, CBD has been shown to improve gut flora which can be extremely beneficial. 
  • CBD tinctures, oils, and capsules may be the least invasive way to get cannabinoids into the system. Tinctures and oils placed under the tongue are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and may be administered every couple of hours if needed. However, the taste might make some patients nauseous. Capsules have a similar effect without the taste, although they take a little longer to dissolve and get into the bloodstream.
  • CBD transdermal patches offer a completely non-invasive way to experience the benefits of CBD with a greatly reduced risk of causing nausea. However, the onset of effects may take a little longer than tinctures and oils. Patches are practical and discreet and can be removed once the desired effect is achieved. Some patches can also be cut in half to adjust the dosage.

All of these products, aside from hemp flower, come in three categories. 

  • Full-spectrum CBD products contain CBD plus the original terpenes found in the hemp strain from which the oil is extracted. 
  • CBD Isolate and isolate-infused products can be purchased that contain no terpenes. 
  • Broad-spectrum CBD products are made with CBD isolate plus added terpenes to formulated treat specific symptoms.

Best high-CBD hemp strains for nausea

For best results when smoking, vaping, or cooking with hemp flower, patients should choose a strain that is high in CBD and the terpenes limonene and caryophyllene that we mentioned above. 

Here are a few of the best CBD strains for relieving nausea: 

  • ACDA has a CBD-heavy makeup and has virtually no intoxicating effects. It is especially great for treating nausea and all the negative effects of chemotherapy while keeping a clear head.
  • CBD Mango Haze is an energizing medicinal hemp strain that is extremely popular due to its many benefits. The strain has been selectively bred to produce a high CBD content, so the large dose of CBD is accompanied by little to no psychoactive high.
  • Cannatonic offers a 2:1 CBD to THC ratio, but it can make users high and can only be purchased at medical marijuana dispensaries. It has numerous medical benefits such as relieving nausea, anxiety, stress, and mood disorders without the associated anxiousness and paranoia usually associated with THC. 


Individuals suffering from chronic nausea and vomiting often don’t have many options for finding significant relief from their condition. Traditional meds can cause more problems than they solve, and prescriptions can be prohibitively expensive.

CBD for the treatment of nausea may be an economical, non-invasive remedy for this sometimes debilitating condition. Moreover, CBD can be purchased over the counter without a medical marijuana card. 

How CBD May Help With Nausea And Vomiting

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