CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in marijuana and another related plant, hemp. Unlike THC, another compound in the marijuana plant, CBD doesn't cause a "high." However, it may help reduce nausea and other unpleasant… Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a condition that leads to repeated and severe bouts of vomiting. It results from long-term use of marijuana). CBD oil is considered to have a very high safety profile, but like any substance with the ability to change brain chemistry, its use can have some side effects.
How to Take CBD Oil for Nausea
This article was co-authored by Aimée Shunney, ND and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD. Dr. Aimée Gould Shunney is a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine in Santa Cruz, California where she specializes in women’s health and hormone balancing. She also consults with various companies in the natural products industry including CV Sciences, makers of PlusCBD Oil. Dr. Aimée educates consumers, retailers, and healthcare providers about CBD oil through written articles, webinars, podcasts, and conferences nationwide. Her work has been featured at the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Conference, and on Fox News. She earned her ND from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2001.
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CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in marijuana and another related plant, hemp. Unlike THC, another compound in the marijuana plant, CBD doesn’t cause a “high.” However, it may help reduce nausea and other unpleasant symptoms, like pain and anxiety. If you have nausea due to a medical condition or a medication you’re taking, such as chemotherapy drugs, talk to your doctor about using CBD to get relief.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a condition that leads to repeated and severe bouts of vomiting. It is rare and only occurs in daily long-term users of marijuana.
Marijuana has several active substances. These include THC and related chemicals. These substances bind to molecules found in the brain. That causes the drug “high” and other effects that users feel.
Your digestive tract also has a number of molecules that bind to THC and related substances. So marijuana also affects the digestive tract. For example, the drug can change the time it takes the stomach to empty. It also affects the esophageal sphincter. That’s the tight band of muscle that opens and closes to let food from the esophagus into the stomach. Long-term marijuana use can change the way the affected molecules respond and lead to the symptoms of CHS.
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the U.S. Young adults are the most frequent users. A small number of these people develop CHS. It often only happens in people who have regularly used marijuana for several years. Often CHS affects those who use the drug at least once a day.
What causes cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
Marijuana has very complex effects on the body. Experts are still trying to learn exactly how it causes CHS in some people.
In the brain, marijuana often has the opposite effect of CHS. It helps prevent nausea and vomiting. The drug is also good at stopping such symptoms in people having chemotherapy.
But in the digestive tract, marijuana seems to have the opposite effect. It actually makes you more likely to have nausea and vomiting. With the first use of marijuana, the signals from the brain may be more important. That may lead to anti-nausea effects at first. But with repeated use of marijuana, certain receptors in the brain may stop responding to the drug in the same way. That may cause the repeated bouts of vomiting found in people with CHS.
It still isn’t clear why some heavy marijuana users get the syndrome, but others don’t.
What are the symptoms of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
People with CHS suffer from repeated bouts of vomiting. In between these episodes are times without any symptoms. Healthcare providers often divide these symptoms into 3 stages: the prodromal phase, the hyperemetic phase, and the recovery phase.
Prodromal phase. During this phase, the main symptoms are often early morning nausea and belly (abdominal) pain. Some people also develop a fear of vomiting. Most people keep normal eating patterns during this time. Some people use more marijuana because they think it will help stop the nausea. This phase may last for months or years.
Hyperemetic phase. Symptoms during this time may include:
- Ongoing nausea
- Repeated episodes of vomiting
- Belly pain
- Decreased food intake and weight loss
- Symptoms of fluid loss (dehydration)
During this phase, vomiting is often intense and overwhelming. Many people take a lot of hot showers during the day. They find that doing so eases their nausea. (That may be because of how the hot temperature affects a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This part of the brain effects both temperature regulation and vomiting.) People often first seek medical care during this phase.
The hyperemetic phase may continue until the person completely stops using marijuana. Then the recovery phrase starts.
Recovery phase. During this time, symptoms go away. Normal eating is possible again. This phase can last days or months. Symptoms often come back if the person tries marijuana again.
How is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome diagnosed?
Many health problems can cause repeated vomiting. To make a diagnosis, your healthcare provider will ask you about your symptoms and your past health. He or she will also do a physical exam, including an exam of your belly.
Your healthcare provider may also need more tests to rule out other causes of the vomiting. That’s especially the case for ones that may signal a health emergency. Based on your other symptoms, these tests might include:
- Blood tests for anemia and infection
- Tests for electrolytes
- Tests for pancreas and liver enzymes, to check these organs
- Pregnancy test
- Urine analysis, to test for infection or other urinary causes
- Drug screen, to test for drug-related causes of vomiting
- X-rays of the belly, to check for things such as a blockage
- Upper endoscopy, to view the stomach and esophagus for possible causes of vomiting
- Head CT scan, if a nervous system cause of vomiting seems likely
- Abdominal CT scan, to check for health problems that might need surgery
CHS was only recently discovered. So some healthcare providers may not know about it. As a result, they may not spot it for many years. They often confuse CHS with cyclical vomiting disorder. That is a health problem that causes similar symptoms. A specialist trained in diseases of the digestive tract (gastroenterologist) might make the diagnosis.
You may have CHS if you have all of these:
Long-term weekly and daily marijuana use
Severe, repeated nausea and vomiting
You feel better after taking a hot shower
There is no single test that confirms this diagnosis. Only improvement after quitting marijuana confirms the diagnosis.
How is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome treated?
If you have had severe vomiting, you might need to stay in the hospital for a short time. During the hyperemesis phase, you might need these treatments:
- IV (intravenous) fluid replacement for dehydration
- Medicines to help decrease vomiting
- Pain medicine
- Proton-pump inhibitors, to treat stomach inflammation
- Frequent hot showers
- Prescribed medicines that help calm you down (benzodiazepines)
- In a small sample of people with CHS, rubbing capsaicin cream on the belly helped decrease pain and nausea. The chemicals in the cream have the same effect as a hot shower
Symptoms often ease after a day or 2 unless marijuana is used before this time.
To fully get better, you need to stop using marijuana all together. Some people may get help from drug rehab programs to help them quit. Cognitive behavioral therapy or family therapy can also help. If you stop using marijuana, your symptoms should not come back.
What are possible complications of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
Very severe, prolonged vomiting may lead to dehydration. It may also lead to electrolyte problems in your blood. If untreated, these can cause rare complications such as:
- Muscle spasms or weakness
- Kidney failure
- Heart rhythm abnormalities
- In very rare cases, brain swelling (cerebral edema)
Your healthcare team will quickly work to fix any dehydration or electrolyte problems. Doing so can help prevent these problems.
What can I do to prevent cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
You can prevent CHS by not using marijuana in any form. You may not want to believe that marijuana may be the underlying cause of your symptoms. That may be because you have used it for many years without having any problems. The syndrome may take several years to develop. The drug may help prevent nausea in new users who don’t use it often. But people with CHS need to completely stop using it. If they don’t, their symptoms will likely come back.
Quitting marijuana may lead to other health benefits, such as:
- Better lung function
- Improved memory and thinking skills
- Better sleep
- Decreased risk for depression and anxiety
When should I call my healthcare provider?
Call your healthcare provider if you have had severe vomiting for a day or more.
Key points about cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
- CHS is a condition that leads to repeated and severe bouts of vomiting. It results from long-term use of marijuana.
- Most people self-treat using hot showers to help reduce their symptoms.
- Some people with CHS may not be diagnosed for several years. Admitting to your healthcare provider that you use marijuana daily can speed up the diagnosis.
- You might need to stay in the hospital to treat dehydration from CHS.
- Symptoms start to go away within a day or 2 after stopping marijuana use.
- Symptoms almost always come back if you use marijuana again.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.
Are There Side Effects to CBD Oils, Pills, or Gummies?
The increasing prevalence of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products has necessitated the spread of information regarding its properties and — most importantly — whether it can be harmful. If you are brand new to the industry and looking to try something new, you are probably wondering: are there side effects to CBD oils, pills, or gummies? Thankfully, CBD is considered to have a very high safety profile, but like any substance with the ability to change brain chemistry, its use can result in potential side effects.
CBD is one of hundreds of compounds that are found in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. These specialized molecules are designed to interact with specific internal receptors that are found throughout our brain and body. These cannabinoid receptors can influence many different processes regarding the modulation of other body systems, which is why people are affected when they consume cannabinoid compounds.
The Most common side effects of cbd
Those who are just learning about CBD may not realize that it does not have the ability to make you intoxicated. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the only compound in cannabis that is capable of doing that. This is why hemp is ideal for extracting CBD oil, because it contains only trace amounts of THC, so users will not experience inebriation after its consumption.
However, several clinical trials have shown that patients who were treated with high doses of CBD (In some cases, over 1,300mg in a single day) had reported symptoms that ranged from mild to moderately severe, although nothing significantly life threatening. Research has so far indicated that the most common side effects of CBD can include things like queasiness, anxiety, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, trouble with balance, dry mouth, and fluctuations in appetite or weight.
Nausea or vomiting
One reported side effect of CBD use is nausea, or vomiting. This can result from taking too high of a dose, which can be a different amount for each person as it is based on their individual biochemistry. For some new users, they may have trouble digesting the oil, which could potentially lead to an upset stomach.
When first trying out a CBD product, it is best to begin with the smallest dose possible, and work your way up. It is also important to note that when taking a tincture, it is necessary to hold the oil underneath your tongue for at least 1-2 minutes, or until the oil has been completely absorbed by the sublingual gland. In this way, the compounds are able to bypass the digestive system and go directly into the bloodstream.
Although many studies are currently underway to determine whether CBD helps with anxiety, some patients have indicated that it actually triggered rather than relieved their anxiety. This could be due to an overly high dose, although the quality of the CBD oil can have a huge effect as well. It may also correspond to the causes of individual stress or anxiety, whether they are due to external factors regarding lifestyle or internal body mechanisms that involve brain chemistry.
There has been a lot of research compiled regarding the use of CBD as a sleep aid, which makes sense as some users have reported excessive fatigue and tiredness associated with larger doses.
A small percentage of users experienced gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea after consuming CBD. This may also be due in part to the carrier oil that is used as a preservative in CBD products. Different types of carriers can include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or propylene glycol, and some people might be sensitive to a particular type.
Although there have been a few instances of dizziness associated with CBD use, this may also be an effect of gastrointestinal issues due to sensitivity of other ingredients. This is why it is very important to research all of the ingredients for a particular product, in case of allergies or other components that may cause a reaction.
Because CBD oil can be absorbed through the sublingual gland, cannabinoids have the potential to influence saliva production. However, if a CBD product causes excessive dry mouth, it may also be an indication of higher amounts of THC, which is primarily associated with this kind of symptom.
Always check the batch lab reports of a particular product to ensure that it does not have more than 0.3% THC. Some states have allowed for medical use of CBD products that contain more than the federal maximum amount of THC, so that is definitely something to consider and be aware of.
Changes in Appetite or Weight
Some consumers say they have experienced changes in their appetite or weight after using a CBD product. Cannabis products are often used in palliative care for terminal patients as a way to stimulate appetite, and this is considered one of the most common side effects of cannabinoids.
When cbd side effects may occur
It has become so popular in part because of its high safety profile, but when CBD side effects may occur can depend on the quality of the CBD product being consumed. Unfortunately, there are a lot of disreputable companies out there who are looking to make a quick buck in such a fast growing industry. This means they possibly use inferior processes for extracting the oil — some techniques involve the use of harsh chemicals which strip the plant of its natural components, and these processes could potentially leave behind trace amounts of toxic compounds. Currently, CO2 extraction is considered one of the cleanest and most efficient methods for extracting CBD oil.
It is important when choosing a CBD product to ensure that the company provides independent lab tests to confirm the purity of the oil, and to make sure that it does not contain higher amounts of THC, which is federally illegal. Many companies may not want to pay for this, which can be a disadvantage because not all batches of oil will come out with the same concentrations of cannabinoids, and it is important to follow these guidelines in order to ensure that only minimal amounts of THC are in the product.
Is CBD fda approved?
So, is CBD FDA approved? Currently, the Federal Drug Administration is still weighing in on CBD, and has not yet approved its medical use. Part of the issue is the expensive involved with clinical trials, which can cost millions of dollars.
There has been significant confusion within the industry because while hemp products and CBD are federally legal through the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA has yet to approve their inclusion as an ingestible health supplement. However, FDA officials are aware of the high demand and pervasive use of CBD products, which has prompted them to request users, health practitioners, and industry experts to give their own experiences and comments regarding this issue. They held the first in a series of hearings in the summer of 2019, where people were invited to share their views, and they had also maintained a public comment forum on the FDA website where people were encouraged to give their thoughts on the matter.
It is believed that it will only be a matter of time before the FDA officially approves CBD, but many feel the process is taking too long. The fact that there are no established guidelines means that less scrupulous companies are able to operate with minimal oversight, which ultimately puts consumers at risk.
It is important to continue pressuring the FDA to make significant progress with regard to this decision, and hemp advocates continue to pursue legal avenues that would force them to speed up the process. Until then, both companies and customers will be at risk from the unstable regulatory landscape.