By / January 23, 2023

Can Cannabis Cure Motion Sickness?

Cannabis is a popular treatment to relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy, and studies have shown that it can also help with motion sickness.

One condition that takes the fun out of traveling is motion sickness, which can make it unbearable for some people when traveling by sea, land, or air. It can affect people of all ages, affecting both the elderly and the young.

There are medications to treat it, but they do not work effectively for everyone. An effective alternative to these medications that many people don’t know about is cannabis.

Mechanism of Action of Cannabis

Cannabis affects our physical and mental health through our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system consists of fat-based neurotransmitters, or endocannabinoids, such as anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). A 2010 study published in PLoS One found that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for stress and the vomiting and nausea that many motion sickness patients experience.

Endocannabinoids are responsible for many processes in the body, such as maintaining homeostasis, modulating the immune system, and how we respond to pain signals in the body.

Cannabinoids in cannabis, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), can increase and decrease these neurotransmitters in the body through cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as other chemical pathways in our bodies. CB1 receptors are associated with central nervous system function, while CB2 receptors are in many other organs.

What Is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness occurs when conflicting messages are sent to the central nervous system, confusing the brain. These conflicting messages can come from any of your body’s senses (eyes, ears, nerves).

For example, the brain can become confused if your eyes don’t see movement, but your other senses do. Motion sickness can occur in an airplane, car, train, boat, or ship and can turn a fun trip into an absolute nightmare. It turns out that cannabis can change that.

Types of Motion Sickness

There are three main types of motion sickness:

  • Airsickness: Usually occurs when traveling by air, including planes, helicopters, gliders, etc.
  • Motion sickness: This usually occurs when you travel by vehicle on land – car, bus, train, etc.
  • Sea sickness: Sea sickness happens on the water, usually on boats or ships.

Categories of Motion Sickness

We can divide Motion sickness into three categories depending on the source of the trigger:

  • From movement you can’t see but can feel. In this case, your nerves send the right message to your brain, and your eyes don’t do the same, which causes motion sickness.
  • From movement that you can see but can’t feel. In this case, your eyes send the correct message to your brain. Your eyes are not doing the same thing, which causes motion sickness.
  • From your auditory and visual systems detecting different types of movement. In this case, they send conflicting signals to the brain, which causes illness.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness

The symptoms of motion sickness are usually not too severe, but they can cause a lot of anxiety. Common symptoms include sweating, shortness of breath, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, pale skin, and yawning. Although the symptoms are not severe, the regular occurrence of this condition causes more serious problems, such as travel anxiety.

Who Is at Risk?

There are two categories of people most vulnerable to motion sickness: pregnant women and children. Others may also be at high risk if they deal with the following problems.

  • Anxiety and fear of traveling
  • Using an unfamiliar mode of travel
  • Poor ventilation in the vehicle
  • Lack of window access and inability to see traffic.

How Cannabis Can Help

In recent years, some cannabis advocates have suggested that cannabis could cure motion sickness. Medical cannabis relieves nausea caused by chemotherapy, and studies have shown that it can also help with motion sickness.

Two cannabinoids in cannabis, CBD and THC, are known to activate the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the human body. These cannabinoids reduce the counter-release of chemicals in the body that causes nausea, alleviating the discomfort associated with motion sickness.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness That Cannabis Can Help With

Cannabis helps with motion sickness by relieving symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness

Best Cannabis Strains for Treating Motion Sickness

Both Sativa and Indica strains can help with motion sickness, although they work significantly differently. Indica varieties help you relax, while Sativa varieties give you a boost of energy. Below are some of the best cannabis strains.

  • Master Kush: This is a dominant Indica strain that helps with anxiety, nausea, pain, stress, and lack of appetite.
  • Blue Dream: This is another Indica-dominant strain with Indica genes. Blue Dream helps with anxiety, stress, pain, and nausea.
  • Sour Diesel: This Sativa-dominant strain relieves migraines and stops nausea.
  • Super Haze Lemon: Super Haze Lemon is another Sativa dominant gene strain. It helps relieve anxiety and calm an upset stomach.
  • Durban Poison: This Sativa-dominant strain helps with appetite loss and nausea.

(Featured image by Gerd Altmann via Pexels)

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