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Nausea and CBD Oil: Research, Benefits, and Dosage

Nausea does not have to be a debilitating experience, nor does it require strong medications to fix. CBD oil can provide natural, calming relief.

Over the course of a lifetime, most people will experience at least one episode of nausea. It is a built-in biological function that is debilitating at worst and an inconvenience at best. In many cases, nausea can be resolved with fresh air, a glass of water, and a calm environment. But what if your nausea doesn’t subside so easily? Can CBD oil help?

Nausea has various causes. It can be the result of a chronic condition, such as liver failure, a normal biological response to hormones, the result of an acute infection or a side-effect of medication.

When conventional medication is not helping your nausea (or is the cause of your nausea) or if you just prefer a more natural route, using CBD to keep your nausea in check can be an effective, natural way to regain control of your life.

For our recommendations on which CBD oil products are best for nausea, check out The Best CBD For Nausea: A Buyer's Guide.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Nausea

There are hundreds of cannabinoids present in cannabis and hemp plants; cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of them. CBD has been found to offer many potential benefits to human health without causing the intoxication most commonly associated with THC and marijuana consumption. In other words, CBD will not get you high.

By working with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, CBD has been found to produce a range of beneficial effects, including reducing nausea and vomiting.

Most anti-nausea and antiemetic drugs are a saving grace for people who experience debilitating nausea. But because nausea can be caused by a variety of factors, and because the science behind what causes nausea is not always clear, there are many different medications that can be prescribed, and finding the right one can require a bit of trial and error. Giving CBD oil a trial early on in this process may eliminate some of this…

In patients undergoing chemotherapy, for example, three types of antiemetics are commonly used; each has a completely different function. One targets dopamine receptors; another, serotonin receptors; and the last targets NK1 receptors. What works for one person may not work for another. And what’s worse, many of these medications carry side effects. CBD oil does not have complicated side effects and may present as a better solution, or at least an alternative.

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Anti-nausea/Antiemetic Medication Side Effects of Medication CBD Oil for Nausea Potential Interaction of Medication + CBD Oil
Ondansetron (Zofran) Diarrhea; constipation; headache; fever; lightheadedness; dizziness; weakness; drowsiness; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing these side effects Ondansetron is metabolised primarily via the cytochrome p450 system which means that there should be an interaction with it and CBD oil CBD oil may make the side effects worse. Please check with your doctor.
Granisetron (Kytril) Diarrhea; constipation; fever; dizziness; headache; weakness; loss of appetite; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing any of these same side effects No known interactions between CBD oil and Granisetron
Dolasetron (Anzemet) Headache; lightheadedness; swelling in hands and feet; slow heart rate; decreased urination; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing these same side effects There may be some interaction at the cytochrome p450 level here too. Check with your doctor.
Dexamethasone (Decadron; Dexasone) Increased appetite; mood changes; insomnia; headaches; dizziness; skin rash or discoloration; bruising; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can stop nausea without causing these same side effects No known interactions between Dexamethasone and CBD oil
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) Irritability; dry mouth; blurred vision; dizziness; drowsiness; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing most of these side effects;Could potentially cause dry mouth There are possible interactions between CBD oil and diphenhydramine;Never use together without first consulting a doctor
Dimenhydrinate (Gravol) Drowsiness; hyperactivity; headache; blurred vision; ringing in the ears; dry mouth; trouble with coordination CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing a majority of these side effects;Possibility for dry mouth There are possible interactions between CBD oil and dimenhydrinate;Never use together without first consulting a doctor
Lorazepam (Ativan) Depression/thoughts of suicide; muscle weakness; headache; blurred vision; loss of balance; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing any of these same side effects There are possible interactions between CBD oil and lorazepam;Never use together without first consulting a doctor
Prochlorperazine (Stemetil) Anxiety; insomnia; dry mouth; stuffy nose; blurred vision; dizziness; drowsiness; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing similar side effects;Dry mouth can occur There are possible interactions between CBD oil and prochlorperazine;Never use together without first consulting a doctor
Haloperidol (Haldol) Involuntary movements; hyperactivity; tiredness; weight gain; insomnia; dry mouth; continued nausea and vomiting CBD oil can relieve nausea without causing most of these side effects;You may experience dry mouth There are possible interactions between CBD oil and haloperidol;Never use together without first consulting a doctor

As you can see, many of these drugs carry detrimental side effects including continued nausea and diarrhea. Considering this, it isn’t surprising that people are looking to CBD oil as a potentially safer, more effective option for nausea relief.

Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil for Nausea

Nausea is complicated, often multifactorial in origin and the science behind what causes it can be unclear.  

One of the medications approved for use in chemotherapy-related nausea is Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid. Nabilone is used after all other medical treatments have failed. This particular drug is actually a synthetic THC—not CBD—but it points to the fact that the solution to nausea may lie in the endocannabinoid system. Since CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system, further research may show potential for CBD in the management of nausea going forward.

While the causes of nausea are not always clearly understood, one theory suggests that it is caused by an increased release of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that, when present in large amounts, can leave you feeling queasy. CBD oil is able to counteract this effect by interacting with the receptors responsible for releasing serotonin into the body.

CBD Oil for Chemotherapy-Related Nausea

Nausea induced by chemotherapy treatment can present itself either as symptomatic nausea, caused directly by the impact of chemotherapy drugs on the body, or anticipatory nausea, which is your body’s preemptive response to situations that have triggered nausea or vomiting in the past.

While symptomatic nausea can be treated with antiemetics, this is not the case with anticipatory nausea. A known experience in patients who have suffered from bouts of post-treatment nausea in the past, anticipatory nausea begins before any physical nausea is felt. Lorazepam, an anxiolytic, is often used in the management of anticipatory nausea, but it can have unwanted side-effects such as drowsiness and the potential for dependence. 

For those undertaking chemotherapy treatment, CBD oil may provide relief from the symptoms of both symptomatic and anticipatory nausea.It is thought that CBD oil reduces the experience of nausea by impacting the 5HT1A, or serotonin, receptors in the brain, which are thought to cause nausea and vomiting. When CBD binds to these receptors, signals to reduce serotonin production are sent to the forebrain. By blocking the release of serotonin, CBD is able to stop nausea at its source. A study on THC and CBD’s effect on anticipatory nausea specifically also showed promising results. In the study, shrews were exposed to cues while vomiting was induced to create a cognitive connection between the two. When the test subjects were given THC or CBD before being exposed to the same cues that were tied to episodes of nausea and vomiting, they did not experience anticipatory nausea.

There is a great deal of research that still needs to be done to understand the impact CBD oil can have on nausea, and the mechanisms behind its anti-nausea and antiemetic properties. But at the moment, using CBD oil for nausea may be just as effective as using traditional medications, without the harsh side effects.

How to Take CBD Oil for Nausea

Before you consider taking CBD oil for nausea, it is important to first speak to your doctor. While generally safe, CBD oil can interact with a few common medications and so you will want to make sure you’re not facing any risks.

Once you have been cleared to use CBD oil, you will need to decide how you want to take it. In most cases, the delivery format you choose will depend on your needs and personal preferences. For conditions like nausea, however, some products will make more sense than others.

Using a CBD vape, CBD flower, or CBD oil tinctures or drops, can help provide relief from the sudden appearance of nausea.

CBD vape oil and CBD flower are inhaled, meaning the CBD can avoid the digestive system and is absorbed directly into the lungs. The effects appear within minutes, offering the fastest nausea relief. The downside to using a CBD vape or flower is the benefits do not last long (typically 30 minutes to an hour) and it may be necessary to take another dose for relief from chronic nausea. And, of course, it may not always be possible or desirable to vape or smoke.

This is where CBD oil drops and tinctures can be effective. These products bypass digestion as well and are absorbed through the skin under the tongue. They do not work as quickly as CBD vapes or flower, but they still act quickly enough to target sudden-onset nausea. You can expect relief within 30 minutes and the benefits to last anywhere from 2-4 hours. CBD drops and tinctures provide the best dosage control, giving you the ability to measure your dosage down to the literal drop.

CBD oil capsules and edibles can also be used as part of a daily supplement routine. However, because they must pass through the digestive system, they take the longest for your body to process. Beware, however, as if you have a sensitive stomach, adding more digestables to the mix may not be an ideal option.

CBD Oil Dosage for Nausea

There is no universal dose of CBD oil for nausea. Because no two people will respond in exactly the same way, it is best to begin by following the recommended serving suggestion that comes with your CBD oil product.

If you’re looking for personalized dosage advice, talk to a cannabis doctor who can assess your specific condition and give you a more tailored recommendation.

Or, you can go with our suggestion if your CBD product doesn’t come with dosage instructions. At CBD Oil Review we have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with a standard serving suggestion:

The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.

If you are not getting results from this amount, we recommend increasing the serving size by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until you find relief.

To better understand CBD oil dosage, you can read our tips here.

If you’re ready to try CBD for nausea, but don’t know where to start or which products to buy, check out our buyer’s guide: The Best CBD For Nausea.

If you’ve enjoyed this read and would like to learn more, check out:

+ 5 sources


  1. Linda A Parker et al. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21175589/
  2. Nabilone - DrugBank Online https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB00486
  3. E M Rock et al. Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic component of cannabis, attenuates vomiting and nausea-like behaviour via indirect agonism of 5-HT(1A) somatodendritic autoreceptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21827451/
  4. Linda A Parker et al. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165951/
  5. Linda A Parker et al. (2005) Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, but not ondansetron, interfere with conditioned retching reactions elicited by a lithium-paired context in Suncus murinus: An animal model of anticipatory nausea and vomiting - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16197970/

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