HOW MARIJUANA CAN BE USED AS A MEDICATION FOR NAUSEA AND VOMITING
- November 12, 2018
If you have been keeping up with marijuana in medical news, the chances are strong that you are aware of the plant’s use as an accompaniment medication for cancer patients. Back in 1975, one doctor initiated the first independent study of the little green plant’s effects on nausea and vomiting. Once the 1990s rolled around the corner, though, medical cannabis laws were introduced for a very important purpose: protecting cancer patients who consumed the drug from falling victim to prosecution. At last, these victims finally found a medication (a considerably controversial one) that could help them manage nausea and vomiting and improve their appetites. So, how is this possible? How does this fragrant herb suppress these unbearable symptoms? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
A Closer Look at CINV
While they are certainly dreading inevitable hair loss, cancer patients fear something far more terrible as part of their treatment. Within the first 24 hours of receiving chemotherapy, victims begin to suffer from unbearable bouts of nausea and vomiting (emesis). However, this is not the typical bout you feel during the cold or after surgery. Instead, these cancer patients suffer from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and it can start immediately after treatment.
Typically, as part of CINV management, doctors prescribe anti-emetics (anti-nausea medications) including dexamethasone (corticosteroid for inflammatory problems) or 5-HT3 serotonin receptor agonists (ondansetron, palonosetron, aprepitant). Likewise, some physicians will prescribe antihistamines, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants.
Cannabis and Nausea
So how does marijuana miraculously help cancer patients manage CINV? Two particular medications (synthetic derivatives of cannabis) called nabilone and dronabinol have proven to be particularly effective in treating this unbearable nausea and vomiting. Simply put, nabilone and dronabinol block the merging of serotonin and dopamine at various receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which are directly connected to emetic reflex pathways (e.g. the vomiting reflex). At the seat of our brains, the dorsal vagal complex (DVC) controls nerve endings that stimulate emetic reflexes (vomiting), but the nerve endings in this structure are directly connected to our endocannabinoid system. In other words, once a patient consumes these marijuana-based drugs, the chemicals rush to these receptors and block the emetic reflex.
Always remember that marijuana does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.