The primary symptom of motion sickness is nausea. Nausea is often treated with anti-emetics for numerous illnesses, including motion sickness. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is not enough information to say that inhaled cannabis is a viable treatment option for nausea. However, the National Cancer Institute also states that cannabinoid medications are FDA approved for nausea and vomiting. They not only work on nausea and vomiting but they often work better than the non-cannabinoid treatments that are currently available.
There are currently two cannabinoid medications available for nausea and vomiting in the United States. These drugs are Delta-9-THC medications that go by the names nabilone and dronabinol. The active ingredient — tetrahydrocannabinol — in these medications is the same as found in the marijuana plant. Therefore, further testing of inhaled marijuana in regard to nausea and vomiting seem likely to produce similar results. At this time, the drugs are approved to treat cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The Federal Drug Administration has not cleared these medications for use with motion sickness. However, that does not mean that they do not show promise for all types of nausea and vomiting.
Treatments for motion sickness include ginger, anti-emetics and dymenhydrinate. Medications used for motion sickness have a risk of abuse and overdose. With dymenhydrinate that can include seizures and loss of consciousness. Medical marijuana has been shown to help some with motion sickness. It may be overused like other medications. However, medical marijuana has been proven utterly safe concerning overdose and emergency side effects. In other words, there has never been a single documented case of marijuana overdose resulting in a medical crisis. This can be taken to mean you cannot overdose on marijuana, though prescribed doses are advised for medical marijuana.
The Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA is charged with enforcing drug laws in the United States. They, along with the federal government of the United States of America, enforce laws against any and all use of marijuana, even in areas where it has been legalized by the state government. Nonetheless, the DEA’s website states that research finds synthetic THC a viable treatment for nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting in cancer and AIDS patients. One can only assume that the use of drugs like marinol is restricted to terminally ill or potentially terminally ill patients by agencies like the DEA because the research to support the minimal risk of harmful side effects is not yet extensive enough.
The DEA site goes on to state that synthetic marijuana is considered safer than inhaled marijuana, but it says nothing of the efficacy of inhaled marijuana for treatment of nausea and vomiting. They indicate that the FDA has no approved treatments that involve smoking for any conditions. Fortunately for sufferers of motion sickness, the DEA is also taking the initiative to research the benefits of inhaled medical marijuana. They are also taking the initiative to ensure that medical marijuana and synthetic alternatives are available to people suffering from illness provided that the treatments prove effective.
This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.