What are the Correct Strains for Patients Suffering from Nausea?


Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often comes before vomiting. Vomiting is the forcible voluntary or involuntary emptying (“throwing up”) of stomach contents through the mouth.

 What Causes Nausea or Vomiting?

Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions such as:

  • Motion sickness or seasickness
  • Early stages of pregnancy (nausea occurs in approximately 50%-90% of all pregnancies; vomiting in 25%-55%)
  • Medication-induced vomiting
  • Intense pain
  • Emotional stress (such as fear)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Food poisoning
  • Infections (such as the “stomach flu”)
  • Overeating
  • A reaction to certain smells or odors
  • Heart attack
  • Concussion or brain injury
  • Brain tumor
  • Ulcers
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Bulimia or other psychological illnesses
  • Gastroparesis or slow stomach emptying (a condition often seen in people with diabetes)
  • Ingestion of toxins or excessive amounts of alcohol

The causes of vomiting differ according to age. For children, it is common for vomiting to occur from a viral infection, food poisoning, milk allergy, motion sickness, overeating or feeding, coughing, or blocked intestines and illnesses in which the child has a high fever.

The timing of the nausea or vomiting can indicate the cause. When appearing shortly after a meal, nausea or vomiting may be caused by food poisoning, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), an ulcer, or bulimia. Nausea or vomiting one to eight hours after a meal may also indicate food poisoning. However, certain food borne bacteria, such as salmonella, can take longer to produce symptoms.

Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Reducing Nausea & Vomiting?

Gil Bar-Sela, MD, Director of the Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Unit at the Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel, et al., stated in their June 2013 study “The Medical Necessity for Medicinal Cannabis: Prospective, Observational Study Evaluating the Treatment in Cancer Patients on Supportive or Palliative Care” published inEvidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

“We followed patients with a medicinal cannabis license to evaluate the advantages and side effects of using cannabis by cancer patients…

All cancer or anti-cancer treatment-related symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, mood disorders, fatigue, weight loss, anorexia, constipation, sexual function, sleep disorders, itching, and pain had significant improvement… There were no significant side effects to the cannabis except for memory lessening in the 106 patients who continued cannabis use.”

June 2013 – Gil Bar-Sela, MD 

The United Patient’s Group, a resource for alternative medicine, on its page titled “Nausea and Vomiting,” available at (accessed Mar. 18, 2015), state:

“There is strong evidence that the cannabinoids naturally produced in the body play a role in suppressing nausea in normal circumstances, and intake of cannabinoids from medical marijuana during episodes of nausea can also effectively relieve symptoms… Inhaled medical marijuana achieves superior results in reducing nausea and vomiting over synthetic alternatives…

The body absorbs medical marijuana quickly because it is similar to the cannabinoids the body naturally produces. More cannabinoids are absorbed in inhaled form than in ingested form, since the body attempts to metabolize any ingested medication before absorption.”

Mar. 18, 2015 – United Patient’s Group 

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 26 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research and education, stated in its 2013 “Guidelines for Patients Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults” available at
“If medications don’t seem to be working, you might want to consider asking your oncologist to prescribe medical marijuana. The active substance in marijuana—a chemical called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—has been shown to relieve nausea and stimulate appetite in people receiving chemotherapy. Your doctor can also prescribe a medication that contains THC such as dronabinol or nabilone. If you choose to go the more traditional route of smoking an occasional joint (or snacking on the occasional pot brownie), be sure to let your treatment team know, and educate yourself about state and federal laws related to the medicinal use of marijuana.”

2013 – National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 

Cancer Monthly, a cancer treatment website, stated in its May 2006 e-newsletter article “Medical Marijuana – The FDA Loses More Credibility” available at

“There are literally hundreds of articles that appear in the peer reviewed medical and scientific literature that discuss marijuana’s effects in pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation… compared to the risks of a typical chemotherapy agent such as cytoxan which includes: urinary bladder, myeloproliferative, or lymphoproliferative malignancies, potential sterility, urinary system hemorrhagic cystitis, hematuria, cardiac toxicity, anaphylactic reactions, significant suppression of immune responses, and sometimes fatal, infections; the risks of marijuana pale in comparison.

And for cancer patients with advanced cancers who want to improve the quality of their life, a risk versus benefit analysis weighs heavily on the benefit side.”

May 2006 – Cancer Monthly 

Jo Daly, late San Francisco Police Commissioner and lung and colon cancer sufferer, declared in sworn testimony on Feb. 14, 1997 in Conant v. McCaffrey :

“A friend then gave me a marijuana cigarette, suggesting that it might help quell my nausea. I took three puffs from the cigarette. One-half hour later, I was calm, my nausea had disappeared, my appetite returned, and I slept that evening.

…My use of medical marijuana had a secondary, though by no means minor benefit: I was able to drastically reduce my dependence on more powerful prescription drugs that I was prescribed for pain and nausea. With the help of medical marijuana, which I ingest only occasionally and in small amounts, I no longer need the Compazine, Lorazepam, Ativan and Halcion. No combination of these medications provided adequate relief. They also caused serious side effects that I never experienced with marijuana.”

Feb. 14, 1997 – Jo Daly 

The Institute of Medicine published the following in its Mar. 1999 report titled “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base”:

“The goal of antiemetic medications is to prevent nausea and vomiting. Hence, antiemetics are typically given before chemotherapy, in which case a pill is an effective form or drug delivery. However, in patients already experiencing severe nausea or vomiting, pills are generally ineffective because of the difficulty in swallowing or keeping a pill down and slow onset of the drug effect. Thus, an inhalation (but preferably not smoking) cannabinoid drug delivery system would be advantageous for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea…

It is possible that the harmful effects of smoking marijuana for a limited period of time might be outweighed by the antiemetic benefits of marijuana, at least for patients for whom standard antiemetic therapy is ineffective and who suffer from debilitating emesis.”

Mar. 1999 – Institute of Medicine 
“Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base” (988 KB)  

Francis L. Young, former Administrative Law Judge for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), made the following statement in his Sep. 6, 1988 ruling:
“The overwhelming preponderance of the evidence in this record establishes that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States for nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy treatments in some cancer patients. To conclude otherwise, on this record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious.”

Sep. 6, 1988 – Francis L. Young 

GW Pharmaceuticals stated the following on its website in a section titled “Nausea Associated with Cancer Chemotheraphy” (originally accessed Jan. 2004; retrieved again via on Apr. 1, 2015):

“The anti-emetic properties of cannabis have been studied in humans more widely than any other indication. Nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy was felt to be one of the best supported therapeutic uses of cannabis and cannabinoids by the British Medical Association in their review of 23 studies, and was also supported by the American Institute of Medicine. This indication for cannabis has become common knowledge among patients, was the subject of a popular book, and has received some endorsement amongst American oncologists in a survey study.

A large body of knowledge has now been amassed in this context as a result of state-sponsored studies in the USA in cancer chemotherapy. Pooling available data in some 768 patients, oral THC provided 76-88% relief of nausea and vomiting, while smoked cannabis figures supported 70-100% relief in the various surveys.”

Jan. 2004 – GW Pharmaceuticals