Nausea is a feeling of discomfort in the stomach that can often be accompanied by vomiting. It is a symptom of many conditions, including indigestion, travel sickness, upset stomach, and pregnancy. For each of these conditions, you'll probably find many different treatments and remedies, all with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Surprisingly enough, CBD hemp oil, which has nausea as one of its many possible side effects, has also shown some promise in dealing with it. How does that work? In short, there are many ways in which you can treat nausea – by relieving its symptoms and underlying causes. And the best CBD oils can potentially support both.
Below, we'll go over what causes nausea and how it affects the human body, as well as whether the anti-nausea effects of the hemp plant can actually help.
What Causes Nausea?
Nausea is a symptom, not a condition in and of itself. It can be caused by many conditions, which makes regulating nausea a difficult task.
Car sickness is one of the most common causes of nausea. It's easy to understand why; when you're in a moving vehicle, your brain receives conflicting signals from your body and eyes, which can make you feel sick.
Other causes are less obvious. For example, pregnancy can cause severe nausea by changing the levels of certain hormones in your body. The resulting feeling is often called morning sickness and can be quite devitalizing.
The chemical composition of your stomach can also play an important role. Certain foods can upset your stomach and, as a result, cause nausea. Other common causes of nausea include:
Medication side effects
Infections or viruses
How Nausea Affects Your Body
Surprisingly enough, the specific mechanism behind nausea isn't completely understood. We do know, however, that it's caused by the activation of certain neurons in your brainstem – specifically, the area postrema.
This area is responsible for many different functions, including vomiting. When it's activated, it sends signals to your digestive system, which results in other physical reactions, such as increased heart rate, sweating, and – of course – can trigger nausea.
These physical reactions are your body's way of getting rid of any potential toxins or poisons, yet this defense mechanism doesn't always work the way it's supposed to – non-toxic substances or even stress can cause it to go into overdrive.
What Are the Different Types of Nausea?
There are three types of nausea: anticipatory, post-event, and acute nausea. Let's take a look at each one in more detail.
Anticipatory (pre-event) nausea – This is the kind of nausea that you feel before an event, such as going on a roller coaster ride or undergoing chemotherapy treatment. It occurs because your body remembers feeling ill during previous events and prepares itself for it to happen again (even if there's no real danger). As you can imagine, this type of nausea can be quite difficult to deal with since its main trigger is your own memories and anxiety about them.
Post-event nausea – This is the much more common type of nausea; it happens after you've been exposed to something that made you feel sick before, such as certain smells or foods. In some cases, it can also be caused by medications or stress. Very often you can manage nausea by alleviating its causes, for instance, by taking a breath of fresh air if you feel nauseated from a strong smell.
Chronic or acute nausea – This is when you experience nausea on a regular basis, often for no specific reason. It can be caused by conditions such as migraines, nervous system failures, or stress and is often attributed to psychological factors.
Are Nausea and Vomiting Related?
Vomiting is an involuntary reflex that happens when the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract contract and push its contents upwards through your esophagus and out your mouth. As such, it is mostly a physiological response to ingesting toxic substances that your body perceives as dangerous.
While it is true that vomiting often accompanies nausea, the two are not always related. For example, you can vomit without feeling nauseated beforehand – for instance, if you have food poisoning. Similarly, you can feel nauseated without actually vomiting – as is the case with many chemotherapy patients.
CBD Oil as a Nausea Relief
Now, before we go any further, it should be noted that CBD products may not be an effective treatment for nausea. CBD oil will not make the underlying condition go away and cannot prevent vomiting at its root cause. What's more, CBD may actually cause nausea as a side effect in some people – both the taste of organic hemp and cannabidiol itself can be quite strong.
That being said, CBD oil does have some potential as a nausea relief, especially when it comes to acute and anticipatory nausea stemming from the endocannabinoid system and serotonin receptors. This is because CBD has powerful anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which can help prevent the nausea response.
How to Use CBD Oil for Nausea and Vomiting
As the number of CBD companies is growing day by day, so is the number of available CBD products and other cannabinoids. This can make it quite difficult to choose the right one for you, especially if you're a first-time user.
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing high-quality CBD oil products:
The type of product – CBD is available in many different forms, including tinctures, edibles, capsules, and topicals. The best way to take it to alleviate nausea depends on your preferences and the severity of your symptoms. For instance, if you're only experiencing mild nausea, a CBD gummy bear might be enough to help you feel better. However, if your nausea is more severe, you might want to consider a more potent option, such as a CBD tincture.
The quality of the product – When selecting any kind of supplement, it's important to make sure that you're getting a product that is made by a reputable manufacturer and contains high-quality ingredients. This is especially true for CBD oil for reducing nausea. Always look for products that are third-party-lab tested, and make sure to read the label carefully before purchasing anything.
The potency of the product – CBD oil comes in many different potencies, from low-strength tinctures to high-potency edibles. The best way to determine how much cannabidiol you need to relieve nausea is to use a CBD potency calculator and start with a low CBD dosage. You can then increase the dose gradually until you find the one that suppresses nausea without any side effects.
If you're not sure where to start, we suggest checking out our CBD oil dosage guide. It will give you a good idea of how much cannabidiol you need for different conditions and can help you find the right product for your needs.
The Best CBD Products for Nausea
As mentioned above, CBD comes in various forms, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Below, we'll go over some of the most popular hemp-derived CBD products to help you choose the right one for alleviating nausea and vomiting.
CBD oil tinctures – possibly the most abundant type of CBD product on the market, CBD tinctures are liquid extracts that come in a bottle with a dropper. They're easy to use and offer precise dosing, which makes them great for people who need to take large amounts of cannabidiol on a daily basis. You can either take a few drops and swallow them or place them under your tongue and let them be absorbed sublingually.
CBD gummies – chewy candies that come in various shapes and flavors – our THC-free strawberry-lemonade gummies, for instance, contain 10 mg of cannabidiol, which is a good starting point for people who have never tried CBD before. Also, they don't have this bitter taste that some people associate with CBD oil which may be crucial for dealing with nausea.
CBD softgels – similar to gummies, softgels are an easy and convenient way to take cannabidiol. They're capsules that contain a pre-measured amount of oil, for instance, our THC-free CBD softgels come with 27.75 mg of hemp extract with 25 mg of cannabidiol, which makes them quite potent.
CBD Oil for the Underlying Causes of Nausea
CBD oils can also be helpful in treating the underlying causes of nausea, such as pain or anxiety. But how do they relate to treating nausea? Let's take a look at the common psychological and physiological causes of nausea to see how cannabidiol can help.
Nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy are typically caused by low blood sugar levels and hormone changes. Although CBD could potentially help with those causes, the research on infant exposure to cannabidiol is still very limited, and as such, we cannot recommend using CBD oil while pregnant.
CBD and cancer treatment are a controversial topic, yet there is some evidence that CBD oil can help with chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. This effect is most likely caused by the ability of CBD to interact with the postsynaptic 5-HT3 receptor, which is known to be involved in these processes.
A similar effect has been observed with nausea preceding certain events. CBD oil can potentially help by reducing anxiety linked to the memories of previous events that caused nausea. As a result, it can help break the cycle of anxiety and nausea, making it easier to deal with.
Motion sickness is caused by the conflict between what your eyes see and what your body feels, as well as by the inner ear being unable to properly process balance information. Full-spectrum CBD oil can potentially help with both of these issues by affecting how your brain processes motion and easing the body's balancing mechanisms.
Stomach-related issues are one of the most common causes of nausea. CBD oil can potentially help with indigestion and other digestive tract problems by reducing inflammation in the gut, which is often linked to these conditions. On top of that, hemp-derived CBD oils promote the overall health of your digestive system.