Weed May Relieve Morning Sickness

Liz Filmer
14 Sep 2022

Pregnancy-related nausea is very common amongst expectant mothers. It can strike any time: day or night; for some, it can last the whole day. Around half of expecting mothers experience it. It varies in severity. Some people may only have mild nausea, which can be debilitating for other women.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is extreme morning sickness or nausea. It can have severe and fatal implications: low birth weight in infants, miscarriage, dehydration, encephalopathy and depression are among the many risks.
New research has found that cannabis may work better than prescription drugs for Hyperemesis Gravidarum. U.S Researchers polled 550 people who experienced nausea while pregnant. The results showed that 96% of respondents used anti-emetic medications while 14% said they used cannabis. Most of those who used marijuana reported doing so because the anti-emetics did not work for them.
"This study adds to a growing list of anti-emetic properties of cannabis and cannabinoid compounds while also suggesting their potential to treat HG. The authors concluded that those who used cannabis or cannabis-based products reported more frequent relief from their HG symptoms than those using prescription anti-emetics," the authors concluded. Additionally, 82% of those who used weed said they could find relief, and it was effective in helping them regain their appetite.
Despite looking promising, the authors warned that although Cannabis products may appear to be a more practical alternative, more research is still required to understand how it works and its safety. Meanwhile, doctors must proceed with caution in recommending cannabis.
In another study from 2021, the University of New Mexico analysed HG symptoms among 2,200 pregnant women from 5 minutes to an hour after consuming cannabis. They found that 96% of patients experienced relief within the first hour.

"Despite increasing clinical concerns regarding cyclical vomiting or hyperemesis syndrome in cannabis users, almost all users experienced relief," assistant professor and study author Sarah Stith.
A 2018 Californian study found that more pregnant women were using cannabis. The research surveyed 220,000 pregnancies in California between 2009 and 2016. They found that the average use was 5.3%, which jumped to 11.3% for pregnant women with severe nausea. Those in their first trimester suffering from extreme nausea and vomiting were more likely to use cannabis.

The endocannabinoid system is understood to help regulate multiple bodily functions. These include supporting homeostasis and a healthy central nervous system process. They also act on the digestive system and help control food intake, synthesis of lipids, and more.
Cannabinoids act on the CB1 receptors to reduce emesis and intestinal motility. Studies have also found that the anti-emetic capabilities of cannabis happen because of the CB1 receptors found in the dorsal vagal complex known as the DVC. The DVC houses three nuclei that help process information from the nerve to the gut and other body structures.
Other research suggests how cannabinoids interact with serotonin receptors and helps curb nausea effectively. If you are pregnant and considering using cannabis, you should consult a health care professional first.


Liz Filmer