Nausea is something we all experience every now and then – it’s not a disease but rather a symptom of something else. It’s causes discomfort and vomiting and a general ill felling. It’s fleeting for most of us, popping up occasionally instead of on a consistent basis. There are many, many causes of nausea – over 700 – but some of the most common ones include:
Motion sickness, stomach infection, migraine, food poisoning, pregnancy (especially in the early stages), pain, and a little too wild college nights. When nausea is the symptom of an underlying disease, it’s usually a disease that affects the brain, the spinal column, the pelvic or abdominal organs, or the inner ear
Nausea can be the result of psychological factors as well. Watching someone else vomit may be enough to elicit a similar response in another person (we all remember that disgusting scene from Stand by Me). Some people experience nausea when stressed out and nervous and it’s present in those suffering from bulimia, anorexia, and social anxiety disorder.
Cannabis and Nausea
While alcohol may be an inducer of nausea, cannabis has the opposite effect; it quiets the discomfort. We know this already – in fact, medical marijuana is commonly prescribed to those suffering from nausea (or those who need to have their appetite stimulated). But why is pot so good at this? Our internal cannabinoid system – the endocannabinoid system – has two receptors, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids – things like THC and CBD – bind to the receptors and cause a specific response. One of these responses is telling nausea to take a hike. CB1 antagonists are the kinds of things that induce nausea, while the CB1 and CB2 agonists (found in pot) block the vomiting response by minimizing how many excitatory transmitters the body releases. But, of course, that’s not all that Mary Jane does. It also helps prime the appetite, quiet inflammation, and keep the body in harmony with itself. This may help nausea from manifesting in the first place.
Many anti-nausea medications prescribed at hospitals for things like the stomach flu and food poisoning work by stopping the actual act of vomiting – doctors are worried about dehydration and so they stop the loss of fluids. But people tend to still feel like puking, even if they’re not running to the toilet with their hand over their mouths.
This is where cannabis is different – it stops vomiting as well as the urge to vomit. While the above is great for anyone suffering from an upset stomach, there is some bad news. Marijuana is as infamous for making people dizzy as it is for making them hungry – if you’re prone to motion sickness, certain types of pot may make your nausea worse. That’s why finding the right strain for nausea is important. Please see the section below, cleverly titled “the right strains for nausea.”
The Right Strains for Nausea
If you asked your local budtender, they’d probably tell you that there are a lot of strains that work well to quiet nausea. Here is just a handful of choices:
Animal Cookies: Animal Cookies (sometimes called Animal Crackers) is a potent strain that’s a cross between Girl Scout Cookies and Fire OG. It offers very heavy indica effects – relaxation, sleep, and nausea relief. It helps take away pain too. THC content is variable, with percentages ranging from 18 percent to 27. The high effects the entire body and allows consumers to feel comfortable, content, and fine sitting on the couch, staring at the wall (the wall is interesting when you’re stoned). This strain isn’t one that will help you get much done – see aforementioned staring at the wall – but it’s a nice nighttime option.
Cat Piss: With a name like Cat Piss, this strain doesn’t seem like it would be good at curbing nausea, but it is. It’s also good at eliciting energy, stimulating appetite, quieting stress, and reducing anxiety. Users tend to have a love/hate relationship with it – they love it or hate it but rarely find middle ground. And some users simply won’t try it because it does indeed smell like you’re smoking a litter box right after Fluffy drank a gallon of water. If you can get past the odor, you might find it’s worth your time.
Quasar: Much better smelling than the strain above, Quasar emits an aroma of tangerines and other types of citrus. It’s a hybrid that gives users the feeling of euphoria accompanied by a body melt. Medically, people use it for nausea, cramps, pain, spasms, stress, and headaches. It’s also known for its ability to help those with PTSD and restless leg syndrome. The THC is moderate, between 11 and 15 percent.
Rosetta Stone: Rosetta Stone will get you – wait for it – Rosetta Stoned. It’s a potent hybrid that allows users to feel cerebrally elevated and happy. It also provides an adrenaline rush and is a favorite of people with creative careers, especially artists. It’s useful for nausea and anxiety too – unlike a lot of other strains, Rosetta Stone rarely causes paranoia.
You’ll feel sociable without assuming everyone in the room has noticed the wayward piece of lettuce in your teeth.
Headbanger: Another hybrid, Headbanger comes from Biker Kush and Sour Diesel. It tends to have high THC – up to 28 percent in some lab reports. It won’t hit right away, but instead creeps up on you, taking several minutes to fully kick in. Headbanger is best known for its cerebral effects – it helps the senses home in and triggers creativity. It’s helpful for nausea, but better when smoked during the day. Because this strain acts more like an upper than a downer, it has the potential to prevent you from falling asleep: you’ll be up all night, but at least you won’t be vomiting as you are.